Founder of Nashville nonprofit to step aside as CEO

Derri Smith will step aside as CEO of End Slavery Tennessee, effective June 1.

According to a news release, Marjorie Quin, a former agent with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, will take over as CEO of the nonprofit, whose mission is to promote the healing of human-trafficking survivors and strategically confront slavery in Tennessee. As founder, Smith will continue working with the group and its board.

“This is the dream scenario for moving the organization forward to care for survivors and end human trafficking,” Rebecca Finley, co-chair of End Slavery Tennessee's board, said in a statement. "Derri Smith expressed a desire to cut back on her hours, and who better than Margie Quin to join us at this time, not simply replacing the CEO but adding exceptional complementary skills and expertise to the team. I doubt that any human-trafficking agency in the country could have a stronger duo in the lead."

The following are excerpts from the release:

Derri Smith will continue as an advocate in pursuit of the mission, vision and values. She said, “Changing roles will provide me more time for personal life, but also more time to devote to End Slavery Tennessee in the areas where I can be most effective. It is a win-win.”

Ms. Smith founded the local effort ten years ago to raise awareness of human trafficking and provide a comprehensive system of care for local survivors. The agency now cares for over 200 survivors per year, providing intensive case management, housing, mental health therapy, transportation, work experience, basic needs, support groups in a survivor community and other services. Also, clients are connected to an array of external service providers ranging from healthcare to vocational trainers. The program is recognized nationally as a model for survivor care.

Marjorie Quin led the TBI/Vanderbilt University research and reporting in 2010 which laid the groundwork for over 50 pieces of legislation that strengthened Tennessee's responses to human trafficking. She also worked with other government agencies to craft human trafficking response strategies. At TBI, Quin supervised the first-ever statewide human trafficking law enforcement unit. 

She designed and delivered human trafficking training to thousands of Tennessee law enforcement officers and designed and implemented the first-ever victim centered approach to proactive enforcement during twelve human trafficking undercover operations. Through these enforcement actions called “Someone Like Me,” thousands of men responded to online ads offering sex with a minor. End Slavery Tennessee provided expert assistance in the design of the operations and was on hand to assist in a stage of each action designed.