Meet Our Team
Barry Cooper, M.S.
While working with adolescents in the behavioral health field, Barry completed a field practicum at JACOA while in graduate school at Freed Hardeman University. It was during this time that he felt the call to help those fighting the battle of addiction. Barry began his career at JACOA in Prevention and Training. After being named JACOA's Executive Director in 2012, he made it his mission to empower others within the organization to work together to implement a holistic approach to addiction treatment and recovery. Barry and the team at JACOA believe in meeting individuals where they are at. Barry currently serves as the West Tennessee Vice President for the Rural Health Association of Tennessee, and on the legislative committee for the Tennessee Association for Alcohol and other Addiction Services. In his free time, he enjoys roasting coffee, traveling, and following his son's high school baseball team.
Director of Treatment Services
Israel Melton, L.A.D.A.C.
With over 15 years in recovery, and 12 years experience at JACOA, Israel is what we like to call "the real deal." He has a magnetic personality that can be difficult to escape. His direct impact on clients over the years is immeasurable. His commitment to people in recovery goes way beyond the 28 days he gets to spend with them in treatment. He moonlights as a social media influencer across many platforms, and spreads laughter, joy, and personal motivation to everyone he comes in contact with.
Human Resources Director
Taneca Brooks, B.S.
Taneca has had many positions at JACOA over the years, which has made her a very well rounded employee. She is very familiar with the every aspect of the organization; from admissions, to treatment, through discharge. To say that she is an unmatched asset to JACOA is an understatement. When she is not traveling, Taneca unwinds by binge watching her favorite shows and spending time with her son. She is a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day, and a true delight to everyone at JACOA.
Director of Admissions
Desiree has been with JACOA for 5 years. She spends much of her free time volunteering wherever help is needed. She also works full time for The Scarlett Rope Project, and volunteers at A Betor Way, she is a true philanthropist with a heart of giving that seems to be never ending. She also enjoys spending time with her family (and dog), and talking to her plants when she has time. She is an alumni of JACOA; finishing the program in 2015. Her giving heart is the personification of the culture we share at JACOA.
Director of Development / Donor Relations
Kris Kelley, B.S.
After 16 years in marketing, distribution, and event promotion for the beer industry, Kris saw first hand the detrimental effects that excessive alcohol use can have on a person. He decided to use his expertise to help those in need, and fill a longing to live his life with a purpose. We believe that using his knowledge to aid those in recovery, and to build relationships in the community is a vital part of our continued growth, added support, and our pursuit of organizational development.
Prevention / TTI Director
Kristi Townes, C.P.S.II
At a young age, Kristi was known for grabbing a friends lit cigarette, and throwing it out of a car. It was this type of passion for the health and well being of others that lead her to "officially" begin her career in prevention. The influence she has provided over the past 18 years is unparalleled. Nowadays, she is known for her exceptional baking skills, her keen interest in playing trivia, and her inspirational drive to unlock the potential in the youth of Tennessee.
Director of Operations
With 9 years, and a long list of many departmental titles, Bonita has familiarized herself with every aspect of JACOA. She is an exceptional artist, with a pristine focus on painting, among any type of hands on craft. She has always had an interest in behavioral health, the psychological aspect of addiction, and loves to go fishing as long as someone else is willing to remove the fish from the hook.
The longest tenured employee at JACOA, with over 25 years of servitude under her belt, Jackie is the first radiant face that you will see when you walk through the doors at JACOA. When she is not working, she loves to spend time with her two daughters, and her grandbabies. She enjoys traveling so much that she will go to another town to do her grocery shopping as a quick getaway. She lives her life by Matt. 7:12, and embodies everything that we stand for at JACOA.
Director of Finance
Brandy came to JACOA while following her spiritual journey. God has guided her throughout the entirety of her professional career. She started working in non-profit as a volunteer at A.R.M., which transitioned into a full-time position, and a deep longing to help those in need. She comes to JACOA with over 16 years of experience serving the needs of people in our community, and brings an unmatched eagerness for developing a positive change in our clients.
