Shirley Anne Smith, Executive Director
Shirley Anne Smith was recruited in 2016 by the Atlanta Fire Rescue Foundation, Inc. (AFRF) as its first Executive Director. She brings prudent leadership, fundraising acumen, civic engagement, diversity and inclusion, and nonprofit management experience to her daily responsibilities. She and the organization are called upon by City of Atlanta Executive Leadership, Fire Chief Smith, and the first responders across the 36 fire rescue stations for real-time needs including essential equipment, training, and workforce readiness.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Shirley Anne managed the volunteer experience at the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta. She graduated with a master’s in public administration from Nova Southeastern University in Florida and a dual undergraduate degree program in journalism and sociology from Georgia State University.
She is a working mother of three children and a wife to a fire department inspector. She’s also a proud aunt to her firefighter nephew at AFRD Station 23, B Shift.
Kayla Graham, Operations Coordinator
Kayla Graham is the AFRF Operations Coordinator and is responsible for varied responsibilities across the dynamic programs that are at the core of the organization. These include the Affordable Housing Initiative, Fire Station Fund (previously Adopt a Fire Station), Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), and Youth Pathways: AFRD Cadet Program and Camp Ignite. Her programs also encompass the signature fundraising event Breakfast With Our Bravest, and community events such as the Atlanta Fire Rescue Station 16 Annual Holiday Party and others.
Most recently Kayla was the Experience Coordinator with the City of Refuge, a leading transformation center on Atlanta’s Westside for individuals and families in crisis.
Originally from Fort Worth, Texas, Kayla moved to Georgia to pursue a job and an education. She earned her bachelor’s degree in International Affairs with a concentration in Diplomatic and Government Service from Kennesaw State University. She enjoys painting, traveling, hiking, and Dallas Stars games.
AFRD Captain Craig Simmons (Retired), Program Director AFRD Cadet Program
Retired AFRD Captain Craig Simmons is the Program Director for the Atlanta Fire Rescue Foundation’s AFRD Cadet Program. The AFRD Cadet Program is a six-month career exploration and youth pathway that introduces young men and women, ages 14-18, to careers in the fire and emergency medical services industries. Captain Simmons is responsible for recruiting interested students and overseeing the program.
In 2015, Capt. Simmons retired from the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department (AFRD) after 26.6 years of service to the citizens and visitors of the City of Atlanta. Simmons is a well-respected and admired Fire Captain and has trained and supervised numerous AFRD firefighters, including Fire Chief Roderick M. Smith. Throughout his career with AFRD, Capt. Simmons worked at Atlanta Fire Rescue Stations 1, 4, 23, 29, 38, and at the Inspections Division. Simmons served AFRD in numerous roles and as a state-certified instructor in the Atlanta Fire Rescue Training Division.
Capt. Simmons has been married to his wife of 34 years, Robin Simmons, and has four adult children. In his spare time, he is an avid golfer and enjoys long-distance bike rides along many of Georgia’s trails such as the Silver Comet, Panola Mountain, and South River Trail.