Vice President of Operations- Taylor L. Smith
Taylor L. Smith is the Co-Founder and Vice President of Operations at Guardian Defense. She has been a part of the developmental stages of the Guardian Defense and continues to work closely with Founder and President, Steven S. Smith, in the growth of the company.
Prior to working at Guardian Defense, Smith was the Team Leader at a non-profit agency in Broward County, Florida. Originally hired as a counselor at a therapeutic program for at-risk and low-income children, Smith was promoted to the supervisory position for this county-funded program. As Team Leader, Smith and her colleague were directly responsible for the daily operation of the programs, spread over twelve locations.
Smith then began supervising two programs at a school that served children and young adults with mental health diagnoses and other special needs requiring an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). During the morning time, she split her duties between the managerial end of operations, and providing direct therapeutic sessions with clients. She met with school therapists, case workers and family members to ensure each child was receiving the necessary services. In the afternoon, Smith joined her team in facilitating group therapy sessions and educational curriculum. Smith also coordinated parent education workshops an
d family group sessions in the evenings.
Smith maintained a certification in Professional Crisis Management (PCM), the approved crisis management system used at her programs while employed at the agency. Due to the high-risk behaviors of the clients, preventative PCM skills were utilized daily, and in some cases de-escalation and intervention procedures were necessary.
Smith graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 2006 from Nova Southeastern University (NSU). She served as board members on numerous academic and leadership honors societies as well as competed as a NCAA student-athlete. In her senior year, Smith completed an internship at the Davie Police Department where she shadowed a patrol officer during his calls for service.
She co-authored “Personality Preferences of College Student-Athletes” which was published in the College Student Journal in 2007. Smith graduated with a Master of Arts in Cross-Disciplinary Studies, with a concentration in Conflict Analysis and Resolution in 2008 also from NSU. It was during this time, that Smith learned great skill development in the mediation and conflict resolution arena. She was inducted into NSU’s 2014 Athletics Hall of Fame class.