Lexava L. Smith was born in Jackson, Mich., to Lillian & Charles M. White. She has six sisters and four brothers.
After attending five public schools due to integration, Lexava graduated from Parkside High School in June 1979.
She continued her studies at Jackson Community College from September 1979 to April 1981 and received an Associate in Applied Science degree (legal secretary). She received the Jackson Community College Presidential Award Scholarship and two other scholarships from local clubs.
She was employed by Jackson Public Schools from 1978 to 1981; Jackson-Hillsdale Community Mental Health, 1981; and the Jackson Housing Commission from 1982-1986.
She volunteered in the Waverly Community Schools Parent-Teacher Organizations; athletic fundraisers and marching band activities; member of the Waverly Community Schools Strategic Planning Diversity Committee; and as a member of the interview panel for the Waverly High School principal.
Lexava is currently employed and has worked for 32 years with the State of Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Environmental Stewardship Division, Farmland & Open Space Preservation Program.
She currently chairs the MDARD Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Workgroup, eight members who come together to bring awareness and education regarding diversity in the workplace and create a culture of inclusion. She has been a member of the group for 10 years, chair for four years.
She received the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Team Excellence Award in November 2017. She has received several years of service awards for 32 years with the State of Michigan.
Her commitment was recognized with the Good Government Teamwork Award in June 2018 for completion of Lean Process Improvement that implemented converting a paper file system to a paperless system and assisted in creating a database to improve customer service and response time for all requests.
She was a co-leader for Project L.E.A.D. – Leadership, Empowerment, Accomplishment and Development utilizing the Group Development Model (Why, Who, How, What).
Committed to continued professional development, she has received Certificates of Completion of the Fit Leadership Academy – David Chinsky; and Effective Executive Speaking – Dr. Glenn Pfau.
She has been married to husband, Jerome M. Smith, for 32 years and currently lives in Lansing. Their children are Jenelle S. Smith; Montel A. Smith (guardian angel; Montel died in a car crash in 2015); and Alexis M. Smith.
Lexava and her husband established the White-Smith Legacy Scholarship in honor of her family’s ties to Jackson College and in her son’s memory. Many of her brothers and sisters also attended Jackson Community College.
In her spare time, her hobbies include traveling, tennis, gardening and journaling.