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Board of Directors

Thorne Barbour

Thorne Barbour, Chair

Humboldt, TN

Lifelong resident of West Tennessee with over 30 years of Human Resources experience. Member of the First United Methodist Church in Milan where he teaches Sunday school and sings in the Chancel Choir and Men’s Ensemble. Current board member of the Humboldt Chamber of Commerce. Former member and past president of the Milan Chamber of Commerce Board. Board member, MEGA-Milan Endowment for Growth in Academics.


Jim Crone

Jim Crone, Vice-Chair

Eads, TN

Jim Crone is the Mid-South Director of Government and Corporate Relations/Comprehensive Solutions for the Trane Company working with Municipalities, Universities, School Districts and Hospitals throughout West TN, East AR, and North MS. His responsibilities are to develop energy performance based comprehensive solutions for capital improvements and operational efficiencies. Jim has been with Trane since 2010. His entire career has been helping to develop organizations (both corporate and non-profit/ volunteer) from a starting point into thriving organizations. He brings experience and energy to these organizations in an effort to support their mission. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Leadership Memphis and serves as the Chair of Volunteer Memphis. Additionally he serves on the Benjamin Hooks Institute for Cultural Change (University of Memphis), the Jackson State Community College Foundation (Jackson, TN), and serves on the Memphis/Shelby County Center City Revenue Finance Board.


Tim Dellinger

Tim Dellinger, Treasurer

Jackson, TN

Vice President of Financial & Administrative Affairs
Jackson State Community College


Walter Nelms

James Ayers, Trustee

Nashville, TN



Wendie Carlson

Wendie Carlson, Trustee

Jackson, TN

Wendie Carlson serves as the Chief Human Resources Officer at West Tennessee Healthcare.  Her current areas of responsibility include Human Resources, Education/Leadership Development, and Employee Health.  She obtained her BBA in Management from the University of Texas in Arlington and MBA in Organization Development from the University of Dallas.


Al Da Silva

Al Da Silva, Trustee

Memphis, TN

Al Da Silva is the founder and CEO of DaSilva Consulting-Your Consulting Network.  His vision is to build a network of highly talented and diversified consultants to drive value to the business community through its Virtual COO Program. Al Da Silva is a graduate of Union University in Jackson, TN where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science in Nursing. He also holds a Master of Healthcare Administration from the University of Memphis.  Finally, He is certified in Lean Six Sigma and Strength-based leadership development.


Grant Edwards

Grant Edwards, Trustee

Jackson, TN

Following graduation from the University of Arkansas, Grant began his career is law enforcement, serving at the local and federal level.  He became a franchisee with Chick-Fil-A in 2010 and opened his first restaurant in February in 2011 in Millington, TN.  Grant and his wife, Betsy, moved to Jackson in 2017 to become the new franchisee of the Chick-Fil-A on Vann Drive.  


Jeff Lewis

Jeff Lewis, Trustee

Lexington, TN

Community Banker in Lexington, TN for 32 years. Chairman of the Board of Directors, Henderson County Hospital. Board member, Beech River Watershed Development. Board member Woodland Hayes Retirement Community. Board Chairman, Jackson State Community College Foundation 2015-2018.



Randy McKinnon

Randy McKinnon, Trustee

Jackson, TN

Randy McKinnon is a Civil Engineer and President of TLM Associates, an Architectural and Engineering firm serving West Tennessee. He is a 1992 graduate of Tennessee Tech University. Prior to joining TLM 1998, Randy previously worked for Environmental Systems Corporation in Knoxville as a designer and project manager of environmental assessment and remediation projects.


Neta McKnight

Neta McKnight, Trustee

Jackson, TN

After receiving a 12-month certificate in Roentgen ray technique from the University of Tennessee Medical School in 1957, Neta began her career at the Ochsner Foundation Hospital in New Orleans. She then returned to Tennessee and, in 1970, was employed at Jackson State Community College. After 37 years as an associate professor and the first director of the radiography program, she looks back with pride at having developed the first college degree program in radiologic technology in the state of Tennessee - one of the first programs to receive national accreditation.


