Linda Parker-Smith is the founder and CEO of Smiles and Beyond, a nonprofit organization that for eight years has helped more than 300 formerly incarcerated men and women receive the restorative dental work they needed to start life anew. She now plans today to expand service to another demographic sorely in need of dental services – domestic violence survivors. In this year alone, Smith says her nonprofit will help 25 domestic abuse survivors with plans to grow that number in 2020. Learn more about Linda Parker-Smith…
Hometown: Racine, Wisconsin
First job: My first job was at FW Woolworth. I was hired to stock and then to do some cashiering. I was on cashiering one day and the manager asked me to go back to stocking. His exact words were, “Would you like to go back to stocking?” I said, “No I am fine right here.” He asked me to come to the back with him and he fired me for insubordination. I learned a great lesson to never say no to your boss.
Favorite AZ restaurant: I really enjoy eating at Preston’s in Scottsdale. They give back generously and it is quiet and pleasant and the food is great. I also like The Summit in Cave Creek because they have a dog patio and we like to take our dog Calvin with us.
Person who has impacted your life the most: My Lord and savior Jesus Christ. And, I have a mentor named Bo Derning that has believed in me from the beginning and even when times were rough he believed in me.
Your biggest accomplishment in your eyes: To see people with a new smile grinning from ear-to-ear all the time. They get their children back, get great jobs and are functioning in the world of today.
The biggest obstacle you have overcome: Finding Board Members and staff that see the vision of our mission and always having to seek out funding.
Someone who inspires you: Maya Angelo – She gently she speaks the truth.
Favorite quote: “Good done anywhere is good done everywhere. For a change, start by speaking to people rather than walking by them like they’re stones that don’t matter. As long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late to do some good.” – Maya Angelo
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Follow your heart and stick with it. The road will not always be straight there will be bumps and curves but stay with your dream. If it is not your dream, don’t do it.
What you think makes someone fabulous: Someone who pursues their dream and doesn’t think of themselves first.