Announcing Keynote Speaker Nicole R Smith

SAVMA Awards 2024 includes a keynote address by Nicole R Smith, CVA. She is a Panamanian-American, workforce development expert, athlete, published author, nonprofit founder, motivational speaker and sports entertainer. Nicole enthusiastically inspires her audiences with her take on today’s volunteerism. 

She earned her Bachelor’s degree via a Division I full-ride track scholarship. After graduating she founded Step It Up! Inc, a nonprofit dance organization. She performed for audiences nationwide, while simultaneously using dance to teach teamwork to kids in after school programs. 

Nicole’s experience in sports entertainment, radio, TV, the performing arts and social services spans nearly 20 years covering the Chicago, Houston, Ft. Lauderdale/Miami and Orlando markets. She danced and cheered for four Professional and Semi-Professional sports teams. Undeniably, these experiences gave her a knack for workforce development. It wasn’t long before she had prepared more than 800 interns to enter the workforce and inspired crowds upwards of 2000

Nicole R Smith, Volunteer Engagement Professional

Nicole has a CVA from the Council for Certification of Volunteer Administration, and a certification in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace from the USF Muma College of Business. As a mentor for Tessitura Network’s Early Career Development program, Nicole inspires and coaches young arts professionals of Latino, Black and Asian decent to find and express their authentic voices in the board room. The Tessitura program is free and dedicated to diversifying Arts leadership, a cause for which Nicole is very passionate. 

Nicole R. Smith, Blogger, Speaker, Author

Nicole was a contributing writer for The Life of a Single Mom for two years, and has been published in several industry journals including The Volunteer Management Report, Human Capital Leadership Magazine and Chronicle of Philanthropy Magazine. Her podcast, From The Suggestion Box; Navigating Feedback The Good The Bad and the Say Whaaatttt???, draws on Nicole’s deep workforce development skills in getting and giving performance feedback. 

As an author, Nicole is known for her 101 Note-taking Affirmation Journal Series and her newest work, Game On! Relentlessly Pursue Your Dreams Over a span of 16 years and 22 tries Nicole has been rejected 18 times. At the age of 32, she finally saw her dream come to pass. The wealth of experience Nicole amassed emphatically, serves as a springboard to achieve other goals with her proven 6-step process. Game On! will encourage you to keep going against all odds.

Nicole R Smith, Speaker, Leader, Volunteer

Recognitions include recognition in the Marquis Who’s Who for professionals, Association for Leaders !n Volunteer Engagement Emerging Leaders Award, Amplifying Voices Award from United Latinas, listed as one of WLRN’s “Local Women Who Inspire You” and selected as one of Legacy Miami’s Most Prominent and Influential Black Women In Business and Industry of 2019

Nicole is passionate about engaging with her community through volunteer leadership. She served on the Boards of Directors for the Association for Leaders In Volunteer Engagement,  Ageless CHIC Magazine, and of the Arts and Business Council of Miami.

Connect with Nicole


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