What is the backstory of your business?
Meritan was founded May 6, 1961.
We were chartered by the State of Tennessee as “Senior Citizens Center,” as a result of the recognition of a need to organize and centralize the work of clubs and churches which were beginning to try to address the needs of elderly Memphians. We began providing older Memphians with social, health-related, and recreational services.
Meritan began with a group of seniors meeting in a local church. Throughout the years, our services have adjusted to meet the needs of the communities we serve. Our programs expanded from in-home supports to seniors to also serve medically fragile and at risk foster children, senior employment services, residential services to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, skilled home health services and an elder abuse response program. Most recently, we have added COVD testing and vaccinating to our response.
Tell us your role in the business.
I am the current Director of Development at Meritan. I am responsible for all fundraising, communications, and marketing efforts through social media and digital marketing, written solicitations, grant writing and compliance for corporations/foundations, special events, corporate donors, and other community fundraising events. I am also responsible for external community relationships, volunteer coordination, and public relations.
What are the biggest challenges?
Currently, one of our biggest challenges would be staffing for our In-Home and Community Based Services. We are in high need for home care specialists to help take care of our elderly clients, especially during the pandemic. For more information, please go to www.Meritan.org/careers.
What are the biggest rewards?
Our biggest reward currently is having the opportunity to vaccinate people in their homes and bridging the gap. On March 16, 2021, Meritan began its homebound COVID-19 vaccinations program thanks to a grant from the Tennessee Association for Home Care. The Tennessee Association for Home Care (TAHC) received a grant from the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability (TCAD) to vaccinate homebound people in the TCAD programs that include home-delivered meals, OPTIONS, and the Family Caregiver Program.
How does your business give back to the community?
Meritan is a nonprofit dedicated to providing health and social services to more than 1,600 Mid-Southerners annually who experience a renewed sense of self-worth, celebrating 60 years this year. Founded in 1961 to address the critical need of the elderly, Meritan was founded as the result of the recognition of a need to organize and centralize the works of clubs and churches. Meritan provides an array of programs for diverse groups including, frail and homebound seniors, children in foster care, services to victims of elder abuse, senior employment, and persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
If your business is in Germantown, why did you choose Germantown?
We are in Downtown Memphis, 345 Adams Avenue. We moved to our Downtown Memphis location in December of 2017 because we wanted to be closer and more accessible to the clients that we serve.We chose to join the Germantown Chamber because many of our volunteers, donors, and supporters live in Germantown, TN.
Has your business received any recommendations or awards?
Yes, we have received:
○ TopWorkplace award for 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, 2018,2019, 2020 ○ TopWorkplacesWoman-Led Culture Excellence Award, 2021
○ “FlexibleWork Place” TopWorkplace Commercial Appeal award, 2016
○ cityCURRENT Nonprofit of the Year Award (with a budget greater than $5 million) in December 2018
○ COA Accreditation
○ ACHC Accreditation
○ Staff Awards -
■ Melanie Keller- Superwomen in Business and Health Care Heroes by the Memphis Business Journal
■ Dona Futch - TNCO Manager of the Year Eastern TN, 2018
■ Liz Dayton, RN, 2018
■ Chessie (Biggam) Hayes: AFP Global Outstanding Young Professional 2020, Greater Memphis Chamber’s Young Memphis Class of 2020, Award Memphis Flyer Top 20<30 Class of 2019
■ Kyle Eaton, Memphis Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2020
■ Patti Kesler, The Daily Memphian’s CFO of the Year, 2020
How has being a Chamber member helped your business?
Being a Germantown Chamber member has allowed us to increase our visibility, exposure, and business networking connections in the city of Germantown and surrounding areas.
Is there anything else you would like to add about your business?
Although Meritan’s headquarters is located in Downtown Memphis, we are a regional nonprofit organization that provides programming in 4 states, which include Tennessee, Arkansas, George, and Mississippi. In Mississippi, we are known as Apelah, which is a subsidiary of Meritan.