Whittle, Collins, Selected as Upcoming Leadership Mississippi Chairs

Atmos Energy’s Whittle Selected 2017
Chair of MEC’s Leadership Mississippi

MINACT Inc.’s Collins Selected as Vice Chair

Mississippi Economic Council’s (MEC) Leadership Mississippi Program selected Patrice (Michelle) Hardy Whittle of Atmos Energy as the 2017 Chair. MINACT, Inc.’s Maj. Gen. Augustus Leon Collins has been selected as the 2017 Vice Chair. Whittle is a 2015 Leadership Mississippi graduate. Collins is a 2012 Leadership Mississippi graduate.


Whittle is an Operations Manager for Atmos Energy in Columbus-Golden Triangle and Tupelo. She has held that position since 1994, when the company was called Mississippi Valley Gas Company. In her role she leads, manages and accounts for the district operations. Prior to this position, Whittle held positions as Area Manager and Marketing Representative. She graduated from Mississippi State University with a Bachelors and Masters of Business Administration. 

Whittle is very active in her community. She serves on the board of directors for the Golden Triangle Development “LINK”, Lowndes County Salvation Army and Father’s Child Ministries. She is also active with MEC, MS Center for Public Policy, Tupelo Community Relations Association, First United Methodist Church Columbus, Columbus Junior Auxiliary, and North MS Emmaus.
She and her husband Bill have a son, Cameron, and a daughter, Kayne.

Maj. Gen. Augustus Leon Collins (U.S. Army, Ret.) is the CEO of MINACT Inc., a Mississippi-based contractor that supports the U.S. Department of Labor’s Job Corps program in several states throughout the country. He served in the U.S. Army and the Mississippi National Guard for over 35 years, holding numerous command and staff positions. He retired in 2016 after serving five years as the Commanding General of both the Mississippi Army and Air National Guard.

Collins previously commanded the 155th Brigade Combat Team of the Mississippi National Guard, deploying to Iraq, where he was responsible for security operations in the southern and western provinces. He was promoted to Brigadier General while serving in Iraq in 2005 and is the first African-American to attain the rank of general in the history of the Mississippi National Guard.

Collins received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Mississippi, a master’s in business administration from Jackson State University and a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College. He is an inductee to the University of Mississippi Alumni Hall of Fame.

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