January 1, 2017 – DeeDee Smith has always had an extensive involvement in community activities. She served as president of the Alachua Chamber of Commerce in 1982, while she was active in the real estate profession and earning her A.A. degree at Santa Fe College.
DeeDee graduated from SF in 1983 and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida in public relations in 1985 and worked for various local businesses and charities including Big Brothers and Big Sisters. She served on the local Board of Directors for the American Cancer Society until resigning to attend law school in 1990.
DeeDee graduated from UF’s law school at age 39 and has continued to work to make a difference in the lives of children. She was the founding director of the Child Advocacy Center, which utilizes a more child-friendly model for working with child abuse victims. She was the Guardian ad Litem’s family law coordinator and has volunteered with numerous charities and agencies working to help at-risk children.
DeeDee served on the Girls Place, Inc. Board for 15 years and co-chaired the first Hats, Hearts and Handbags fundraiser in 2004.
That same year, she and her husband chaired the Heart Ball for the American Heart Association. She was awarded the Florida Network of Child Advocacy Center’s Leadership Award in 2006 and was named one of Santa Fe College’s Women of Distinction in 2010.