Journeys in Community Living Introduces New Board Members

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Dr. Jim Calder, a special education advisor and professor at MTSU, has been named new board chair at local non-profit Journeys in Community Living.

Calder, who has been teaching since 1968, replaces former board member J.D. Kious, of the local law firm Kious, Rodgers, Barger, Holder & Kious, PLLC.

Though he is in a new role, Calder is not new to the Journeys in Community Living board, having served twice previously as a voting member.


“I am so happy to be in this new role at Journeys,” he said. “Journeys plays such an important role for our population with intellectual disabilities and their families, and I am looking forward to doing my absolute best to help Journeys accomplish its missions.” 

JICL’s main mission is to support adults with intellectual disabilities in choosing and realizing their visions of where and how they want to live, work and socialize.


New to the board are Jason King, an attorney with Kious, Rodgers, Barger, Holder & Kious, PLLC; Sherri Stevens, an associate MTSU professor who holds a doctorate in nursing from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville; and Tom Black, a special education advisor and professor at MTSU.

“I see so much potential in Murfreesboro for expanding programs and opportunities for young adults with intellectual and other disabilities,” Black said. “I also believe there needs to be better coordination between the school system, organizations like Journeys, area employers before that potential can be truly realized and fulfilled. I think MTSU can play a huge role in bringing these parties together and I look forward to making that happen.”

Board member Joyce Ealy, who also serves the public as a Rutherford County Commissioner, has also been named Journeys’ new vice chair.

Journeys board member Mike Ussery will take over as board secretary and treasurer, a role previously occupied by still-current board member Janet Bowman.

There are a total of 15 board members serving in a governing role over Journeys in Community Living.

Journeys Executive Director Betty McNeely welcomed Journeys’ newest board members at a board meeting held Aug. 23, and congratulated Calder on his election as the board’s new chairperson, as well as Ealy and Ussery on their new roles.

“Every board member here at Journeys plays a vital role in the execution of our mission to improve the lives of adults with intellectual disabilities,” she said. “It is important we have people in these positions who both understand and share our belief that those with disabilities can be fully-contributing members of society.”


Mark Bell, Journeys in Community Living - Development Coordinator

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