Devin D. Smith
Devin D. Smith, founder and CEO of Ship and Anchor LLC, is a business consultant and strategist passionate about inclusion and working with other entrepreneurs and leaders to bring innovative ideas to life. Committed to employing his gifts and experiences to serve and build capacity in others, Devin has spent the past 10 years of his professional career helping organizations align programs and operations with strategic goals. The breadth of Devin’s experience spans a variety of sectors - political, academic, government, small diverse business, multinational corporations - with reach as far as New Delhi, India.
A self-proclaimed lifelong learner, Devin began his career in academia, which remains one of his chief passions. However, after a twist of fate landed him in prison, Devin found himself unearthing latent gifts in business and entrepreneurship. Upon returning from prison and completing his degree from North Carolina State University, Devin migrated to Washington, D.C., where he worked as a business development consultant. While the opportunity afforded him a keen knack for business development across industries, Devin was eager to apply this knowledge to serve communities in need.
Persistent with his objective, Devin soon began serving as a consultant with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, working to increase economic inclusion of diverse owned businesses. There he helped develop its Stakeholder Engagement Center, a dedicated department to connect certified businesses to contracting opportunities with government and Fortune-ranked corporations. Most notably, the team increased direct referrals for corporate contracts by more than 100% YOY within its first year.
Since, Devin has continued to work with businesses and organizations to develop new programs, departments, and initiatives; draft corporate policies, workflow procedures and trainings; reposition to enter new markets; and communicate more effectively with existing and prospective stakeholders.
As the eldest of 5, Smith credits his faith and family for keeping him anchored and motivated to excel despite setbacks. Overcoming adversity, trauma and prison incarceration, Devin has learned to leverage both tragic and triumphant life experiences as his superpowers. In addition to writing, he uses his mantra "what's your anchor," as a guide for achieving personal and professional actualization no matter where you are in life.
Smith is a proud graduate of North Carolina State University with a Bachelors in Sociology, and a minor in Nonprofit Studies and Social Entrepreneurship. Most recently he is the host and creator of Letters from America's 3rd World, a podcast inspired by his time in prison. The project highlights perspectives of the formerly incarcerated and their families, members of the criminal justice system, those working to transform it, and other insightful voices. Click Here to learn more about Devin's journey and work.