There are three words that friends of domestic relations mediator
ERICKA K. GIBSON use when they describe her. She is fearless, a motivator, and a visionary for the daughters of this world. Raised in a Chicago home of seven girls, Ericka witnessed firsthand, her mother’s ability to mold and produce compassionate, smart and assertive girls. It was her mother’s example that helped shape Ericka’s early determination and commitment to excellence. After completing her studies in Political Science and Spanish, at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois and the University of Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain, she went on to receive her law degree from Southern Illinois University.
After law school, Ericka worked as a Management Consultant, where she gained a great appreciation for successful business practices. Motivated by her work, Ericka left to start a successful Chicago-based family and real estate law practice. In 2004, Ericka and her family relocated to Indianapolis, where she owned and operated Indiana Mediation Services, mediating all areas of domestic relations, including child custody, divorce, property settlement, child support and parenting time. Ericka also served as a court-appointed Guardian Ad Litem, serving as the child's voice in complicated family law matters.
Ericka also held several service-based leadership positions including: Co-Chair of Beautillion Militaire, Editor and Fundraising Chair for Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Board Member for the International School of Indiana and First Vice-President of the American Women's Club of Brussels, where she and her family lived for four years.
With a firm belief that Every Girl Has a Gift, Ericka started A Girls Gift, Inc. to motivate young girls to discover their own precious talents, and to move them to share their gifts with the world. Her husband, Dwight, and beautiful daughters Enoa, Ari and Ila keep this Mediator-Mentor-Mom encouraged and inspired to continue to expand her reach into the world. Ericka currently works as Co-Executive Director of AGG Indianapolis and Executive Director of AGG Charlotte.
DESHONG PERRY-SMITHERMAN is proud of her role as co-founder and co-executive director of A Girl’s Gift Inc. Her biggest hope is that Girls come out of this program with a higher level of self esteem. She feels that if Girls can work with each other in a non-threatening, non-assuming environment where mentors guide them through activities, conversations, and positive self-talk – they’ll eventually feel more confident about who they are, what they can be, and what they’ll accept in their lives.
DeShong works as a global communications manager at Eli Lilly & Company, where she leads external communications for products within the pharmaceutical company's diabetes unit. Prior to her current role, she led US corporate communications for AES Corp., a Fortune 200 global energy company, and managed public relations for the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis. DeShong's passion for communication spreads beyond her 9-to-5, through her work as an adjunct instructor at the University of Indianapolis. Each semester DeShong can be found in her classroom helping college kids learn the tools to effective communication in public speaking and PR. This Emmy-award winning former television news producer began her career as a researcher for "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and then continued climbing the producer ladder at NBC and CBS affiliates across the country. DeShong also has experience as an entertainment columnist and radio news anchor. She has written for The Arizona Republic and spent three years as a weekend news anchor for Network Indiana.
DeShong earned a Bachelors degree from Roosevelt University and a Masters from the University of Illinois. She also has a certificate in Media Management from Northwestern University. DeShong, her husband Keith and three children reside in Indianapolis.