Leaders

Derri Smith

Derri Smith

Founder and Executive Director

In 2012, Derri Smith moved End Slavery Tennessee, an organization she founded in 2008, out from under a parent organization to become an independent 501c3.

Previously she served as Director of End Slavery Ministries with International Teams, with global responsibility for building teams and placing workers in the worldwide fight against slavery. But her heart and passion remained for the travesty of this crime, in epidemic proportions yet hidden in plain sight, right here in her own backyard.

Her career leading up to these roles includes teaching elementary school, heading an inner-city ministry in Nashville, and serving overseas in a ministry to refugees and those recovering from decades of repressive government in Eastern Europe. For decades she's addressed the issue of child abuse in the church, informally counseling women recovering from such abuse.

Derri is the 2011 regional recipient of the Soroptimist Ruby Award for Women Helping Women and 2012 winner of the Trafficking in America Service award. She received the 2014 Salute to Excellence Baptist Healing Trust Access to Care award for the work of End Slavery Tennessee. She sits on both the governor appointed state Human Trafficking Task Force and the Federal Human Trafficking Task Force. Her many speaking venues include the US Capitol and TEDx Nashville. 

She now devotes her knowledge, experience and passion to promote healing of human trafficking survivors and strategically confront slavery in our state.

 

Karen Karpinski

Director of Education

As ESTN's Director of Education, Karen Karpinski speaks on college campuses and at leading community, civic, and service groups and trains professionals most likely to come in contact with victims. Karen served for years as a high-involvement volunteer worker herself, and also trains and coordinates the activities and appointments for a growing team of volunteer presenters who now fan out to a wide range of venues and forums.

Karen retired from Skyline Medical Center where for over 10 years she was the Director of Volunteer and Spiritual Care Services on two campuses. She is a certified Volunteer Management Professional with more than 30 years experience in for-profit and not-for-profit businesses and organizations. She holds the Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications. Her experience ranges from the arts, to healthcare, to community service organizations.

 

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Shelia Simpkins Mcclain

Director of Survivor Services 

Shelia's story began with sexual abuse at an early age, followed by running away from home and early drug use. By the time Shelia was 18, she was being prostituted and was subsequently trafficked across the country. Shelia has learned to turn her past experiences into the driving force behind her desire to help those who are victims of trafficking. She’s been able to turn all the wrongs in her life into her greatest asset and a sense of empowerment. She has a B.A. in Psychology, earned in order to provide a higher level of service to survivors.

 

Yvette White

Survivor Service Coordinator

Yvette’s career in the helping profession springs from social work education and obtaining her Masters of Social Work from Middle Tennessee State University.  She has specialized in advocating for people with intellectual disabilities, helping children with special needs and supporting women through their substance abuse and mental health recovery process. Yvette is passionate about inspiring women to overcome obstacles and find their path to recovery. 

 

Jennifer Settle

Survivor Services Coordinator

As the Survivor Services Coordinator, Jennifer provides services for victims of trafficking as they begin the difficult struggle to reincorporate their lives and begin anew in Middle Tennessee. She coordinates new services to help maximize the possibilities and dreams of survivors.

Jennifer knows firsthand from her previous work with therapeutic foster homes and clients who are aging out of the foster care system just how imperative it is to build a supportive network. She enjoys pooling resources and mapping plans to provide for the best chances of success for her clients. She was introduced to the reality of human trafficking as a student at Western Kentucky University while earning a degree in Social Work. She decided at that time that involvement in this area of need would be her goal.

When Jennifer is not working, she is with her family enjoying every minute they share.

 

Angela

Angela Shofner

Volunteer Manager

As Volunteer Manager, Angela provides the screening, training and supervision for all the volunteers, as well as the Volunteer Group Leaders of ESTN throughout Middle TN.  

Angela has a passion for justice and for helping others in tangible ways, which is what led her to End Slavery Tennessee. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Communication, and she graduated with her J.D. from Nashville School of Law in May 2014 and is a licensed attorney. She previously worked as Executive Director of Madison Christian Medical Clinic, and as a high-school English teacher and Librarian.

In her free time, Angela loves to read, sing, and spend time with her husband and two daughters, particularly at the Nashville Zoo. 

 

Laura Courtney

Office Manager

Laura graduated from Trevecca University in May of 2014 with a degree in Business Administration concentrating in Information Technology.  A heart for the victims and survivors of human trafficking came about just a few short years ago upon coming to Nashville.  Attending a film screening and hearing a presentation about the problem prompted her search for action and involvement and started her here at End Slavery Tennessee as an intern.

In her free time, Laura enjoys spending time with her husband and family, reading, sewing, running and spending time outdoors.

 

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Janna Carlson

Events Coordinator: Ride for Refuge Location Leader

Janna Carlson was born and raised in Tennessee, where she graduated high school from Davidson Academy and received her Bachelors degree from Trevecca Nazarene University. Janna is the Location Leader for the Nashville RIDE for Refuge,. The RIDE is ESTN’s annual family friendly FUNdraiser and is how she originally discovered their important work.

