|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 27, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A seasoned professional with more than 30-years of leadership in the field of intellectual disabilities - including a previous appointment in Tennessee - has been named to head the state’s division that oversees those services. James Finch is currently the superintendent at a resource center for the State of Iowa, and will assume duties of Deputy Commissioner in the department of Finance and Administration, as the agency director for the Division for Intellectual Disability Services (DIDS) beginning March 1, 2010.
“We are very fortunate to have Jim returning to Tennessee to fill this crucial role in state government,” Commissioner Dave Goetz said. “He has the policy and leadership experience we need, and having served in the administration a few years ago, he’s very familiar with the division’s services in Tennessee.”
Finch served as Director of Facility Compliance and Quality Improvement at DIDS in 2004 and 2005, before retiring to consult facilities and organizations in other states, and then to the Iowa position in 2008. He served for 27 years in the Alabama Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, including several director-level positions.
“I was thrilled to accept the opportunity of coming back to Tennessee, and meeting the current challenges of this position,” Finch said. “I hope to continue the progress the administration has made thus far in the division, and look forward to working with the division’s outstanding staff of professionals.”
Finch holds a doctorate in Special Education in Administration, Mental Retardation from the University of Alabama.
In September 2009, Deputy Commissioner Stephen Norris retired from the position Finch has been named to, after serving in that capacity for seven years.