People and Companies Profiles

A Positive Choice | Ken Chapman and Jessie Chapman

Area Commanders 

The Salvation Army of Orange and Osceola Counties


So, what do you do after you’ve earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from Armstrong Atlantic University and master’s degrees in music education and conducting from Georgia State University, taught high school band for 10 years, won more than 300 competition awards and twice been named teacher of the year?

You answer God’s calling and join The Salvation Army. That’s what Ken Chapman did nine years ago along with his wife, Jessie, and they haven’t looked back since. Both Chapmans have earned the rank of captain.

Ken is still very involved with music — in fact, you will most likely see him playing his cornet around a red kettle during the holiday season. After his teaching years, he was the music producer for the Atlanta Olympics, and he’s won an impressive 22 industry awards for various projects.

Jessie is a true Florida native, born and raised in the Florida Panhandle. She has a bachelor’s degree in human resources from DeVry University and was an HR executive for the largest school system in Georgia before joining The Salvation Army.

The couple then served in Tulsa, Okla., where Jessie led two women’s service groups that raised more than $300,000 annually for The Salvation Army. Ken, meanwhile, raised $66,000 by walking 66 miles in 66 hours along Route 66, spending the night in a cardboard box in nine-degree temperatures to raise awareness of the problems homeless people experience.

Prior to serving in Tulsa, both captains served in Jackson, Miss. Under their leadership, the budget for The Salvation Army tripled.

Today they call Central Florida home, which is exciting for their three children and two grandchildren. With the Orlando area Salvation Army getting ready to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2020, the organization’s leadership feels this is the perfect place for a couple with the talent of the Chapmans.

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i4 Business magazine has become one of the most trusted voices for and about the Central Florida business community. Each month through our print and digital platforms, we provide access to meet, to learn from and to learn about some of the incredible entrepreneurs and business leaders who are shaping our region.

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