Headshot Ellysa Smith

Ellysa Smith

(Central Region)

Ellysa Smith joined the DRNC board in December 2022. She resides in the Clayton area and serves as the HR Director for Carolina Small Business Development Fund (CSBDF) a nonprofit that supports underserved small business owners in the state. In this role she works with organizations as a Curator Engagement Lightkeeper of Exquisite Beings to develop workforce engagement culture. Prior to joining CSBDF, Ellysa worked in Human Resources for well-known nonprofits including Phoenix House, QSAC, The New York Academy of Sciences, and Teach for All.

Ellysa became involved with disability inclusion after her own diagnosis in 2016. Working in HR, it became clear to her that there were not many resources for the disability community. During her 7-year career she has been an advocate for disability inclusion in the workplace. She has intentionally supported organizations with DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) through advocacy at NYU on their DEI Committee and locally in her SHRM chapter at RMSHRM. Her recent work with the Lime Connect nonprofit has given her the opportunity to support young professionals with their disability. She hopes to continue her impact at DRNC.

Disability Rights NC


Disability Rights North Carolina is a legal advocacy organization that fights for the rights of people with disabilities in North Carolina.

What is a P&A?

After Willowbrook, congress made sure that every state has a Protective and Advocacy agency. DRNC is the federally mandated...

Our Team

All staff currently working for Disability Rights North Carolina, listed in alphabetical order, including titles and background info...

Board of Directors

DRNC’s Board of Directors is a diverse group of individuals who are passionate about the rights of people with disabilities. All or...

PAIMI Advisory Council

In 1986, Congress took significant action to stop abuse, neglect, and other rights violations against people with mental health disabil...


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