We are a team of passionate dreamers, doers, and changemakers. We pride ourselves on having professional team members who work together to bring healing, provide safety, and deliver hope to the people we serve.
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.”
Director of Administrative Services
Veronica Villanueva is the Director of Administrative Services for Family Support Services. Veronica is originally from a small farming community 70 miles south of Amarillo. She has been a citizen of Amarillo since 1999. Ms. Villanueva is a former student of West Texas A&M University where she pursued a degree in Biology. Prior to joining the FSS family, Veronica was in the veterinary field for over 19 years. She began her career as a Customer Service Representative then took educational courses to become a Certified Veterinarian Assistant. After several years, Veronica was offered the opportunity to lead the team as Hospital Manager. She thrived in providing service to clients while dispensing leadership to her teammates. She was fortunate to learn many interpersonal skills and the capabilities to handle high-stress situations with professionalism and compassion.
Veronica is a “people person” and loves meeting new folks and helping in projects both great and small. She believes building relationships is an important part of any business and enjoys meeting new folks and creating new friendships. Veronica is honored to be part of the FSS team and is proud to be part of such a great establishment in our community.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her “fur-babies”, 1 dog, 2 cats, and a pet snake. Veronica loves live music festivals, traveling, reading, cooking, and watching movies. She also finds joy in spending time with her family and loves every opportunity to spoil her many nieces and nephews.
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. Her early counseling career was with children and adolescents, first with Texas Panhandle MHMR and Family Support Services, then later working with at-risk families with Children’s Home Society in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Back in Texas in 2009, Kathy worked 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. Kathy was promoted to the Director of Crisis Services in September of 2015, working with the Crisis Department’s team to assist victims and survivors of both Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.
Kathy’s primary areas of concern continue to be serving victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence and other trauma, social justice issues, and attention and services to the LGBTQ+ community.
Director of Education
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 joined FSS in July of 2017 as the Director of Behavioral Health and Wellness. Amy is a Licensed Master Social Worker, and has bachelors and masters degrees in Social Work from West Texas A&M University. Amy was previously on the faculty of West Texas A&M University, where she worked as the baccalaureate program director of social work. She also served as faculty advisor and field coordinator for the MSW program while at WT.
Amy currently serves on the boards of Texas Panhandle Centers Behavioral and Developmental Health and the Randall County Prisoner Reentry and Education Program. She also serves on the West Texas Area Health Education Center Advisory Committee, the Texas Panhandle Suicide Prevention Coalition Committee and the committee for the Annual Child Abuse Prevention Conference. Amy previously served on the board of FSS.
Amy has worked as a Lead Mental Health Professional for Amarillo ISD, as a social worker for the J.O. Wyatt Clinic of Northwest Texas Healthcare System, and for the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services as a Social Service Surveyor.
Ms. Hord is married to husband, Chris, and has three boys – Dylan, Jacob, and Josh. In her spare time, Amy enjoys boxing workouts, reading, cooking, and staying busy with her boys’ activities.
“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives” – Jackie Robinson
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 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.