Developmental Disabilities Ministries’ staff is the heartbeat of our organization. DDM has a large staff of full-time and part-time workers (direct support professionals and coordinators) who are scattered throughout the state working at our various group home sites. The Administrative Staff is located out of DDM’s central office, The Richard C. Davis Building, at 6320 Amherst Ct., Norcross, GA 30092. All may be reached through the main switchboard number, 770-623-4899.
- Ryan Whitmire
- Cindy Marshall
- Denel James
- Alice Tiner
- Sylvia Crowe
- Bettye Alexis
- Rod Jones
- Debbie Harper
- Byers Finley
- Lisa Kirksey
- Amber Hensley
- Stephanie Smith
- Ursula Balkcom
Ryan Whitmire joined the DDM staff in December 2017. As a “preacher’s kid,” he grew up in Lithia Springs, Georgia. Ryan is a graduate of the University of Georgia, where he earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees. It was in the movement studies clinic at UGA where he first developed a passion for working with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He has over 15 years of experience with Georgia’s Medicaid Waiver Program, and has served in various roles in non-profit organizations, including case manager, program director, and administration. Ryan, his wife, Melissa, and daughter, Lily, live in Jefferson, GA. They are members of Athens Church, where Ryan and his wife lead a small group for married couples. Among his many interests are surfing, scuba diving, traveling, and UGA football.
Director of Finance
Cindy Marshall joined the staff of DDM in 2008. Her entire professional career has been in non-profit organizations, with her longest tenure being at the Home Mission Board, SBC (now North American Mission Board). A native of Florida and a graduate of Carson-Newman College, Cindy is a “preachers kid” and big Florida Gators fan. She lives in Tucker and is an active member of Briarcliff Baptist Church where she serves as deacon and organist/pianist. Cindy is single but has a gallery of nieces and nephews and great nieces and great nephews. She loves antique linens, craft shows, country music and Braves baseball.
Director Residential Services
Denel James was DDM Trustee and minister to children at First Baptist Church of Griffin, where she coordinated an outstanding program for children with disabilities. She was elected as Residential Services Director in November 2013. Before joining the church staff in 2000, she served for 17 years as a special education teacher, notably at Griffin High School. James has a master’s degree in special education from West Georgia State University. She and her husband, Dennis, have three children. Denel is very active in community affairs, serving as president of Griffin Ballet Theatre, president of Carver Road Middle School Council, and a member of both the Griffin Downtown Council and the Griffin Area Resource Center Board. Her interest in DDM has been influenced by her brother who has disabilities.
Associate Director of Residential Services
Alice joined the DDM staff in 2011 after having worked for 10 years with the State of Georgia serving adults with DD. She has conducted Positive Behavior Supports and Person Centered Planning training. Alice is a “Good to Great” coach and has served as co-chair of the Georgia Alliance for Direct Support Professionals. Alice is a graduate of Athens Technical College as a Direct Support Professional. She and her husband, John, live in Winder, and they have two children. They attend Hebron Christian Church where they enjoy helping with the children’s ministry. Alice enjoys travel, especially mission trips with her family. One of her most memorable trips was to Israel. She also enjoys working with her flower and vegetable garden.
Residential Services Policy and Procedures Specialist
Sylvia joined DDM in 2013, Sylvia came to the agency with over 13 years in the public sector of DD/BH/SA. She attended Truett McConnell College and UGA with a certification in Photography. She and her husband Steve have a chicken farm in Bogart. The Crowe’s have one son who helps with the family business. Sylvia is an active member of Hebron Christian Church where she has been involved in the Children’s Ministry for over 25 years. She taught 3rd and 4th graders for 10 years and is currently co-teaching the Adult Seniors class. The Crowe’s love to travel and when Steve can fish he drags Sylvia along where she always catches the bigger fish. Sylvia loves being outside and is always looking for that “perfect” photo op.
Residential Services Nurse
Bettye joined DDM in January 2019 after being a travel nurse in Labor and Delivery for 9 years. In 2008, she graduated from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. She is truly intrigued by the services DDM provides to families throughout the state and is excited about the transition into the nursing aspect of it. She feels fortunate to be affiliated with an agency that supports our residents’ autonomy as well as providing holistic christian based services. Bettye is blessed with a loving husband, Brian, and two wonderful sons, Kauli and Brian Jr. They reside in Lawrenceville, GA, where they attend Believers Baptist Church. She is a volunteer at Junior Achievement of Georgia, where she assists middle schoolers in learning to become successful members of their communities. She enjoys traveling, reading, cooking, running, and is her son’s favorite cheerleader at soccer games.
Assistant Director of Finance
Rod Jones joined the DDM staff in June, 2019. Prior to coming to DDM, Rod served in finance and IT for over 20 years with the U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance Program. A Decatur native, Rod earned his MBA in finance from Georgia State University. He and his wife, Lisa, live near Tucker with their son, dog, and parrotlet. They are active members at Oak Grove United Methodist Church in Decatur. Their family enjoys spending time together looking for vintage Coca-Cola memorabilia, collecting coins, traveling. Stop by his office and see Rod’s Coca-Cola thermometer collection!
Developmental Disabilities Professional
Debbie joined the DDM staff in 2017 as a part-time Developmental Disabilities Professional and began working full-time in this position in 2019. She worked with special education in the school system for 13 years, five as a paraprofessional and eight as a special education teacher. She also worked six years in Adult Mental Health and Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse programs. Debbie is a graduate of Gordon State College where she earned an Associate of Arts degree in Middle School Education and a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and Special Education. She lives in Griffin and has one son. She enjoys traveling with her family, which includes her brother and mother. In her leisure time, she enjoys scrapbooking, doing arts and crafts, and volunteering with various charities.
Director of Development
Lisa joined the DDM staff in October 2020 as the Development Director. Prior to joining the DDM team, Lisa worked in non-profit fundraising for 6 years, where she developed a passion for helping individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities achieve their highest potential. Lisa grew up in Athens, GA and graduated from Georgia College in Milledgeville with a degree in Business Management. Lisa, her husband and their 2 children recently moved back to Athens and attend Athens Church and love spending their weekends exploring Athens and cheering on the Dawgs!
Residential Services Nurse
Amber joined the DDM team in October of 2020. She earned her first bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Food Science from Georgia Southern University in 2010. Her second is from Wesleyan College in Nursing as part of the first cohort of nurses in 2015. Both degrees have helped her provide holistic care for those she serves and advocates for.
Amber began her career working with individuals with IDD as a volunteer before graduating with her nursing degree and has worked in various capacities since. Her clinical experience has been in the surgical orthopedics and bariatric unit, emergency room, and critical care unit in the hospital setting.
Amber, her husband, Josh, and 2 beautiful daughters, Lela and Cora, live in the Middle Georgia area. She enjoys traveling and spending time with her family and friends.