Reports seen by ShineMyCrown suggest that Smith, 53, stepped into this groundbreaking position early this month, succeeding her mentor Kathie Trembath, who retired after nearly two decades with the organization.
“This is a major accomplishment not only for me and my family but for the entire community,” Smith stated. “It sends a strong message to women and other minorities that we can break glass ceilings. We can accomplish what we want to accomplish. My sincere hope is that this will inspire others.”
“The board of directors is proud of Sati’s accomplishments,” Brooks remarked. “We know she’ll be an outstanding mentor and role model, and we look forward to her leadership and innovative initiatives to come.”
At 26, Smith’s father secured a car loan for her, setting in motion a series of events that led her to meet Trembath, her mentor. Encouraged by Trembath, Smith returned to school, earning the necessary credentials to advance in the company.
Now, as the 53-year-old assumes the CEO role, she reflects on her journey, raising a daughter who herself works for the organization.
“You want to encourage your child to accomplish things, so you have to be an example,” Smith shared. “I think that Kathie saw something in me. I believe that she saw something that I didn’t see at that time.”