About Us

Who We Are & What We Do                                                                   

The Southwest Tennessee Development District serves an eight county region that includes Chester, Decatur, Madison, McNairy, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, and Henderson Counties.

SWTDD is making a lasting difference in West Tennessee by promoting rural/urban renewal and revitalization in our communities through the betterment of its economic base, physical infrastructure, and improved quality of life for citizens.

These goals are achieved through our Aging & Disability staff, our Economic & Community Development staff, and our REDI (Regional Economic Development Initiative)/Education team.


Southwest Area Agency on Aging & Disability

The staff of the “Southwest Area Agency on Aging & Disability” (SWAAAD) works tirelessly to help the elderly and disabled in our region – who can become some of society’s most vulnerable citizens. SWAAAD staff screen and evaluate clients to determine needs, suggest services and do follow-up assessments. A primary goal of the “aging” staff is to provide a way for elderly and disabled consumers to be able to stay home as long as is safely possible. With that goal in mind, they are able to assist through needs assessments, referring consumers to other service agencies, working with local support groups and providing education/outreach when needed. Staff members provide one-on-one counseling for both consumers and caregivers on all available long-term care services and supports. In addition, SWAAAD is the public conservator for the public guardianship for the elderly and protects patient rights and quality care through our long term care ombudsman.


Economic & Community Development

Our Economic & Community Development team seeks to build a better region through strengthening the economic base, the physical infrastructure and the educational attainment levels in the area. SWTDD’s ECD team has experts in multiple disciplines who work primarily with county/city governments to help connect them with state/federal services and opportunities.  This can include the writing of grants to help pay for such things as a new ambulance, tornado sirens, improved parks, disaster assistance, or improved sewer and water systems. SWTDD has both a grant writer and a grant administrator on staff to help our member governments improve the safety and the quality of life in their communities. (Grants are written for free by SWTDD for our city/county governments). In addition, SWTDD also has staff experts in strategic planning [SOAR], regional planning, solid waste, environmentals, historic preservation, housing, small business loans, and rural roads/transportation-related issues. 


REDI

Tightly tied to Economic & Community Development is the SWTDD’s REDI (Regional Economic Development Initiative), which seeks to impact the region through Entrepreneurship, Education/Workforce Development, Technology and Capacity Building. One of the most active components of REDI is its college access program. Hundreds of hours are spent each school year working with high school juniors and seniors to prepare them for post-secondary education opportunities.

The REDI program works closely with the State of Tennessee and the Tennessee Promise Program to connect students to the state’s promised financial resources for college. In addition, SWTDD has staff members working with the State of Tennessee on its Reconnect Initiative [www.swreconnect.org] and its Pathways Tennessee [www.findapathway.com] programs. Each program has a very specific target audience – but the ultimate goal is to raise the educational attainment level to 55% of the population by the year 2025, as stated by Governor Haslam’s Drive to 55 Alliance [http://driveto55.org].  SWTDD’s staff, leaders and board of directors believe that one of the biggest impacts we can make for regional economic development is to intentionally create an educated workforce in the region. REDI, Southwest Tennessee Reconnect, and Pathways Tennessee seeks to increase the educational attainment level in the region. Four additional counties are served by REDI: Crockett, Fayette, Gibson, and Tipton counties.


Nuts & Bolts of SWTDD

Southwest Tennessee Development District is an organization created by the Tennessee General Assembly under the Tennessee Development District Act of 1965. Like all districts, SWTDD provides comprehensive planning and promotes economic, community and human resource development in a defined geographic area.

As a public non-profit association of local governments, SWTDD serves Chester, Decatur, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, McNairy and Madison Counties. An Executive Director & Board of Directors (including member government officials, state representatives and minority representatives) manage SWTDD. Its 24-member Executive Committee meets six times per year to set policy and conduct business.

Organized in 1971, SWTDD is staffed by 31 people with expertise in district management, economic development, community development, housing, environmental planning, regional planning, aging assistance, social work, nursing, grant writing, educational assistance, and public guardianship for the elderly. Financial support is provided from EDA; THDA; Tennessee Departments of ECD, Transportation and Environment & Conservation; TACIR; TN Commission on Aging & Disability; TennCare; Delta Regional Authority; USDA Rural Development and others. SWTDD’s REDI Program is funded by grants from local, state and federal agencies.

Funds received from the Commission on Aging & Disability are distributed through contracts to senior centers and regional service provider agencies. SWTDD also receives fees for grant management services rendered for member governments and income from its small business loan program. SWTDD is designated as a regional clearinghouse for projects under Executive Order 12372 and acts as the Regional Affiliate Data Center for the Bureau of the Census. 

