DIUSA Board Members


Always the visionary, Janice Hadaway became the founder and executive director of Destiny Independence USA in 2016 after nearly a decade of mentoring children in an economically disadvantaged neighborhood. Persuaded that one-on-one mentoring is a better way to conquer generational poverty than throwing impersonal money and programs at the problem, Janice has become a surrogate grandmother to dozens of children with the intent of finding a personal mentor for each of them who will commit to seeing their mentee all the way through high school and beyond.

Janice holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music with an emphasis in voice from Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, and a Master’s in Music from the University of Arkansas. She homeschooled her two children through their high school careers while simultaneously operating a piano and voice studio in her home. She and her husband Mike have worked together in the mentoring commitment for seven years, and are members of Second Avenue Baptist Church, Rome, GA

Jason Free

Jason Free operates the Commercial Division of Keller Williams Northwest Realty. He graduated from Darlington High School in 1990 in Rome, GA. In that same year, he also became the youngest person to become a licensed Georgia Real Estate Agent. Since graduating from the University of Georgia Business School with a Corporate Real Estate Degree, he has acquired his broker’s license in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, and Tennessee. As a Certified Real Estate Instructor, Jason has been a consultant and pre-license instructor for the following real estate schools/ organizations: Homebank Mortgage, Metro Brokers, Jason Free School of Realty, Georgia Highlands College, and Keller Williams Realty.

Jason has been awarded designation from the Graduate Realtor Institute, and earned the Accredited Buyer Representative designation. He has served as the Chairperson for the Professional Standards Committee and Chairperson of the Realtors Political Action Committee, and has managed the transfer of 10,000 acres of real estate as donations to non-profit organizations. Jason has also served as the 2012 & 2013 President of the Greater Rome Board of Realtors.

Lisa McWhorter

Lisa McWhorter is Partner at Whittington, Jones & Ruddert CPA. She has been in public accounting for over 14 years and specializes in the following:
* Tax Planning, Analysis and Preparation
* Working with Limited Liability Companies and Partnerships, Individuals and Corporations
* Audits for Non-profits and Small Businesses
* Compilation and Review Services

Lisa is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state of Georgia. She is an active member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants (GSCPA) and the Rome Seven Hills Rotary Club. She is a graduate of Shorter of College where she earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. She is also an alumni of the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce Leadership Rome.

Ty Wilkes

Ty Wilkes is a vice president with the Rome-based Heritage First Bank with more than 15 years of retail banking experience and following an affiliation with Fuller, McKay and Salter, where he served as a Legal Assistant. He is a graduate of Georgia Southern University, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree.

A life-long resident of Rome, he is a past member of the Rome-Seven Hills Rotary Club, The Rome Jaycees, and the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have three children and are members of First Presbyterian Church in Rome.

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