We are advocates, educators, counselors, and peers.
Our talented team has unending passion for helping people break out of their cycles; cycles of abuse, depression, trauma... whatever they may be caught in.
We believe in the people we serve; in their strength, resilience and capacity to create a better future.
Chief Executive Officer
Jim has 25+ years of experience in working towards making the Texas Panhandle a healthier and safer place to live. Jim first joined FSS in 1997, and worked as a shelter advocate and educator for several years before leaving to pursue other opportunities. Jim returned to FSS in 2013 as the Executive Director after serving as the Director of Planning and Public Information for Texas Panhandle Centers Behavioral and Developmental Health. Jim believes in fighting for the oppressed and providing people with the opportunity to live the best life that they can.
Jim has years of experience in developing, implementing, and providing oversight of innovative and outside-of-the-box programs. This mindset can be traced to growing up on the high plains of Colorado, where his first job was driving a tractor at the age of 4 years old on the family farm/ranch. His dad's hired hands had taken off, and broom-corn crops had to be brought in. So his dad developed a rigging system to secure Jim to the tractor seat, and showed Jim how to engage and disengage the clutch to make the tractor move; broom-corn could then be thrown on the sled behind the tractor as it went. His mother was not a big fan of this when she found out. But his granddad was; shortly thereafter he showed Jim how to drive his pickup in a straight line in first gear so that his grandfather could throw fence posts out of the back.
Many years later, Jim received a BS in Criminal Justice Administration and an MA in Sociology, Criminal Justice and Political Science from West Texas A&M University. Jim has worked as the Regional Director of the Texas Correctional Office on Offenders with Medical and Mental Impairments, and as adjunct faculty for the University of Phoenix. He has worked as a probation officer, mental health caseworker, and has owned an assisted living facility. He has also worked as a barista, a custodian, a bookseller, and a librarian; he has delivered pizzas and newspapers, painted murals, and thrown his share of hay bales.
Jim currently serves on the Texas Council on Family Violence Board of Directors and the Panhandle Area Health Education Center Advisory Committee. He was a founding board member of the Randall County Prisoner Re-Entry and Education Program, and also served on the Regence Health Network Board of Directors. He has served on many other boards and advisory committees and volunteers for many non-profit causes.
Chief Operating Officer
Terry is a financial professional with 20+ years of experience in financial analysis, planning, and budgeting. Terry has a BBA from WTAMU. Terry has demonstrated expertise in, and dedication to, accounting improvements that have positively affected the efficiency and effectiveness of FSS, and in turn helping the people we serve. Terry is a self-starter and creative problem solver.
Chief Development Officer
Joette joined FSS full-time in 2005 after several years as the agency’s marketing/PR consultant. Her 40+ year professional career includes sports journalism, advertising/PR, and human resources. Somehow, this diverse career path led to her current position that includes fundraising, event coordination, and marketing.
“What we do matters,” she said. “I am passionate about our mission and those we serve and know that what I am doing makes a difference.”
A proud graduate of the University of Texas, Joette began her professional career as one of the first women in Texas to write sports. She worked for the Austin American-Statesman and Associated Press in Dallas, then switched to sports marketing with the Houston Aeros of the World Hockey Association.
The move to Amarillo in 1978 was a culture shock for someone who had never seen a horse up close and had seen snow only twice. More shocking was a switch to corporate marketing, public relations, and human resources with several Amarillo advertising agencies. She eventually owned her own successful agency, and began a relationship with FSS that led to her current position.
At FSS, she is best known for the Harley Party and the Mardi Gras Party. “These events are possible only through exceptional teamwork . . . and I love being the coach!”
Joette is a sports fanatic, and her favorite teams besides FSS are the Texas Longhorns, Butler Bulldogs, Houston Texans, and San Antonio Spurs . . . Her other great passion is for her three children and crazy calico cat Cleo. “It’s all about family, and that’s what I love most about FSS.”
Crisis Services Director
Kathy received her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from California State University at Fullerton in 1993, and received her Master's Degree in Psychology from West Texas A&M University in 1998. Kathy was promoted to the Director of Crisis Services in September of 2015.
Kathy has worked at Family Support Services since 2009 as the Coordinator for the Battering Intervention and Prevention Program, working with men and women who have engaged in Domestic Violence in their intimate relationships. As a counselor, Kathy's primary areas of focus have included providing counseling services for domestic violence survivors and survivors of other trauma, marriage/partnership issues, adult individual counseling, couple's counseling, and working with LGBT individuals.
Kathy is a Star Wars fanatic.
Director of Education and Prevention
After graduating from West Texas A&M University in 2001, Brandi Reed began her journey working at various social service organizations where people, mission and impact were at the center of the work. When Brandi discovered FSS in 2007, she knew it was the fulfillment she had been searching for.
Brandi currently oversees the programs, projects and services within the Education Division at Family Support Services. Brandi has extensive experience in community engagement, grants oversight, social justice initiatives, policy advocacy, coalition building, and cross sectorial collaboration. She has been at the center of numerous innovations in the field of prevention including: co-founding the STOP Film Fest-an initiative producing the first ever peer led film festival in the nation; designing an innovative sexual assault primary prevention program for at risk youth focusing on teen dating violence, bullying and bystander intervention; expanding the GOT CONSENT Campaign into an effort to address sexual consent on college campuses across Texas; and helping to build the infrastructure of local prevention efforts on area middle and high school campuses. Brandi is committed to a cascading style of leadership that promotes youth activists as change agents and leaders in the field.