Administrative Staff

Joe Barker Image

Joe Barker

Executive Director

(731) 668-6402

Email

Charley Brown Image

Charley Brown

Information Technology Manager

(731) 668-6425

Email

Debbie Dunaway  Image

Debbie Dunaway

Executive Assistant / Public Information Officer

(731) 668-6439

Email

Kim Essary Image

Kim Essary

Fiscal Director

(731) 668-6401

Email

Carolyn Ross Image

Carolyn Ross

Human Resources / Office Manager

(731) 668-6400

Email

Economic & Community Development Staff

Jo Matherne Image

Jo Matherne

Pathways Tennessee Project Manager

(731) 668-6408

Email

Holly Hakes Image

Holly Hakes

Loan Administrator

(731) 668-6428

Email

Melissa Davis Image

Melissa Davis

Community Development Grant Writer

(731) 668-6417

Email

Kamillah Kelly Image

Kamillah Kelly

Regional Planner

(731) 668-6429

Email

Shelton Merrell Image

Shelton Merrell

Regional Planner / RPO Coordinator

(731) 668-6430

Email

Casey Smith Image

Casey Smith

Community Development Grant Administrator

(731) 668-6412

Email

Open Position Image

Open Position

Historic Preservationist / Solid Waste

(731) 668-6420

Email

Aging & Disability Staff

Shelley Matthews Image

Shelley Matthews

Director

(731) 668-6403

Email

Jessica Rice Image

Jessica Rice

Assistant Director/Financial Manager

(731) 668-6413

Email

Terrie Adkins, LPN Image

Terrie Adkins, LPN

Family Caregiver Coordinator

(731) 668-6414

Email

Darla Hall Image

Darla Hall

CHOICES Intake

(731) 668-6427

Email

Summer Howell Image

Summer Howell

SPOE Support Clerk

(731) 668-6419

Email

Shannon King, LPN Image

Shannon King, LPN

CHOICES Nurse

(731) 668-6406

Email

Dorothy Montague Image

Dorothy Montague

Information & Assistance Specialist

(731) 668-6404

Email

Tonia Moss Image

Tonia Moss

Options Counselor

(731) 668-6418

Email

Rita Singleton Image

Rita Singleton

CHOICES Support Clerk

(731) 668-6410

Email

Alicia Strain Image

Alicia Strain

CHOICES Support Clerk

(731) 668-6422

Email

Maurice Lawrence Image

Maurice Lawrence

Options Counselor

(731) 668-6426

Email

Gladys Warren, LPN Image

Gladys Warren, LPN

CHOICES Manager/Counselor

(731) 668-6424

Email

Eric Wiseman  Image

Eric Wiseman

Management Information Specialist

(731) 668-6441

Email

Andrea McDermott, LPN Image

Andrea McDermott, LPN

CHOICES Nurse

(731) 668-6416

Email

Jordan Richardson, LPN Image

Jordan Richardson, LPN

CHOICES Nurse

(731) 668-6446

Email

Public Guardship for the Elderly Staff

Dayle Mathis Image

Dayle Mathis

Public Conservator

(731) 668-6405

Email

Nicole Guin Image

Nicole Guin

Assistant Public Conservator

(731) 668-6407

Email

Long Term Care Ombudsman

Norma Bell Image

Norma Bell

Long Term Care Ombudsman

(731) 668-6411

Email

Redi Staff

Lisa Hankins Image

Lisa Hankins

REDI Director

(731) 668-6450

Email

Cedric Deadmon Image

Cedric Deadmon

REDI College Access Coordinator

(731) 668-6448

Email

Beverly Vos Image

Beverly Vos

REDI College Access Coordinator

(731) 668-6449

Email

Brandon Armstrong Image

Brandon Armstrong

REDI College Mentor Corps

Craig Clay Image

Craig Clay

REDI College Mentor Corps

Emily Carpenter Image

Emily Carpenter

REDI College Mentor Corps

Mario Hayslett Image

Mario Hayslett

REDI College Mentor Corps

Katherine Markley Image

Katherine Markley

REDI College Mentor Corps

Dixie Spencer Image

Dixie Spencer

REDI College Mentor Corps

Careers

Economic and Community Development

Solid Waste Planner:

The solid waste planner for Southwest Tennessee Development District (SWTDD) in Jackson is a part-time position. The successful candidate collects, maintains, and distributes information on regional needs regarding solid waste disposal and collection as well as wastewater treatment. The solid waste planner will assist in preparation of planning documents, work plans, impact studies, and grant applications. Will work closely with the Mayors and solid waste directors in the eight county development district. A bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, geology, planning or related fields/equivalent experience is required. Submit cover letter (indicating application for solid waste planner position) and resume to SWTDD Executive Director, Joe W. Barker at: jwbarker@swtdd.org. Resumes accepted until position is filled.

 


Historic Preservation Planner:

The Historic Preservation Planner for Southwest Tennessee Development District (SWTDD) in Jackson is a part-time position. The successful candidate will be responsible for the administration and implementation of our historic preservation program. The successful candidate will insure communities receive the information needed to make appropriate decisions in historic preservation. This would include representatives of local government and other interested groups or individuals within the eight county district. This person should be thoroughly familiar with review procedures established under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. The applicant should have a bachelors degree in history, historic preservation, architecture, or closely related field or equivalent experience. Submit cover letter (indicating application for historic preservation planner position) and resume to SWTDD Executive Director, Joe W. Barker at: jwbarker@swtdd.org. Resumes accepted until position is filled.