Derri supervises the senior management team, communicates all external messaging on behalf of the organization, is responsible for growth and development, drives the mission, serves on the board and as board/staff liaison and advocates for the issue and the organization.
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 community.
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 recipient of many awards including:
2011 regional Soroptimist Ruby Award for Women Helping Women
2012 Trafficking in America Service award.
2014 Salute to Excellence Healing Trust Access to Care award
2015 Salute to Excellence Diverse Generations
2016 Frist Team Building award (the Salute to Excellence Awards were on behalf of the agency.)
2016 Human Rights Outstanding Service Award from the Tennessee Human Rights Commission
2018 named a Woman of Influence by the Nashville Business Journal
2018 Most Admired CEOs by Nashville Business Journal
Derri sits on the Governor appointed Tennessee Human Trafficking Advisory Council, the Federal Human Trafficking Task Force and the Department of Health and Human Services Region 4 Working Group. Her many speaking venues include the U.S. 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.
In her free time, Derri loves to spend time with Bill, her husband of 45 years, their rescue Golden Retriever mix, Diggity Dog and a good book. Derri and Bill have two adult daughters.