She is married to her best friend and is currently employed at Men of Valor, a prison ministry. Janna understands that many struggle daily with some form of slavery, whether to themselves or circumstances, and her "vision" is to help break that vicious cycle. She recognizes community awareness and education play a crucial role in helping end modern day slavery, and is committed to ensuring the public gains a greater understanding of this heinous crime.

 

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Marcus dePaula

Technical Consultant

Marcus lends his passion and expertise in all things tech to the End Slavery Tennessee team. He helps to update and manage the organization's websites and social media pages. His goal is to support the leaders in a way that allows them to be able to focus on what they do best, instead of spending valuable time on the digital tools that are supposed to help them do their jobs.

Marcus also taps into his early years on the road as an audio engineer, as well as his audio-visual installation experience, to serve at End Slavery Tennessee and The Village Chapel.

A resident of Nashville for more than 20 years, Marcus assists his wife Jenn with their social media and content marketing business, Mixtus Media (when he's not chasing their six-year-old son Isaac around).

 

Volunteer Group Leaders

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Bucky Elliott

Spring Hill Group

Bucky Elliott is an Army brat, husband, dad, and full-time digital media producer who serves as an End Slavery TN community educator and group leader for Franklin/Spring Hill. He has led teams in raising awareness about human trafficking in Williamson and Maury counties since May 2010 through literature and poster distribution, movie screenings, public awareness presentations, and other events. In cooperation with the Spring Hill police department, his team has also provided training for citizens and law enforcement officers.

 

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Scott Hardesty

Nashville Group

Scott Hardesty is an End Slavery Community Educator, Volunteer Group Leader Liaison, and has been leading the Nashville Volunteer Group since 2010.   He received his bachelor’s degree from Trevecca Nazarene University and MDIV from Vanderbilt University.  Scott joined End Slavery TN because of their holistic approach to ending slavery in our state and hopes that the model we are creating can be replicated in other cities, states, and countries to end modern day slavery.

 

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Dana Garrett Montgomery

Murfreesboro Group,
Lead Presenter to Medical Professionals

Dana’s passion as a nurse is to educate medical professionals about Human Trafficking. She recognizes that these healthcare workers have a high chance of encountering victims and that it is therefore vital for them to know the red flags that enable them to recognize victims and get appropriate help.  Dana is a Community Educator for ESTN as well as the Murfreesboro volunteer group leader.

Dana is currently employed as the Executive Director of the Rutherford County Health Department. She’s worked in public health and community education for more than 15 years.  She has bachelor’s degrees in Nursing and Public Health from Western Kentucky University as well as a Public Health Leadership certificate from University of TN. Dana lives in Murfreesboro with her husband Steven.

 

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Gwen Smith

Franklin Group

Gwen Smith is leader of the Franklin, TN group. One of her heart’s desires is to see young women and young men caught in the web of human trafficking come to know their value as persons created in the image of God.  She knows that raising awareness in her community about commercially exploited children and encouraging others to get involved is vital to the work of ESTN.

Gwen resides in Franklin, TN with her husband of 39 years.  She is a retired schoolteacher and has 3 married children and three grandchildren.

 

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Sabrina Jewell

Mt Juliet Group

Sabrina Jewell leads the Mt. Juliet Volunteer Group.  She became a volunteer because she believes human life is valuable and when something is wrong one should do something right.  And, as the mother of three, Sabrina desires to invest in her children's generation by helping end slavery. 

Sabrina has a bachelor's degree in Education, is a Learning & Development Specialist, and enjoys being a Community Educator for ESTN.  She and her husband, Ty, have been married 23 years.  She enjoys traveling, cooking (and of course eating), and attending her childrens’ sporting activities. 

 

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Stacy Elliott

Brentwood Group

Stacy Elliott grew up on Army bases and lived in Atlanta, GA and Huntsville, AL before moving to Brentwood, TN ten years ago.  With a Masters in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis specializing in family therapy and nonprofit management, her commitment to helping people and positively impacting culture is serious. Recently, she has pursued a new avenue for advocacy - screenwriting.

International Justice Mission helped Stacy actively learn about the fight to stop human trafficking. But when she found a local group called End Slavery Tennessee, she knew this was exactly where God wanted her to jump in headlong … right here in her neighborhood.

Stacy is married to songwriter and professor, James Elliott and has two amazing kids - Harrison and Sophia.

 

Teresa Yoder

West Central Group

Teresa Yoder is leader of West Central ESTN Group. She has a passion and desire to see survivors be restored into new lives with brand new beginnings. She also feels it is very important to create awareness in each community to avoid seeing young vulnerable people lured into such tragic situations.

Teresa is a homeschooling mother of 5, two which have graduated. Teresa and her two daughters run their own small soap and body care business. She also manages their small homestead with her husband of 19 years in rural Tennessee.