MyRide Receives Innovation Award

September 29, 2017


From left, Joe W. Barker, SWTDD executive director; Dwain Seaton, Mayor of Chester County and SWTDD vice chairman; Shelley Matthews, SWTDD director of the Southwest Area Agency on Aging & Disability; Lynne Keller Forbes, NADO president; and Franklin Smith, Mayor of Haywood County and SWTDD chairman of the board.

Southwest Tennessee Development District (SWTDD) of Jackson, Tennessee, has received a 2017 Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) for the MyRide West Tennessee program.

MyRide West Tennessee is a senior-friendly, door-through-door transportation program that links those 60 years and older who have difficulty or are unable to drive with volunteers who drive them on essential trips like to doctor appointments, the grocery store and on other important errands. Seniors pay a $25 annual fee to join and are charged $2 per round-trip (both of which help cover costs for volunteer background checks, extra insurance for volunteer drivers, and mileage reimbursement for volunteers). Only available in Madison County at this time, the program will begin to expand into other SWTDD counties in the months and years to come.

“The MyRide program has proven to be an effective, affordable and popular means of transportation for seniors in Madison County,” says Joe Barker, SWTDD executive director. “This program just adds an option to the already great public transportation opportunities in the region. However, this program needs volunteer drivers and we encourage you to become involved.”

NADO is a Washington, DC-based membership association of regional development organizations that promotes programs and policies that strengthen local governments, communities, and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery, and comprehensive strategies. NADO’s Innovation Awards program recognizes regional development organizations and their partners for improving the economic and community competitiveness of our nation’s regions and local communities. 2017 marked NADO’s 50-year anniversary of supporting regional economic development across the country.

Award-winning projects were honored during NADO’s 2017 Annual Training Conference, held September 9-12 in Anchorage, AK. The 2017 class of award recipients consists of 80 projects spanning 21 states. These projects are presented in an interactive “Story Map” developed by NADO and Esri and include project summaries, funding information, and partners. The Story Map is available online at:

“The Innovation Awards program is an opportunity to recognize the important work of regional development organizations that are promoting economic development and improving quality of life for local residents,” said 2016-2017 NADO President Lynne Keller Forbes, Executive Director of the South Eastern Council of Governments, located in Sioux Falls, SD. “These projects demonstrate the diversity of work that regional development organizations undertake to benefit the communities and regions that they serve.”

For more information about this award-winning project, contact Joe W. Barker, SWTDD executive director, at 731-668-6439.