DDM Staff

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


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.

Bettye Alexis

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.


Cody Christoff

Quality Assurance Specialist


Kenyatta Cooper

Registered Nurse


Debbie Harper

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.

Denel James

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.

Rod Jones

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!

Theresa Jones

Director of Accounting


Stephanie Smith

Director of Human Resources

Stephanie is responsible for managing the human resources function at DDM since joining in November 2020. She believes that you should work for a cause not applause. Prior to DDM, Stephanie worked for mission driven organizations, primarily in the healthcare industry. She is certified as a Professional in Human Resources and has a Master of Science in HR Development from Villanova University. Stephanie resides in Duluth with her husband, a Steeler’s super fan and her son who enjoys building Legos.

Alice Tiner

Operations and Facilities Manager

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.

Kierra Wells

Kierra Wells is a resources specialist for DDM. She has a long history in helping fields, but began her career as a DSP. She loves helping people and being able to give back. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and is am hoping to attain a master’s in social work. Outside of work, she loves anything that allows her to be creative, Current hobbies are metal working, painting, and upcycling furniture.

Residential Coordinators

Daren Darby

Rico Lowe

Amanda Pelot

Kimberly Williams

Christina Byarse