Based in Memphis,Tennessee, ITNMemphis was founded by a group of concerned Memphians with generous support from the Highland Area Renewal Corporation, the H.W. Durham Foundation, the Plough Foundation, an anonymous foundation, the Lowe II Foundation, and the Methodist Healthcare Foundation, as well as many generous individuals.
Memphis Area Seniors Urgently Need Reliable Transportation Alternatives
It was fate that brought Fred Wimmer and Dan Murrell together to find a solution for this urgent need by starting an ITNAmerica® Affiliate in Memphis.
Fred, who at one time was President of the largest printer/publisher of community cookbooks in the country and helped hundreds of nonprofits build relationships and raise money, was dealing with his own mother's transportation issues and had noticed the increasing isolation of seniors in his neighborhood. He eventually tried to set up a carpooling tree in his own neighborhood. Two of his friends, Carl Awsumb and Dan Murrell, were aware of his efforts when they heard about ITNAmerica on the radio.
Awsumb contacted Wimmer about the radio interview with Katherine Freund, the founder of ITNAmerica. Murrell, who had personal experience with seniors behind the wheel, had heard the same program and announced to Wimmer at lunch one day that ITN was a service that seniors had to have in Memphis. Awsumb volunteered to be the first driver.
Wimmer and Murrell thus set about the process of establishing an affiliate together. In the last year, the pair have formalized their relationship with ITNAmerica and became a "pre-affiliate" currently known as Friends of ITNMemphis. They began the process of reaching out to Memphis leadership and found strong support for the ITN model, and formed a Steering Committee in 2010 and the first Board of Directors in January 2011. Wimmer agreed to serve as the founding Volunteer Executive Director of the Friends of ITNMemphis and Murrell as the first Chairman of the Board.
In late 2011, the organization secured its 501(c)(3) status and hired its first Executive Director, Mr. Holden Potter. Upon completing the pre-affiliate process required of all potential Affiliates of ITNAmerica in mid-2012, this new non-profit organization became known as ITNMemphis. After a year of preparations, the organization was saddened and challenged by the tragic loss of Mr. Potter, who passed away on December 23, 2012. A Memorial Founders Circle was established to honor Mr. Potter's contributions. Board secretary, Gayla Schaefer, took the helm during the transition period while a new director is hired. She and the ITNMemphis Board of Directors are moving forward with plans to offer the first ride in April or May of this year.
Jordan Moore was hired as the Operations Manager in July 2013. While at ITN, Jordan focused on "finalizing" the requirements to operate as an affiliate of ITNAmerica and as the first non-profit volunteer transportation service in Memphis. Following a successful “Relax for Rides Fundraiser,” in 2014 Jordan resigned to take another position. The Board assumed the responsibility for completing the operations to begin our first rides. Pat Hickman was elected as the volunteer Acting Operations Manager to handle the day to day operations. The Memphis City Council approved the Certificate of Convenience and Necessity Charitable Non-Profit Transportation Provider in September 2014. In November of 2014, the Board received soft launch training from ITNAmerica Affiliate representative, Morgan Jameson. Our first ride was given on December 1, 2014.
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