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 in public schools, heading an inner-city work based out of Carter-Lawrence School in Nashville, and working overseas, serving 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 and the 2015 Diverse Generations award for the work of End Slavery Tennessee. She sits on both the governor appointed state Human Trafficking Advisory Council 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.
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.
Chelsea graduated from Cumberland University in 2013 with Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Humanities & Social Sciences and again in 2016 with a Master Degree in Public Service Management.
At Cumberland, Chelsea found her passion for non-profit work through various internships and a service trip to Haiti. She worked with Cumberland’s Office of Admissions as an advisor, where she found joy in working with young adults and helping students pursue their dreams. These experiences have molded Chelsea’s heart for people and her desire to see change in our world. As a native Tennessean, Chelsea has a strong love for her home state and hopes to be a vital part of ending slavery.
In her free time, Chelsea enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, going to concerts, reading, laughing, and watching a good movie.
Jill Rutter, RN, MSN, PCPNP-CB, CCE
Director of Community Outreach
Jill received her undergraduate degree in nursing at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Tennessee and her graduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She has worked in pediatric oncology as well as maternal nursing, general and acute pediatric care, perinatal education, nursing education, and perinatal grief counseling. She has also worked in staff development, as adjunct faculty at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Bethel University, and as clinical coordinator for the pediatrics program at Belmont University.
She became involved with End Slavery Tennessee after watching a documentary about human trafficking. She found out about the horrific treatment of children overseas, but after some research, found out the horror was just as great here in the states, with a particular focus in Nashville. With an overwhelming passion for children, she felt the need to be a part of an organization whose entire purpose was making a difference for the victims of human trafficking in middle Tennessee.
Jill's goal is to educate as many people as possible about the problem of human trafficking and how they, too, can become involved. She hopes through knowledge, more and more people will become advocates against trafficking and supporters for ESTN.
Jill and her husband Richard have 7 children (4 - two-legged, and 3- four-legged), as well as 3 grandchildren. In their spare time, they work as professional photographers. They also love to cook, travel, play with their “grandangels.”
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. Shelia is a living example to those we serve of a rich full life after trafficking; as a wife, mother and educated professional woman. She has a B.A. in Psychology, earned in order to provide a higher level of service to survivors.
Director of Case Management
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.
Hilary believes there are many paths to healing and happiness. Her own path hasn’t always been traditional. Her curiosity about the human spirit that led her to earn her undergraduate degree in Anthropology, sustained her while earning her Master’s in Mental Health Counseling and working as Child Protective Service’s Case Manager. It was in this role, after learning how children are often targeted by traffickers, when the proximity of human trafficking really hit home. She is ecstatic to join End Slavery in its mission and privileged to join others on their path to healing.
Hilary has specialized in areas of cultural competency, trauma, addiction, family systems, and domestic violence.
Hilary’s interests involve finding the "good stuff", whether in nature, music, food, books, or people. She loves spending time with friends, family, and her two sons. She is ever on the look-out for any activities dinosaur related or requiring a superhero cape.
Kelsey’s heart and desire to help those who are hurting led her to pursue a degree in Christian Ministry and Counseling from Johnson University, Florida. It is here that Kelsey learned more about the realities of human trafficking and was able to help raise awareness and fundraise for the cause. Upon moving to Nashville, Kelsey began working as a Case Manager for children and youth at a mental health organization. In this position, Kelsey gained valuable experience advocating for the children’s needs and learned the importance of building and strengthening social supports among the families and communities. Kelsey is excited to join End Slavery as a Care Coordinator because the position perfectly combines her experience as a case manager with her passion and desire to work with survivors of human trafficking.
In Kelsey’s free time she enjoys cuddling with her puppy, spending time outdoors and diving into a good book.
Travonda is passionate about supporting women and helping them see life through “a different lens”. Although new to Nashville, she has worked with families in crisis for over thirteen years and received extensive training in the Strength Based Approach and Trauma Informed Care. Travonda is also a trained facilitator in Effective Parenting and Self Advocacy Skills. She received certifications in Domestic Violence, Systems of Care, 40 Developmental Assets, Advanced Motivational Interviewing, Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aid and several other programs that have enhanced her ability to connect and relate to the families that she serves. Travonda has served as a leader in ministry alongside her husband for nine years and strongly believes in a holistic approach to every healing journey.
Travonda is currently enrolled in school full-time and enjoys being a mom to her two children. She loves to sing, read, and spend time with her family and friends.
Jasmine J-baptiste, mmft
Jasmine obtained her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Trevecca Nazarene University and her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Tennessee State University. She has been employed with the Sexual Assault Center since March of 2014. Her role as a Clinical Therapist at S.A.C. includes individual therapy with children, adolescent, adult survivors, and Non-offending Parents as well as one on one counseling at the Tennessee Prison for Women. Jasmine has received specialized training in Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency (ARC), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and is Level 1 trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). As a survivor of child sexual abuse, she is passionate about helping and empowering other survivors.
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 other non-profit organizations.
A resident of Nashville for more than 20 years, Marcus assists his wife Jenn with their social media and content marketing business, Mixtus Media.
Volunteer Group Leaders
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.
Sherry Gatewood is a Physician Assistant, a retired Army officer, and a Clarksville Sunrise Rotarian. She is excited to work with End Slavery Tennessee in performing its mission to provide healing to survivors and to use networks to spread awareness of human trafficking. She hopes to help change cultural mindsets to aid in prevention and to end human trafficking in generations to come.
Sherry is married to Richard Gatewood; they have two sons, four dogs, and fifty chickens. As a family, they enjoy outdoor activities and serving the Lord by taking care of the widow, the foreigner, and the orphan.
Dana Garrett Montgomery
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.
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.
SPRING HILL GROUP
Tina McLane graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College with a BA in French and Economics. She has been married 20 years to her husband Jim .They have one daughter, Maggie, and two sons, Jimmy and Will. They moved to the Nashville area in 2008, but as Kentucky was their home for 13 years, they will forever miss Keeneland and they still bleed blue!
Tina works full time for United Healthcare, a company that strongly supports social responsibility. She has always had a passion for volunteering and began volunteering with End Slavery Tennessee, along with her daughter, in 2013. She is very excited about her new role as a group leader in Spring Hill.
West Nashville Group
Mary is a native of Middle Tennessee. She graduated from Vanderbilt University where she spent two years in nursing school and finished with a Bachelor's of Science in Art History. She worked for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in corporate sales and marketing both domestically as well as some internationally.
Mary met her husband Drew while at Vanderbilt. They have three boys and a dog, Daisy. For the past 23 years, they have spent their time serving at their church, Christ Presbyterian, as well as at their children's school, St. George's Episcopal and Christ Presbyterian Academy. She and Drew now own Fifteen Alarms, a regional alarm company with offices in TN, AL, and MS.