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 and our Economic & Community Development staff.

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.

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.

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


Charley Brown Image

Charley Brown

Information Technology Manager

(731) 668-6425


Debbie Dunaway  Image

Debbie Dunaway

Executive Assistant / Public Information Officer

(731) 668-6439


Kim Essary Image

Kim Essary

Fiscal Director

(731) 668-6401


Carolyn Ross Image

Carolyn Ross

Human Resources / Office Manager

(731) 668-6400


Kim Hampton Image

Kim Hampton

Fiscal Assistant / CREVVA Admin Assistant

(731) 668-6449


Economic & Community Development Staff

Teresa Sanders Image

Teresa Sanders

Loan Administrator

(731) 668-6428


Melissa Davis Image

Melissa Davis

Community Development Specialist

(731) 668-6417


Thomas Skehan Image

Thomas Skehan

Regional Planner / Historic Preservationist

(731) 668-6429


Shelton Merrell Image

Shelton Merrell

Regional Planner / RPO Coordinator

(731) 668-6430


Casey Smith Image

Casey Smith

Community Development Specialist

(731) 668-6412


Dayle Mathis  Image

Dayle Mathis

Economic Development Specialist

(731) 668-6437


Aging & Disability Staff

Shelley Hale Image

Shelley Hale


(731) 668-6403


Jessica Rice Image

Jessica Rice

Assistant Director/Financial Manager

(731) 668-6413


Eric Wiseman  Image

Eric Wiseman

Management Information Specialist

(731) 668-6441


Summer Howell Image

Summer Howell

AAAD Admin Assistant

(731) 668-6419


Hollie Knight Image

Hollie Knight

Nutrition Administrator

(731) 668-6408


Dorothy Montague Image

Dorothy Montague

Information & Assistance Specialist

(731) 668-6404


Gladys Warren, LPN Image

Gladys Warren, LPN

CHOICES Manager/Counselor

(731) 668-6424




Darla Hall Image

Darla Hall


(731) 668-6427


Shannon King, LPN Image

Shannon King, LPN


(731) 668-6406


Alicia Strain Image

Alicia Strain

CHOICES Support Clerk

(731) 668-6422


Lynda Settle Image

Lynda Settle


(731) 668-6416


Tonia Moss Image

Tonia Moss

Options Counselor

(731) 668-6418


Maurice Lawrence Image

Maurice Lawrence

Options Counselor

(731) 668-6426


Andrea McDermott, LPN Image

Andrea McDermott, LPN

Options Counselor

(731) 668-6414



Glenda Temple Image

Glenda Temple

Madison Co. MyRide Coordinator

(731) 668-6420


Angie Scott Image

Angie Scott

Hernderson Co. MyRide Coordinator

(731) 668-6448


Dana Holmes Image

Dana Holmes

CREVAA Advocate

(731) 668-6409



Public Guardianship for the Elderly Staff

Nicole Guin Image

Nicole Guin

Public Conservator

(731) 668-6407


Long Term Care Ombudsman

Norma Bell Image

Norma Bell

Long Term Care Ombudsman

(731) 668-6411



Open Positions