With a combined portfolio of more than 40 years of real-world experience, Managing Partners Rodney and Stephenie Smith are driven by a deep commitment to create exceptional value for their clients.


“an inclusive society enhances society as a whole…meaningful interactions with individuals from various backgrounds and perspectives fosters growth for all…”

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As co-founder and managing partner, Rodney is Sophic’s lead authority on issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion. His expertise specifically pertains to African American student achievement, urban education and culturally responsive pedagogy. He is also a Group and Collaborative Learning expert. 

Smith also holds a Graduate Adjunct Professorship with the School of Education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he specializes in courses that address racial and ethnic diversity, and cultural understanding.


Over the course of a 25-year career, Dr. Smith’s scholarly interests have taken aim at the implications of race and racism in American society. 

Dr. Smith recently wrote and published Are We Really Crabs in a Barrel: The Truth and Other Insights About the African American Community as well as a chapter in an anthology entitled The Trayvon Martin in Us: An American Tragedy.


Smith holds a Doctor of Education Degree from Tennessee State University a Master of Education Degree also from Tennessee State University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Morris Brown College.  


As co-founder and managing partner, Stephenie is Sophic's lead authority on operationalizing equity, executive project management, organizational structure & design and operations improvement. She has led a number of efforts to align not-for-profit policy with community investments, with a special emphasis on large-scale transformation.

As well, Stephenie serves as a key community leader throughout the entire Kansas City region. She is engaged in the revitalization of community by fostering strategic partnerships and leading new program innovations. With a team approach, her efforts recently resulted in the successful completion of a $12 million capital campaign. Above all, her work has been shaped by a holistic approach to wellness and the belief that equity matters. 

With over 20 years of experience, Stephenie has leveraged her social work background to explicitly focus on the effects of poverty and oppression. In so doing, community revitalization, change management and diversity, equity & inclusion have taken center stage.


These involvements have led to her serving on a number of local boards and national committees. Stephenie is a graduate of Fisk University and the University of Tennessee College of Social Work

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“People need people…in most cases, people need to see themselves in the change they seek for their community and their organizations”

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