Intensive Outpatient Program Coordinator
Some people don't know that they are leaders until they are given an opportunity to lead. Brandi is that person. Her commitment to the JACOA recovery program requires an hour and a half daily commute from Big Sandy. Her dedication, and passion comes from her first hand experience as an alumni of JACOA. She felt that giving back to individuals, and supporting them on their road to recovery would not only be beneficial to her personal growth, but would also provide a stability that addiction seldom offers. As the I.O.P. coordinator, she is the first step in the continuum of care provided after inpatient treatment.
Director of Women's Housing / Counselor
Beth Curtis, M.A.
Diving head first into her profession, Beth has been awarded her Bachelors Degree in Psychology, and her Masters Degree in Professional Counseling. She is currently working on obtaining her L.P.C. licensure for the state of Tennessee. Beth has had an interest in behavioral sciences for many years. She worked as a Emergency Medical Technician and a medical transcriptionist prior to joining the JACOA team. She is one of many full time employees that are alumni of our program. Studying and creating oil paintings as well as watercolor are among the hobbies that help Beth to decompress from her demanding educational focus.
Director of Men's Housing / IT Coordinator
Rusty Rountree, B.S.
Giving back to the community, by helping the place that helped him, is such an inspirational way of motivating everyone at JACOA. Rusty has followed this mantra for the past 9 years, devoting his expertise in computer programming and information technology to benefit people in need. In his free time he likes to play the guitar and is an avid gamer.
Kim has been working in recovery since 2014. She started as a monitor at JACOA before taking a temporary leave to teach an I.O.P. class and work with 2 different drug courts; returning to us in 2017 with a greater insight into the inner workings of the criminal justice system as a dedicated men's counselor. Her greatest fulfillment as a counselor is encouraging and guiding clients to understand the importance of giving back to the recovery community after completing treatment. She currently runs our After Care program that promotes this personal mission of hers. She also enjoys kayaking, traveling with her family, and anything outdoors.
Tarren began her career at JACOA in 2018. Shortly after completing the program herself, she knew that she wanted to work in recovery, and became a monitor. Her clients are her number one priority, and her ability to connect with them on a personal level is nothing short of a superpower. She has been a full-time women's counselor since '21, and currently runs the JACOA Art Therapy Program. She also co-leads our Horticulture Program that is showing great success. Helping others, sharing her personal story, and encouraging people in need are among a few of the traits that make her a great counselor. Tarren also enjoy's gardening, hiking, travel, and spending time with her family.
Gary is a lifelong native of Jackson, TN. He graduated from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Political Science. He is still an avid U.T. Vols fan and roots for them at every game. He came to JACOA in 2014 with 4 years of prior experience in the recovery field; he also has his L.A.D.A.C certification which requires many hours of continuous education to maintain. He has been an active participant in the community as a previous small business owner. Holding a contractors license, and a real estate license, also falls in his repertoire. When he is not working, he enjoys swimming, music, U.T. football, and spending time with his granddaughter.
Jeff Riley, B.S.
If he is not cheering for the Tennessee Volunteers, the Memphis Grizzles, or actively participating as a member of his local church in Frog Jump, you will find Jeff working to get people suffering from addiction the help that they need. Jeff is a 30 year alumni of JACOA, and has been working to help plant a seed of hope in everyone he comes in contact with. His 23 years of dedicated service at JACOA is a true testament to his selflessness.
Patrick Williamson, B.S.
As a lifelong native of Jackson, Patrick has a first hand understanding of the needs of our local community, and a plethora of relationships to encourage his success in all aspects of his life. He is a graduate of Jackson Central Merry and has a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice from Lane College. Respectively, his work experience falls exclusively on helping others. He is very passionate about finding roles that give him a sense of purpose and he acts as a guiding light for those who are in need. When he is away from the office, Patrick enjoys reading and researching topics of interest to him, and he finds that focusing of fitness helps him to unwind from a stressful day.
