Antonette N. Smith was appointed Executive Director of JTB – APO in September 2017. She brings with her over 20 years of experience working in legal association management, diversity & inclusion and youth mentoring. Most recently she served as the Associate Director of Educational Programs for the American Bar Association Section of Real Property Trust & Estate Law. While there she successfully organized and executed several Community Outreach Programs with over 50 national and local minority bar associations across the country. These programs were successful in providing not only free continuing legal education to minority lawyers so that they could in turn better serve their communities, but they also created long lasting relationships between the bar associations and their members. Antonette developed & managed the Section’s in-house eLearning program tripling program production and revenue in under 2 years. Antonette has also served as a Diversity & Inclusion speaker to incoming law students at New York Law School.
In 2008 while serving as Schiff Hardin LLP’s Manager of Professional Development and Diversity for the firm’s nine offices, Antonette had her first contact with JTB-APO. She credits that single day of working with students in the Chicago Summer Legal Institute as igniting her “JTB Spark.” That interaction was the catalyst for her increased involvement in youth mentoring in Chicago, work for which she is the proudest. She has been a youth mentor/counselor with the Teen Esteem program for almost 10 years, serving as organizer and lead coordinator for two. Antonette’s expert project management skills and work in the legal community coupled with passion and proven commitment to youth mentoring positions her perfectly to lead JTB – APO.
Antonette has lived in Chicago for almost 25 years with her husband and their three children. She received a BS in Political Science from Tennessee State University in Nashville, TN. She is an active member of her community and currently serves as Scholarship Chairman for her local alumni association and is Corresponding Secretary for the Monarch Awards Foundation, Inc.