About Our Founder
In just over a decade and a half, Josh Smith built a small service company into a $30 million enterprise with more than 180 employees. But for a 5-year period before that, he was incarcerated in a federal prison camp in Kentucky for his involvement in marijuana and cocaine trafficking.
Smith grew up in a single-mother household, lived in government housing, was removed from his home at age 11 due to abuse and was convicted of 10 felonies by the time he was 16. He entered prison at age 21 as an 11th-grade dropout with no plans to exit it any differently than how he entered.
Instead, he found redemption through God and was guided by several highly educated white-collar criminals who he was able to learn from. But all the books he read, studying he did and plans he made didn’t alter the reality of the world he was released into, one where ex-convicts are still punished by an onerous set of legal restrictions. Upon his release, the government housing his wife lived in was no longer available to them because of his status as a felon. He had to beg for his first job making $6 per hour.
Since exiting prison, Smith has spent the past 15 years actively involved in criminal justice reform in Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee and countries in Central America. Smith has supported programs that provide hope, training and reentry support for prisoners and their families who earnestly want a new life, including hiring and mentoring many felons. In June of 2019 he was named to Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s Criminal Justice Reinvestment Task Force. He and his wife of 23 years, Tracy, are now driven to reshape the reality for offenders, from the time they enter prison through their re-entry.
KRISTI MILLER ANDERSON, PhD
Dr. Anderson served as an Assistant Warden of Programming, where her leadership included the development and expansion of prison vocational training programs, and the enhancement of the mental health, faith-based, education and reentry services (Louisiana Institute for Women). Her corrections experience also includes special projects at Angola (Louisiana State Penitentiary). While at Angola, she studied the Reentry Court Workforce Program and worked with several local judges and Angola wardens to institute that same program in the women’s prison in Louisiana. Dr. Anderson went on to work for the former Angola Warden, Burl Cain, as the CCO of Global Prison Seminaries Foundation, an organization started by Cain to implement the prison seminary model throughout the US. She has authored 3 books (Lifeline Publications), several articles (Corrections Today) and many presentations (ACA, CMCA, and others) concerning prison reform and inmate rehabilitation. Dr. Anderson now serves as Research and Programs Officer for 4th Purpose Foundation.
Californian by birth, Tennessean by choice, Kodi Schutte has been a part of the dream for the 4th Purpose Foundation since its inception. She currently serves as Executive Assistant, Secretary and Treasurer. Schutte is a University of Tennessee graduate, majoring in Journalism and Electronic Media, and Business Administration. Shortly after graduating, she was hired to work for Master Service Companies as their first internal recruiter. Schutte worked as both the recruiter for the company and as Josh Smith’s assistant, before joining the new adventure to develop 4th Purpose. Schutte has a true heart for serving others, which is why she has thoroughly enjoyed working in the nonprofit world. She serves at various organizations in her community, but her newest volunteer venture is with a group called Amachi Knoxville, where she is assigned as a mentor for a child who has been affected by incarceration.