Director of Dietary Services
Upon first meeting Ira, if her smile and warm glow does not enchant you, then her kind words and gentle disposition will. She has a unique personality that radiates compassion and invites comfort. She has spent most of her life in Memphis, but now resides in Jackson to be closer to family. She has 10 children and 15 grandchildren whom she showers with love every chance she gets. She has worked in the food service industry for over 40 years, with over 25 years working in the school system, and her exceptional skills display her experience well. When she is at home, she enjoys crafting, upholstery, and up-cycling. She is truly an asset to the JACOA team!
Joseph Lamb M.D.
Dr. Lamb graduated with his doctorate of medicine from Medical College of Wisconsin in 1987 and has been working diligently as a servant to every community he has resided. He has a passion for medical mission work and over the past 10 years he has been serving as a contractor to the disaster relief efforts of Samaritans Purse. He comes to Jackson, TN with over 30 years of clinical practice in Wisconsin and 2 years of work with Christ Community Health Services prior to his employment at JACOA. With such a giving heart, his devotion to helping others, and his uncanny servant leadership, we could not ask for a better team member than Dr. Joe Lamb.
Amy Talley, APRN
Amy comes to JACOA with a passion for having a positive impact on the burden of substance abuse and mental illness in West Tennessee. She has an extensive background in healthcare, with 17 years as an acute care nurse practitioner in cardiology and hospital practice. As a Post Masters Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, her abilities, training, and experience are invaluable to our clients. Amy is happily married with 2 children and enjoys playing basketball with her kids, cooking, art, traveling, and running. She completed the Boston marathon in 2017, and she brings this determination, fortitude, and mental endurance to all of the amazing work she does daily at JACOA.
Megan Pinson, RN
Megan came to JACOA with a substantial background in the medical field. She has been a Registered Nurse for over 20 years, with a core focus in emergency room and ICU practice; exceeding 15 years of experience in these high stress environments. This exposure has given her an irreplaceable insight into the physical and mental ailments that often weigh on individuals battling addiction. She has been a part of the JACOA team since 2013 and has played a pivotal role in helping shape our clients in a positive way. Megan is married with 3 children, she loves traveling with her family, and is an avid trail runner. She is a key part of our staff and an asset to the ongoing mission of JACOA.
Saqueta Henderson, LPN
Saqueta grew up in a small town south of Oxford, MS called Water Valley. She graduated from Northwest college in Oxford before deciding to move to Jackson, TN. She started her nursing career in the pulmonary department of the Jackson Clinic before landing at JACOA. She has an innate drive to help people and enjoys seeing the healing process as clients overcome their battle with addiction. When she is not working she enjoys baking, bowling, and spending time with her daughter and 2 sons. She is such a delight to all of the staff and clients at JACOA, and we are grateful to have her fighting for recovery in our community.
Director of Naps
A bit malnourished and a little timid, Scout came to the front door of JACOA on March 26th of 2018. When we opened the door, Scout walked right in ready to work, so we just assumed that he must have been an employee that had been out on a extended leave. Feeling immediate acceptance, just like everyone who walks through our front door, Scout was made well again. In the beginning, we cared for all of his needs, but now he gives back to us daily through his commitment to spreading happiness.
Monitor in Training
JoJo's mother Queenie (A.K.A. Josie) wandered up to JACOA in search of a free lunch. We took her in, bathed her, got her a bed, a collar, and introduced her to all of our staff and clients. Everyone fell in love with her immediately, but then she, unbeknownst to us, decided to go back home! We thought she was a lost stray, but she was really just out hustling the neighborhood for some scraps. This is how we ended up with Jojo, her daughter. When we met the owner we shared this story with him, and he told us that Queenie had puppies and we could have one! Jojo is truly an asset to the recovery team. She lives on unit with all of the clients and brings smiles and gives them hope.