Founder; President; Executive Director
Kimleigh has, for years, nurtured a dream to create an organization that brings women and men together. Her dream encompasses an organization established to raise awareness, offer healing, inspire sex positivity and allow transformation to everyone, both women and men, who are survivors of sexual assault. This dream became a mission, and that mission has become the Embrace Your Cape Non Profit. Kimleigh believes that united we can make a great change.
The journey began when Kimleigh wrote and performed her solo show T-O-T-A-L-L-Y! as a transformative work dealing with her own experience with sexual assault and recovery. Thanks to its huge success, her production has been able to open up dialogue and promote awareness in communities and on college campuses around the country. Audiences have been so moved by the work that it has become Kimleigh’s mission to offer others the same transformation through storytelling that she experienced in her solo show. Through the healing power of words, the aim is to educate and empower survivors to overcome their trauma through true self-expression and totally transform, so they can not only survive, but fly high and THRIVE.
The numbers are staggering, 1 out of every 4 women and 1 out of every 6 men in America has been sexually assaulted. There is so much more that needs to be done to educate survivors of sexual assault, especially in the areas of recovery, healing and reclaiming sexuality. Helping people to become their own Superhero, Embrace their Capes and gloriously Take Flight is all a crucial part of that healing and is truly what Embrace Your Cape Nonprofit is all about.
Kimleigh believes that even Superheroes work best in Teams, especially to achieve Big Dreams. She is excited to be working with a powerful Team to bring our projects to life! To learn more about our founder please visit: kimleighsmith.com.
Jon Snow was raised primarily in St. Louis, Missouri. Born to strictly conservative parents, Jon’s family was heavily involved in the Baptist church. Jon’s father, who was ordained as a minister when Jon was 12 years of age, finally became a full-time minister in Jon’s early 20’s.
This strict upbringing played a huge role in Jon’s life, both as it shaped the world for him in his early years, and, again later, as he became more independent of the ideas and standards of his father. This fundamentalist approach to rearing continues to impact Jon and the work he creates to this day.
Jon’s father would say that we all have a calling. Jon’s calling, despite his parents’ early desires, seemed to be for acting and writing. As a young man, Jon thought little of acting. In fact, all he ever wanted was a grounded and humble little dream to come to fruition that would see him playing basketball in the NBA. Acting had other ideas. After high school, Jon auditioned for SMU in Dallas on a whim, and to his surprise, SMU Meadows School of the Arts extended not only an invitation, but a mostly paid for education to boot.
Jon hit the ground running in college. Unfortunately, he majored more in drinking and partying than he did his studies and found himself quickly suspended after his first year in college. Defeated and confused, Jon returned to St. Louis with his head low, and his tail between his legs. Working odd jobs, floating from place to place, Jon finally realized he truly did have a love for acting. He then decided to go back to SMU to finish his degree, and in 2002, he succeed in finishing that quest.
No amount of goodwill or piety can ever prepare a child for abuse, nor can it protect that child. Most of his life, Jon struggled with the fact that he and his younger sister had been raped and molested as very young children, and yet, despite this, Jon always felt lucky that he still somehow managed to find ways to lead a “normal” life. He realized that if he could do this, then he could help others too, but how to do that always seemed elusive.
Enter Kimleigh Smith.
Jon is, at once, honored, terrified and extremely excited (yes, in that order) to be a part of the Embrace Your Cape Non Profit. The time has come to help others, and Jon is Embracing His Cape with all the gusto that befits a true SUPERHERO.
Senior Development Officer
Katharine first met Kimleigh at the 2010 New York Fringe Festival and has been following her around ever since. A New York native, Katharine began her acting career in Minnesota at Macalester College where she co-founded the school’s improv troupe, Fresh Concepts.
In New York she has performed in comedy shows at the PIT, UCB and Gotham City Improv, and is a cast member of the critically acclaimed web series Naked in a Fishbowl, the first improvised episodic sitcom to be podcast (episodes available on iTunes). Film and TV credits include “Stankervision” (MTV), “Law & Order” (NBC Universal) and “The Thorny Rose” (Cherry Lane Films). She originated and performed the role of Sara in the 2007 New York Fringe Festival production of Naked in a Fishbowl (Fringe Award: Outstanding Ensemble). She had the pleasure yet again of performing at the Fringe Festival in 2008 in a play she wrote, The Boy in the Basement (Fringe Award: Outstanding Direction), and in 2010 in her one woman show, My Dad’s Crazier Than Your Dad: A Scientific Inquiry.
You can also hear her voice on various ads for Chase Bank, Bliss Spa, Starwood Hotels, and others. Katharine is a proud member of SAG and AEA. www.katharineheller.com.
Michele has been with Verizon Wireless for over 18 years, her current role is Director of National Sales. Her road to this position was not always easy, there have been many challenges and obstacles along the way. Keeping the one thing her Mother taught her, be compassionate for others and never give up on your dreams both contribute to her success.
Michele’s number one priority is to develop people in every role she has held no matter what or where they want to go. Seeing teams succeed not only in results but in self development is what inspires her to keep doing what she does. Throughout the years her commitment has always been, making people their best possible in all they do each and everyday. She takes pride in inspiring and motivating others. Nothing is more rewarding than to see people grow by challenging them to give their best. Leadership is not about the title but about what you do to inspire and teach. Leadership is being humble and working side by side with others. As a leader it is important to get people to see their best possible and always, always pay it forward, which is the same philosophy Michele has had.
So when her sister Kimleigh asked her to be the Chair on the Board of Embrace Your Cape Non Profit, she is honored to be part of something so important that changes lives in exceptional ways. Having a strong work ethic, being passionate towards others and always persevering through anything is what drew Michele to being a part of such an inspirational program.
Michele’s father always taught her to fight for what you believe in, share your experiences with others, don’t be afraid of past failures, and never EVER give up on your dreams. What Kimleigh is doing is making a positive impact on others. Her dedication, commitment and perseverance are all things that make what she does so well respected by communities, colleges, women and men.
Michele is looking forward to all that this great program will bring to others.
As a former Navy SEAL with 12+ years of experience in the Special Operations Community, Chriss Smith understands the necessity of strong body and mind to everyday life. Now as the co-owner of Trident Crossfit with his wife Andrea, Chriss combines his passions for physical fitness and forging mental toughness.
Chriss not only challenges and inspires his clients to perform functional movements but he also brings out the best in everyone. He has influenced thousands through his skill and expertise as a SEALfit and Kokoro Coach/Mentor in addition to his role as a seasoned Crossfit Headquarters trainer. With his unparalleled knowledge, leadership skills, and limitless positive energy, Chriss changes lives one rep at a time.
Having been asked by his sister, Kimleigh, to support her cause, Chriss feels honored and excited to serve as Co-Chair for Embrace Your Cape Non Profit. Chriss looks forward to an opportunity of a lifetime. Kimleigh and Chriss share in the understanding of struggle, hard work and sacrifice and their ability to enrich this planet with the seeds to cultivate greatness from adversity. With a strong belief that the psychology of sport, fitness and fun play a vital role in the success of a healthy lifestyle his mission is to help others overcome self-doubt and their perceived limitations, allowing them to unleash their inner warrior.
“With similar beliefs that we all have the ability to love, forgive and to change, we soar towards the skies like a Phoenix from the ashes… Embrace your Cape.”-Chriss Smith
Emotional Support Advisor
“My daughter has made me so very proud and I am honored to be on the board of Embrace Your Cape Non Profit. This is an opportunity for us to work together to help survivors Embrace Their Capes and fly high.”