University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association to Honor Leadership Mississippi Alumni
The University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association will induct three Leadership Mississippi Alumni into its Hall of Fame on Oct. 25 as part of the 2013 Homecoming celebration.
Mayor Billy Hewes, (USM Class of 1984) is a graduate of the Leadership Mississippi Class of 1990-1991. Hewes was recently elected Mayor of Gulfport. Prior to his election, he was a member of the Mississippi State Senate for 20 years, serving as president pro tempore in his last term. Among other roles, he has served as national chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council and as chairman of the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission.
Hewes is the owner of Billy Hewes Insurance Agency and a broker-associate with Billy Hewes Real Estate. He is a member of the Gulf Coast Board of Realtors and Gulf Coast Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.
Dr. Samuel Jones (USM Class of 1997, 2002) is a Leadership Mississippi Class of 2010-2011 graduate. He is currently the dean of Student Affairs at Jones County Junior College, and is the facilitator for Leadership Mississippi.
Prior to becoming dean of Student Affairs, Jones served as the assistant basketball coach, student recruiter and as the assistant dean of Student Affairs. He is the owner of Dr. Samuel Jones Consulting LLC, and is the author of The Man I Never Knew: How Leadership Can be Developed by Faith, Family and Friends.
Robert St. John (USM Class of 2000) graduated Leadership Mississippi as a member of the Class of 1996-1997. He is the owner of the Purple Parrot Café, Crescent City Grill, Mahogany Bar, Tabella and Branch in Hattiesburg. He has been named the state’s top chef for three consecutive years, and was honored as Mississippi Restaurateur of the Year.
St. John was named the Pine Belt’s Small Business Leader of the Year in 2005, and was appointed by Gov. Haley Barbour to serve on the Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He is the author of nine books, has been featured in USA Today, and appeared on The Food Network, The Travel Channel, National Public Radio, Martha Stewart Living and the Turner South network. He is the founder of Extra Table, a nonprofit that purchases healthy foods and sends them to soup kitchens and mission pantries.
Others inducted into the University of Southern Mississippi Hall of Fame were James B. Gallaspy, Lou Marciani, Susan Archer Riley and Charles “Chuck” Scianna.