Brandi gets a kick out of being “quirky” and believes that everyone deserves a sense of connection, belonging, and an opportunity to be loved. Brandi is passionate about being a voice for the voiceless and has been working in social justice movement for over a decade - with both grassroots and grasstops stakeholders - primarily around issues that affect women and she isn’t planning on stopping anytime soon.
Director of Behavioral Health and Wellness
Amy Hord is the Director of Behavioral Health for Family Support Services. Amy has experience working with teenagers and college-aged young adults. She has worked with those faced by life challenges, such as: suicidal ideation, self-harm, depression, anxiety, and general life transition concerns.
She has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in social work from West Texas A&M University. She serves on the board of the Prisoner Reentry Program, Texas Panhandle Centers, and the West Texas Area Health Education Centers. She serves on the Panhandle Suicide Prevention Committee and the committee for the Annual Child Abuse Prevention Conference.
Amy is married to husband, Chris, and has three boys - Dylan, Jacob, and Josh. In her spare time, she enjoys boxing workouts, reading, cooking, and staying busy with her boys' activities.
Veteran Resource Center Director
Verlene S. Dickson was born and raised in Borger, Texas. She enlisted into the United States Army on 30 July 1986 and completed Basic Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Lee, Virginia.
During her 27 years of service, Verlene held numerous positions and retired as a Sergeant Major. Verlene has served in Afghanistan, Korea, Germany, as well as various bases across the United States.
Verlene's awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal. Army Achievement Medal , Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, NCO Professional Develop Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, United Nations Medal, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait Liberation Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Valorous Unit Award.
Verlene Dickson has been recognized as a recipient of the Distinguished Order of Saint Barbara, Order of Saint Martin Award; Department of the Army Supply Excellence Award for Fiscal Year 1997, nominee of the 2002 NAACP Roy Wilkins Renown Service Award, Asian and Pacific Islander, and Native American Indian Special Emphasis Program Chairperson, 2002-2004, Woman of the Year for National Association Of Professional Women, 2013-2014, Quartermaster for VFW Post 430, Canyon Texas.
Director of Human Resources and Office Management
Jamie took her first accounting class in Garrison, Texas, population 899. In high school, Jamie placed in the top 10 in the University Interscholastic League in Accounting for the state of Texas. Jamie’s patience and hard work paid off when she graduated with her BS in Accounting in 2015.
Jamie joined Family Support Services in 2007 as the Agency’s Accounting Clerk. Her hard work and dedication to our mission has led to her being promoted to Accounting Coordinator in 2012, to our Office Manager in 2014, and to the Director of Human Resources and Office Management in 2016.
Jamie's work ethic is unmatched, and she has proven herself as a team player and leader. She is very passionate about the services and results that FSS brings to the individuals we serve. She takes great pride in working for one of the oldest social services agency in Amarillo.
You might one day find Jamie on an emerald rolling hill in Ireland taking photographs with her red Nikon camera. She is a natural photographer and loves portrait photography. She has been known to take some stellar photographs of clouds just from her cell phone! She also enjoys cooking, especially chili lime tacos with grilled pineapple salsa.
Director of Emergency Housing Services
Michelle is the director of a new division of Family Support Services- Emergency Housing Services. This division was created after consideration of the current challenges we face as community and agency, the direction we want to grow in, and to take advantage of the talented staff we have in place. This new department will allow for increased focus and development of Safe House services and 24 hour crisis hotline services.
Michelle previously served as the volunteer coordinator for FSS before being promoted to Shelter Manager, and now her new position. Michelle has been instrumental in creating and implementing innovative programs that are focused on delivering services to domestic violence, human trafficking, and sexual assault survivors from a holistic trauma informed perspective.
Prior to becoming a Licensed Master Social Worker, Michelle spent time as a dental assistant, preschool director, tech on a med surgery floor, and started to obtain a degree in nursing. But, her passion for underserved people and wanting to be a part of social change shifted her focus to social work. She is passionate about eliminating barriers, oppression, and faulty beliefs around domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. The value Michelle lives by, "sometimes the greatest thing you can do for someone is to sit with them and bear witness to their suffering, and remind them of the value and strength they possess".
Michelle received her Master’s degree in Social Work at Arizona State University (ASU) in 2011 (advanced standing), with her undergraduate degree in Social Work also at ASU in 2010 (magna cum laude). She previously held positions as the shelter coordinator for the Salvation Army of Amarillo, as the Director of Domestic Abuse Programs and Direct Services Manager for Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse in Tuscon, AZ, and as a medical social worker. In a collaborative effort with the University of Arizona, she was recognized in published research for creating access for survivors of Domestic Violence to women’s health screenings and education on healthy relationships.
Michelle loves the outdoors. She is avid fisher "woman", loves to camp and garden. She is also quite the seamstress. She has won blue ribbons for her work! Most importantly, she loves spending time with her grown children.