Our board of directors is composed of dedicated individuals all working together to make this a successful program. The board oversees the organization and acts as a steward and has certain fiduciary responsibilities including the duty of loyalty and the duty of care.

Duty of loyalty is acting with undivided loyalty in the best interests of the organization and not seeking to benefit personally from the business activities of the Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee organization. Duty of care is acting reasonably (as a prudent person in similar circumstances would), being familiar with Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee activities and financial conditions, participating regularly in board meetings. Board members help solicit sponsors, recruit contestants, and plan the yearly pageant.

Distance should not be a deterrent to applying for a position on the board. Meetings and communications will be conducted via phone conference. We currently meet once per month. We understand that everyone has jobs and other activities they take part in, and we do our best to plan meetings and activities accordingly. Potential board members should expect to attend meetings, attend events when possible, and assist with fundraising efforts.

If you are interested in becoming a board member, please contact  Bliss at mwtnstatecoordinator@gmail.com


Jean-Marie Lawrence


Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee 2012 Jean-Marie Lawrence with crown and sash

Jean-Marie Lawrence was crowned Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee 2012 in Chattanooga, TN. She currently holds her Masters of Public Administration from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Jean-Marie’s platform was on the accessibility of public transportation. She continues to serve individuals with disabilities as the Chairperson of the Chattanooga Mayor’s Council on Disability, has written several articles in support of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and has founded Access-U, which will connect students with disabilities with specific transition services.

Michelle Bettis

Vice President

Michelle Bettis considers being the mother of her three amazing children: Andrew, Blake, and Lila to be her greatest accomplishment. Michelle has a Bachelor’s degree in Multidisciplinary School Learning from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She also has a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Tusculum College in Greeneville, TN. Currently, she is the Math Tech and Literacy Lab instructor at East Hamilton School in Ooltewah, Tennessee. At East Hamilton Middle, she is the Chapter Sponsor for the National Junior Honor Society and a member of the School Leadership Team. In addition to teaching, Michelle enjoys writing for the Leadership for Student Activities magazine. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family going to the beach to relax and recharge.

Jeremy Welch


Jeremy Welch is a Training Program Manager in the Technical Training department at Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in Chattanooga TN. Jeremy has been employed with TVA since 2001. Jeremy grew up in Harrison, a small town just outside Chattanooga where he still lives today. In April 2005 Jeremy had the pleasure of calling Bliss Welch his lovely bride. Together Jeremy and Bliss have their one and only beautiful daughter, Annabelle. Jeremy is an advocate for individuals with disabilities and eager to serve on the MWTN board helping to grow and improve the organization. Jeremy has participated in and helped to organize fundraising events for the MWTN organization. One of Jeremy’s hobbies is competitive pistol shooting. In August 2013 Jeremy organized and hosted an Action Pistol fundraiser event to benefit the MWTN organization. Participants traveled as far as 200 miles to be a part of the successful event.

“It’s amazing to hear the stories and see the accomplishments of all of these amazing women and the families I have had the opportunity to meet because of my involvement with the Ms. Wheelchair TN organization. I have witnessed firsthand the daily challenges that my amazing wife Bliss, a successful woman with a disability, must face. She like so many, face the challenges head on, and persevere. I hope that I can be positive influence to those I encounter and celebrate a message of Achievement, Advocacy and Education. ”

Barbara Sweeten