LaNelle Godsey, Deputy Director & Community Services Director

LaNelle Godsey, Community Services Director for Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency (UCHRA), has been named deputy director of the agency. 

“I really enjoy working at UCHRA,” Godsey said. “We have a great team. It has been a great experience for me and has expanded my focus. For many years, I focused on the rural seniors in the Upper Cumberland.” 

Prior to joining the UCHRA team in 2018, Godsey served as the assistant director of the Upper Cumberland Area Agency on Aging and Disability (AAAD) and Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Director for seven years. In total, Godsey worked with the AAAD at UCDD for a total of more than 15 years since first joining the organization as an intern.

“Now, I have a broader focus and work with all age groups in the Upper Cumberland,” she added. 

While Godsey will bring more than 19 years of experience to her new role as deputy director, she still enjoys learning new skills and insights including participating in the Results Oriented Management and Accountability (ROMA) training and learning how to work with individuals that have substance use disorders. 

“One of my favorite certifications is 60 hours of professional development in Medial Gerontology through Meharry Medical College,” she recalled. “I enjoy learning new ideas and concepts so I am up for all types of training. 

As the UCHRA deputy director, Godsey says she hopes to better support the Executive Director, Mark Farley.  

“LaNelle brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this role and I am confident that with her leadership and support our agency will continue to meet and exceed the needs of our region,” said Farley. 

Godsey’s 19 years of professional experience with UCDD and UCHRA provide Godsey with a superb understanding of the dynamics of both agencies and a deeply-rooted passion to uphold the mission of both agencies. 

“I love partnerships and want to continue growing and strengthening partnerships for UCHRA and, by having strong partners, we can more holistically serve the people of the Upper Cumberland,” Godsey said. 

“I really enjoy working with Holly Montooth (UCHRA Public Transportation Director) and Cheryl Cox (UCHRA Community Intervention Director). I think we make a great team and we will continue to streamline our programs and focus on utilizing all resources to serve our clients.” 

While Godsey has been named the agency’s deputy director, she will also maintain her role as Community Services Director. 

“It’s an exciting time for Community Services,” she said. “The Community Services department, especially Megan Spurgeon, was instrumental in securing the grant funding for Empower Upper Cumberland and I look forward to seeing the focus shift from poverty management to poverty alleviation with the efforts of this grant.”

UCHRA’s Community Services team spans the entire 14-county Upper Cumberland region providing commodities, utility bill assistance, and in-home services to clients in need. Soon, the department will begin administering a grant to assist individuals and families with their home water services. 

“Without the community services staff and the county staff there would be a big hole in the Upper Cumberland,” Godsey said. “I am impressed and humbled to work with everyone.” 

Godsey is currently a board member of the Upper Cumberland Family Justice Center. She and her husband, Jeremy, have been married for 23 years and have two children. Their daughter, 22, is currently a nursing student at Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) and their son, 14, plays golf for Upperman High School.