We do what our community needs.

Every kid in our community deserves to be safe. So we won’t stop fighting until they are. We build coalitions to fight big problems, hard problems, and the existential threats to our next generation that too often go unaddressed.

Our Purpose

To advance the well-being of kids and the grown-ups in their lives throughout Southwest Missouri. We champion critical issues and align leaders to deliver solutions where they’re needed most. By providing the tools and information to make an impact, we create a dynamic, safe community where everyone thrives.

Our Story

Click through the timeline below to see how we have met the needs of the southwest Missouri community over the years.
1980’s – 1998

Grassroots Beginnings

In an effort to share ideas and coordinate resources, local agencies began meeting periodically. After the Missouri State Legislature dedicated funding for health and social services through the Caring Communities Collaborative, the Southwest Missouri Community Alliance was officially incorporated in 1998.
1999 – 2005

Serving More in Need

Over the next few years, support expanded to serve Seneca, Webb City, Carl Junction, Carthage, Neosho, and Joplin. Throughout our community, we fought substance misuse, educated the community over preventing unintentional childhood injury, and trained professional caregivers to impact as many lives as possible.
2006 – 2018

New Name, Same Promise

After changing our name to The Alliance of Southwest Missouri, we continued to find ways to help everyone in our community. From preventing child abuse to promoting healthy living and helping the homeless to supporting pregnant teens, we continued to do what needed to be done in the community.
2019 – Present

Making Space for All

The donation of a historic church building in Joplin became the foundation of a new home for The Alliance. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we adapted and evolved to ensure our community still received the support they needed. We have quickly outgrown this space as a result of a growth in programming and staff. Stay tuned for more exciting developments in our timeline!

Bringing the Best Together

United in doing what needs to be done, our team draws from a variety of backgrounds to serve kids, the grown-ups in their lives, and the communities they live in.

Jen Black

Executive Director

Tammy Blaylock

Director of Kids Programming

Mark Box

Driver’s Ed Instructor

Marlissa Diggs

Director of Grown-Ups Programming

Emmeline Franco

Youth Mentor

Robin Frazier

Early Childhood Specialist

John Henderson

Director of Community Programming

Marilyn Hurst

Office Manager

Peggy Lentz

Parenting Education Coordinator

Kathy Lewis

Director of Finance

India Malherbe

Pop Up Produce Coordinator

Charlene Pryor

Early Childhood Coordinator

Bailey Stehm

Director of Development

Ron Walters

Fiscal Assistant

Meet Our Board

Leadership from these local community volunteers is crucial to our success.

Tim Woodall

Board President

Pinnacle Bank, Vice President 


Dustin Parker

Board Vice President

Mercy Hospital; Sports Medicine Manager


Joe Malin

Board Treasurer


Jordan Dickey

Board Secretary

Executive Director of Student Affairs, Joplin Schools

Josh Flora

Board Member

Webb-City R-VII Schools Asst. Superintendent

Tom Furrh

Board Member

Foster Adopt Connect; Joplin Branch Director

Melissa Hogan

Board Member

Farmers Insurance; Owner/Agent

Doris Lewis

Board Member

Nicole Peeples

Board Member

Mercy Hospital; Executive Director

Roy Teed

Board Member

Jasper County Sherrif’s Office; Seargent

Kathy Vanwey

Board Member

OWN Inc.; Executive Vice President