our director

lisaBio – Lisa Baird, Director
I have lived in middle Tennessee all my life, and I am the youngest of five children.  My parents were both nurses.  One of my sisters is a nurse, and another is a radiologist.  One of my brothers married a nurse, leaving everyone, including myself, to assume I would become a nurse.  However, life, when it happens, has a way of changing you.  Because of those life experiences, we all have crosses to bare.  We walk around trying to pretend nothing is wrong and life is great.  In 1991, while enrolled in college with every intention of going to nursing school, life slapped me in the face.  Fortunately, God knows when to intervene.  There were two wonderful people who came into my life. First, was the school nurse, Mrs. Betty Brown.  When Mrs. Brown realized what my needs were, she immediately introduced me to an incredible woman by the name of Patty Powell.  Mrs. Powell was the Dean of Student Services at that time.  She had a degree in Social Work, and the love of Jesus in her heart.  With her help, I faced all those ugly demons of the past that we try to keep hidden.  Because of her compassion, understanding, and her belief in me, I was able to work through the past and look toward the future.  Because of her impact on my life, I wanted to be like her.  I wanted to help others like she had helped me.  As you can guess, I changed my major that semester, and the rest is history.

As for my educational background and professional experience, I received a Bachelors Degree in Social Work from Middle Tennessee State University.  I have worked in the field for over 16 years, and have extensive experience in child welfare, child abuse, domestic violence, alcohol and drug, elder abuse, etc.  Currently, I reside in Woodbury, in Cannon County Tennessee.  For years I had worked outside of the county, but dreamed of finding something in my field within Cannon County, where I could give back to the community and make a difference.  In July 2008, that dream became a reality.  The doors of our local Domestic Violence Agency, S.A.V.E. had been closed due to funding.  Therefore, I immediately volunteered.  With a lot of hard work from wonderful volunteers and myself, we got the doors re-opened, and have been providing services ever since.  I am a very strong advocate for victims’ rights.  No one should have to live in violence or fear.  It is our responsibility as an individual, community, county, state, and nation to ensure that all human life is protected.
Cannon County is a small, rural area where services are very limited.  Without this agency, there would be nowhere for victims to go for help.  Services would have to be sought out of county.  However, this would make it both emotionally and financially difficult for victims, and evidence shows services are often not sought in those cases.
To witness the transformation of victims from when they first come through these doors, to see them reach and obtain their goals, and lead self-sufficient, happy, healthy lives is the ultimate reward to me.  People may think I am crazy for doing what I do, but I know God puts us all here for a reason.  I strongly feel this is my reason for being.  It is not about the money, Lord knows it is not that, but if we can save one life…