Class notes


(’74) Susan Dick of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, a certified public accountant, has been named the 2014 Outstanding Member in Financial Planning by the Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants. A CPA for more than 30 years, she is the sole practitioner at a Raymond James Advisory firm named to its Leaders Council for the past five years.

(’75) Lee Hedegaard of Lucedale has retired as general manager and CEO of Singing River Electric. During his 44 years at the cooperative, he helped form an apprentice lineman program with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and led SRE through Hurricane Katrina when the company restored power to every meter in the system within 14 days after the storm. He also led a humanitarian project that brought power to rural areas surrounding Jalapa, Guatemala.

(’75) Mike Smith of Lucedale is the new general manager and CEO of Singing River Electric. Smith has worked for SRE for more than 38 years.

(’77) Napoleon Leverette of State Line is featured on the 2015 first-quarter cover of Adult Christian Life, a publication of R.H. Boyd Publishing Co. Leverette, a member of Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church, has been teaching Sunday School or serving as a Sunday School superintendent for more than 58 years.

(’75) Melinda Pilkinton of Columbus, MSU social work program director, has been appointed to the board of directors of the Association of Social Work Boards. The nonprofit is the social work licensing regulatory body for the U.S. and Canada and has members in 49 states and all 10 Canadian provinces.


(’82; M.S. ’95) Henry “Hank” McDevitt of Clinton is the new deputy to the commander of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg. He previously oversaw research and experiments in ERDC’s Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory and received the center’s Directors Research and Development Achievement Award, one of his many honors over a 32-year career.

(’83) Rocky McGarity of Lucedale, owner of Edwards Drugs, has been presented a resolution by the Mississippi House of Representatives commending his overall business accomplishments, including excellent sales and service.

(’85) Jan Risher of Lafayette, Louisiana, is the new president and CEO of recently opened Shift Key, a content marketing and public relations agency. Based in Lafayette, the firm creates content for everything from websites and videos to brochures and white papers. Risher is a former managing editor of The Times of Acadiana and senior writer for The Daily Advertiser, where she continues to write a weekly column.

(’89) Martha Scott Poindexter of Washington, D.C., is the new vice president for government and industry affairs with Bunge North America, which is based in the capital city. With 21 years of public affairs experience, she previously was minority staff director for the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and earlier worked for U.S. Senator Thad Cochran.


(’93; M.S. ’96) Bruff Sanders has been promoted to community bank president in West Point while continuing as regional agricultural lender for BankFirst Financial Services. With more than 20 years in the banking industry, he is active locally as a board member for the Growth Alliance, Sally Kate Winters Family Services and East Mississippi Community College’s Bull Sullivan Committee, and others.

(’96) Adam Cox is the newly promoted community bank president for BankFirst Financial Services in Madison. With more than 10 years in the financial services industry, he also is a graduate of The Mississippi School of Banking and Louisiana State University’s Graduate School of Banking.

(’96) Carman H. Mullins, originally of Yazoo City and currently of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is the newly promoted deputy production manager of ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Malaysia. Beginning as an Exxon facility engineer in 1996, she since has managed engineering and operation functions in Louisiana, Texas, Canada and Malaysia.

(’99; MBA ’00; Ph.D. ’07) Jim Haffey of Kosciusko is the recently appointed ninth president of Holmes Community College that serves a nine-county district and enrolls some 6,400 students. In addition to serving in various roles at the Goodman institution prior to his presidential appointment, he also worked as a lobbyist for the Mississippi Manufacturers Association.


(’00; Ph.D. ’04) Katherine Taconi of The Woodlands, Texas, passed the patent bar exam and holds registered patent agent certification with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. She currently practices with Woodlands-based Chevron Phillips Chemical Co.


(’11) Alyson Franklin McMullan has joined the Godwin Group as a brand manager and will work with a variety of clients to support their strategic planning and execution. A native of Gulfport, she comes to Godwin from the Target Corporation and she also earned her master’s degree from Mississippi College.

(’12) Carolyn Dehlinger of Jacksonville, Florida, professor of biological sciences at Keiser University in Ft. Lauderdale, is the author of a newly published textbook, Molecular Biotechnology. Published by Jones and Bartlett Learning, it focuses on the emergence of biotechnology as both a scientific discipline and developing industry.

(‘12) Kyle Newton has joined the creative team at Godwin Group as its new art director. Newton will serve with brand teams and partner with clients on creative work for print and digital platforms. A native of Brandon, his work in the past has been recognized by the Art Director’s Club of Metropolitan Washington and in CYMK magazine.

(’13) Mary-Katherine Hudson of Mobile, Alabama, is a new member of Wilkins Miller LLC, one of Alabama’s largest certified public accounting and advisory firms. She also holds a master’s degree in accounting from the University of South Alabama, where she currently serves as accounting chair for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event.

Birth Announcements

Hadley Hope Welford, Dec. 31, 2013, to Randy Welford (’04) and Jessica Welford of Lucedale.

Bethany Ruth Hollinghead, June 27, 2014, to Drew Hollinghead (‘09) and Elisabeth Hollinghead (’09) of Leakesville.

Audri Beth Eubanks, July 26, 2014, to Phillip Eubanks (’03) and Kristina Eubanks of Lucedale.

Mallory James Thomas and Abigail Marie Thomas, Nov. 20, 2014, to Anthony Thomas Jr. (’03; MBA ’04) and Katie Thomas of Charlotte, North Carolina.