Our Board


Charles Smith

Charles Smith of Cleveland, Ohio, is a retired police officer and self-defense expert. Mr. Smith was raised in the most dangerous section of Cleveland and attended junior high near the projects. Having to defend himself, he began training in the martial arts at age 14. As a child, he saw violence touch his family when three different members were raped and another murdered during a Domestic Violence incident. A close friend of the family was also murdered, involving Domestic Violence. A neighbor and friend of his mother were abducted, raped, and murdered. At age 17, he joined the Citizen Patrol group, The Guardian Angels, where he was a self-defense instructor.

Mr. Smith currently holds a 5th Degree Black Belt in Personal Combatives, a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Karate, and 1st Degree Black Belts in Tae Kwan Do, Krav Maga, and Aikido. Mr. Smith is a former Karate Champion, having competed in Full Contact Knock Down Karate, winning many First Place Championships. He has trained under former Commandos of The Israeli Defense Force [IDF] and, at age 54, traveled to Israel to train under a former commander of the IDF. Mr. Smith is a certified Instructor in the IDF's Hand to Hand Combat System. Mr. Smith currently is The Executive Director and Chief Instructor of the Non-Profit he founded, The Cleveland Female Anti-Violence Initiative Inc. Mr. Smith's former employer has spent around $100,000 sending him to prestigious training courses taught by FBI, Secret Service, and U.S Special Forces. At age 21, he became a police officer and in 1990 was certified by the state of Ohio [Ohio Police Officer Training Council] as a self-defense instructor and Field Training Officer. Mr. Smith received an award from The American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers for the creation of women's self-defense programs. He is also a Certified Crisis Intervention Instructor, which is the training now required for police officers across the nation. Mr. Smith was promoted to sergeant in 1994. During his career, he served as the Chief Instructor and was responsible for training units of SWAT, Narcotics, as well as In-Service training. Known as a leading authority, Mr. Smith was sought after to train Police officers across Cuyahoga County. In 1990 Mr. Smith developed a system of real-world self-defense for women known as "Personal Combatives" Copyright 1990. Mr. Smith was handpicked to lead a Warrant Fugitive Tack Force. He served in that capacity for the last seven years of his career. His team was an 8-member team who pursued and arrested those wanted for Domestic Violence, Rape, Abduction, Sex Trafficking, and Murder. Sgt. Smith and his team received many commendations from outside agencies.

Having trained in martial arts most of his life, he realized most of it doesn't work. Having served as a police officer and first responder of crimes against females, Mr. Smith saw firsthand what works and what doesn't work for females defending themselves. As a police officer, Mr. Smith received accolades from public officials for high-profile arrests of suspects in crimes against females. Upon his retirement from law enforcement, he continued his public service founding this non-profit.

Mr. Smith is also a professionally trained bodyguard, having been trained by the U.S Secret Service Presidential Protection Unit. He is also a trained volunteer for the local Domestic Violence Center. During Mr. Smith's career as a police officer, he received many commendations for bravery and arrests.


David Randall

David Randall, Ph.D., currently serves as Executive Director and is Resident Scholar with the American Research and Policy Institute in Washington, DC.

Dr. Randall has testified before both U.S. House and Senate committees of Congress on a variety of health policy issues and has extensive experience as a former top insurance regulator, legislative staff member, health care lobbyist, consultant, and executive with not only insurance companies but also with several provider trade groups in Washington.

He has over two dozen peer-reviewed and professional publications as well as book chapters on health care entitlements and the policy process surrounding health care reform.

His research includes the study of Medicaid and Medicare entitlements and privatization, Health Insurance Exchanges, and health care information technology. He received his Ph.D. from Kent State University in Political Science (Policy Analysis and Administration).


Jean Harmon

Jean is a Registered Nurse graduating from Aultman Hospital School of Nursing in Canton, Ohio. During her career, she has varied medical positions, including Med-Surg, Emergency Room, Orthopedic Rehab, and Geriatric Nursing. She spent thirteen years as the Director of Marketing for the Laurels of Massillon, where she has won numerous awards, but her real love is giving back to her community.

Even though her jobs and raising two children as a single mom kept her quite busy, she managed to become very involved with different agencies, including non-profits like American Lung Association and the American Heart Association, where she is a lifetime board member and past chairwoman. She even traveled to Washington, DC, to lobby for increased funding for the NIH for cardiac research. She is currently semi-retired but maintains her volunteer involvement. She is also on the women's Western Stark County's Chamber of Commerce. She has done numerous fundraising events for the last 25 years, and when she believes in a cause, she is very passionate about it.

She, herself, has been a victim of domestic violence at a time when women were not empowered to speak out, let alone fight back. She received injuries that required surgery and to this day is still traumatized by the thoughts of that night. This is an opportunity for her to help women acquire the skills so they won't be injured or even killed by a would-be attacker of any kind. She acknowledges the Me2 movement and wants to offer her skills to protect women from people like her attacker. She became aware of Charles Smith's initiative and wanted to get involved in this powerful movement. These classes are a must for every woman in today's society!


Sonya Sucha

I encountered Charles Smith's non-profit organization for the advocacy of women in domestic abuse situations. I must say that I was not only impressed by the defense avenue but the emotional support that this non-profit offers. As a long-time domestic abuse survivor, his vision and goals to assist and empower women spoke volumes to me. Abuse touches the lives of all walks of life, the rich, the poor, and the middle class. As a prominent business female business owner, I am no stranger to this atrocity. Females, despite their education level, can find themselves in a precarious situation by no choice of their own. Empowering women to defend and take charge of a precarious situation is invaluable, to say the very least. Educating women and giving women the tools to defend themselves can make all of the difference from a life of abuse and misery to a life of enrichment and accomplishment. No woman should have to endure domestic abuse just because she feels she is weaker than the partner that she is cohabitating with. Women have a choice, but society dictates that women are the weaker sex. Charles Smith's organization could be of tremendous assistance to such women that feel that they have nowhere to turn. I only wish that former Officer Smith's program was available to me during my time of crisis. I cannot say enough about Officer Smith's ability to educate and teach women how to defend themselves in these situations. Officer Smith has many years of experience dealing with such situations, and many with not a favorable outcome. I am not only honored to be a board member but fully and wholeheartedly support his endeavor. I urge the potential benefactors to donate and support this invaluable cause. The life you could be saving could be your mother, daughter, sister, or your best friend.