Board of Directors
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 every third Saturday of each month at 4pm unless otherwise specified. We understand that everyone has jobs and other activities they take part in, and we do our best to plan meetings and activities accordingly. Board members are still expected to attend meetings.
If you are interested in becoming a board member, please contact us or fill out and return the Board Member Application and Contract.
Samantha Moreno is the current State Coordinator for the Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee organization. She was crowned Ms. Wheelchair Oklahoma in 2010 and was honored to represent her State at the national pageant in Grand Rapids, Michigan. When Samantha relocated to Tennessee, she was asked to revive the Ms. Wheelchair program here. She has since received her Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She is the Director of Volunteer and Employment Services for McGrath Solutions, Inc., a Peer Mentor and assists on Special Projects with the disAbility Resource Center, a Peer2Peer Trainer with the Memphis Center for Independent Living, and is a member of the National Rehabilitation Association and the Tennessee State Rehabilitation Council.
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.
Mike McGrath is an advocate for persons with disabilities and is the Executive Director of a non-profit organization, called McGrath Solutions, that provides remote work experience to people with disabilities while providing reduced cost information technology (IT) services to small businesses and other nonprofit organizations. Mike formerly worked on the Traffic Flow Management-Modernization contract for the Federal Aviation Administration and holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Management Systems from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a Masters of Information Technology from Virginia Tech. He was also appointed by the Governor of Tennessee to serve on the State Rehabilitation Council, which provides support and guidance to the State Vocational Rehabilitation program.
Michelle Bettis considers being the mother of her three amazing children: Andrew, Blake, and Lila to be her greatest accomplishment. They are members of Ooltewah United Methodist Church. 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 Greenville, TN. In 2012, Michelle was recognized as Hamilton County Middle School Teacher of the Year by the Chattanooga Times Free Press. 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.
Nicole Craig is the Program Director at the disABILITY Resource Center where she helps deliver the four core services of Information and Referral, Advocacy, Peer Support, and Independent Living Skills Training for people with disabilities. She also develops and implements new programs for the organization. Her volunteer endeavors include being an Active Member of the Junior League of Knoxville, an occasional weekend driver for Volunteer Assisted Transportation, a Girl Scout volunteer, and a founding member of Beta Sigma Phi. Nicole has a loving husband, Tim, and two wonderful children, Laurel and Nicholas. They have two dogs (Ray Roscoe and Ruby Rozeeta), one cat (Furrgus), and four Hermit crabs, which will remain unnamed. She looks forward to her latest Board Member position with Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee.
“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. ”