Executive Director

Jessica James
Jessica JamesExecutive Director
Jessica has been at the helm of McKemie Place, serving as Executive Director, since July 2014. Prior to serving at McKemie Place, she worked in workforce development for Bishop State Community College and economic development for ADECA through a special appointment from Governor Bob Riley. Jessica was also the governmental liaison for the Mobile County Commission on the BP/MC252 oil spill in 2010. Prior to working for Governor Riley, Jessica worked as a public relations associate for The University of Alabama System in Tuscaloosa, and for Phase Two Strategies in New York, New York.

Ms. James earned both her Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Master of Public Administration degrees from The University of Alabama.

Her community involvement includes her being an Active with the Junior League of Mobile and member of the Board of Directors of LIHCA. Jessica has also received an appointment from Governor Kay Ivey in 2018, and with this serves on the K-12 Course of Study Committee for Health. She is a member of Trinity Episcopal Church.

Operations/Case Manager

JP Thurman
JP ThurmanOperations/Case Manager
Japonicas has been with McKemie Place since September 2014. Her career with McKemie Place is an intricate part of her life and fits well within the objective of this facility.

Japonicas began as a Shelter Staff Worker and quickly elevated herself, through board approval, hard work and perseverance, to Operations Manager/Case Manager in May 2017. She has educated herself in this field by taking on courses of completion in Mental Illness/Health-Human Services Providers; Substance Abuse; Mental Health First Aid; Medication Certification and HIV/AIDS Training.

Her passion for helping others began in 2007 when she became Program Supervisor for Emma’s Harvest House, which assisted ladies in substance abuse and in-house recovery.

She is involved with interactions of the Chamber of Commerce, SAMHSA, community drives for raising awareness of homelessness, donations drives for McKemie Place, working alongside with Walgreen’s for the wellness of the ladies of McKemie Place through flu shot vaccinations and close affiliations with Housing First, Alta Pointe and various organizations that aid in the transitioning of our women’s homeless population.

McKemie Place Staff

Sheila AllenStaff
Lula IfillStaff
Lynn PerrymanStaff
LeTonia PettwayStaff
Mary RobinsonStaff
Nicole ThorntonStaff
Stephanie LambertStaff
Shamika JonesStaff
Tanya GullettStaff
Allison CraneOffice Manager


Ben KennemerBank of America
Ben Kennemer has been proudly serving on the McKemie Place board for over 3 years, and is currently President of the Board of Directors.

Ben was born and raised in Mobile, AL. He graduated High School from St. Paul’s Episcopal School where he met his wife Erin. After high school, he attended Auburn University earning a degree in Finance. Since graduating college, Ben has worked in the banking industry for 10 years. Today, he leads Bank of America’s Commercial Banking efforts on the Gulf Coast.

Ben is active in the Mobile community serving on several other local boards including the Board of Advisor’s for the American Cancer Society, Finance Committee for Dauphin Way United Methodist Church, and Treasurer of the American Red Cross South Alabama Chapter’s Board. He and his wife, Erin, reside in Mobile raising their two sons, Wells (5) and Hayes (2).

Vice President

The Reverend Mary ClarkProvidence Presbyterian Church


Jeremy EudyHancock Bank


Sam JeffcoatThe First, A National Banking Association

Board Members

Katie BonnerBoard Member
D. Austin BradfordMerrill Lynch
Bruce CreelThe Creel Company
Veronica DavisLicensed Professional Counseling Services
John L. Dixon, M.D.
Sandra FinkbohnerCommunity Volunteer
Alison HerlihyAttorney
Mike MontgomeryGulf Fastener, Inc.
Garrett RiceMaster Boat Builders, Inc.
Rudd SchultzeAlabama Power Company
Elaine SessionsRoberts Brothers, Inc.
Macy SchultzeYoung Life Mobile
Carla Stallworth-RembertVolunteers of America Southeast

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