Walter Nelms

Walter Nelms, President Emeritus/Trustee

Jackson, TN

Dr. Walter Nelms is the second president of Jackson State.  His tenure as president spanned from 1976 to 1997 but his commitment to Jackson State began in 1967.  He graduated from Jackson Central High School. He left Jackson to earn his bachelor's and master's degrees at Harding University in Arkansas. He then taught two years in Arkansas, joined the U.S. Marines for another two years, and earned his doctorate in education from the University of Mississippi.  Dr. Nelms was honored for his commitment to the college featured on the college's website.


Paul Phelan

Paul Phelan, Trustee

Jackson, TN

Paul Phelan manages TVA’s relationships with public officials in west Tennessee. Before joining TVA in 2003, Phelan Graduated Peabody High School in Trenton and immediately enrolled in a Trade School at Oak Ridge’s Y-12 facility to study Machining. Phelan worked at Porter Cable for approximately three years before he joined former Congressman John Tanner’s initial Campaign for congress while attending Jackson State. Phelan graduated JSCC in 1988 and continued his education at UTK earning a BA with emphasis on Marketing. After graduating, he moved back to Trenton to farm and join his father in Phelan Ford Lincoln Mercury. In 1992 Phelan successfully ran for the Tennessee House of Representatives and served there until 2002. While in the Tennessee General Assembly, he held leadership roles on various committees including vice chair of the House Commerce Committee and serving on the Joint Study Committee on Electric Utility Industry Restructuring.  


John Rountree

John Rountree, Trustee

Memphis, TN

John is a graduate of the University of Memphis with a BA in Organizational Leadership. John joined the team at Safelite AutoGlass as an Area Sales Manager in July of 2011 after several years as a Regional Sales Manager for a Railroad contractor working all over the South-east. John was promoted to Operations Manager of the Memphis Market in 2014 and oversaw record growth in sales and contribution between 2014 and 2016. John received the Safelite Wall of Fame award for 2017. In 2017 John was promoted to District Manager over all operations in West Tennessee, Arkansas and North Mississippi for Safelite and continues to serve in that capacity today.


Reggie Smith

Reggie Smith, Trustee

Jackson, TN



Deann Thelen

Deann Thelen, Trustee

Jackson, TN

Deann is originally from the state of Iowa and grew up on a farm near Iowa City. She attended University of Iowa for her education obtaining her Bachelors of Science in Nursing in 1991. She worked as a registered nurse in critical care and cardiac procedural units for several years before moving into administration. She obtained her MBA in 2003 while still at the University of Iowa. Deann has worked in healthcare both clinically and administratively for nearly 30 years and still is focused on hospital operations. She relocated to Jackson, Tennessee in May of 2012 to become a Vice President for Hospital Services with West Tennessee Healthcare. In her current role she has administrative and operational oversight for several key clinical areas.


Cary Vaughn

Cary Vaughn, Trustee

Memphis, TN

CEO and President of Love Worth Finding Ministries, Inc. Cary has served with the State of Tennessee, Department of Economic and Community Development representing the Southwest Region. In the community, Mr. Vaughn participates with several boards and commissions: Jackson State Community College Foundation Board of Trustees (Past Chair), Lambuth University Alumni Association (Past Chair), Leadership Millington Steering Committee, UT Martin WestStar Board of Directors, H.A.R.E. Board of Directors (President), Memphis YMCA Board of Directors (Past Chair), Millington Education Foundation Board of Directors (Chair), and the Tennessee Association of Community Leaders Board of Directors (Past Chair).


Marcie Williams

Marcie Williams, Trustee

Jackson, TN

Marcie is a Jackson, TN native. She attended Jackson State Community College and transferred to Arkansas State University to earn an accounting degree in 2006. She began working at ATA.  Marcie is a certified public accountant and has been with Alexander, Thompson and Arnold, PLLC for the past 12 years in the Jackson office. She is an assurance partner specializing in internal school funds, school districts, single audits, contractors and other for-profit engagements.  She is a 2016 graduate of Leadership Jackson. Currently, Marcie serves as President of the TSCPA West Tennessee Chapter. She also serves on the Leadership University Board.