President, Board of Directors
Mike Smith is Publisher for Southcomm Communications, which currently includes the Nashville Scene, NFocus, the Nashville Post, and Nashville Medical News. Smith began his media and marketing career as an account executive for the Nashville Scene and Nfocusmagazine in 1997, and assumed positions of progressive responsibility with the company over the next twelve years leading to his promotion to group publisher in 2009.
Prior to joining the Nashville CARES board in 2010, Smith had volunteered extensively with the organization, including chair of Night in White in 1999 and Artrageous in 2003. He previously served as Board Vice President in 2012-2013 before his election as Board President in December 2013.
In addition to CARES, Smith has served on the board of the Brooks Fund, with service as board chair for three years, and was a founding member of Just Us, the Oasis Center initiative serving at-risk GLBT youth. Along with a small team of collaborators, he also created the inaugural Lexus Nashville Fashion Week and a new fund at the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee called the Nashville Fashion Forward Fund. Smith has helped develop and execute marketing plans for many not-for-profit agencies, including Nashville CARES, the Human Rights Campaign and the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign.
Originally from the Ozarks in Arkansas, Smith now lives with his partner Kelly Mason in East Nashville along with their two dogs, Harlow and Lex.
Joseph Interrante, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Joseph Interrante is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Nashville CARES. He joined the staff of CARES in May of 1994.
Interrante received a B.A. from Brown University in 1974 and a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1983, and has taught at Harvard University and Oberlin College. In the mid 1980s he moved from academics to nonprofit work with the AIDS Action Committee of Boston MA. and later the AIDS Taskforce of Cleveland OH. In the early 1990s, he was a member of the Education Advisory Committee for the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR) and the Citizen's Committee on HIV/AIDS for Greater Cleveland. In Nashville, he has served on the Board for the Center for Nonprofit Management and the Community Investments Committee and Wellness Strategy Team for the United Way of Metropolitan Nashville.
Currently Interrante is a member of the Board of the Southern AIDS Coalition, the Public Policy Committee of AIDS United and the Steering Committee of the Southern AIDS Strategy Initiative, as well as Co-Chair of the Tennessee AIDS Advocacy Network. In 2005, Interrante was recognized as Nonprofit CEO of the Year by the Association of Nonprofit Executives and in 2006 as Public Citizen of the Year by the Tennessee Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. He is a 2005 alumnus of Leadership Nashville.
Interrante has been a caregiver to persons with AIDS and has himself been living with HIV infection for more than 28 years.