Don’t Worry Be Happy 2018
Located At: Biloxi Civic Center
Biloxi Civic Center
July 20, 2018
General Admission 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Annette O’Keefe Humanitarian Award Winner and Honorees
- Todd is the Executive Director of the Bacot McCarty Foundation. He hosts a weekly television show on WGUD TV19 and WXXV FOX 25. Todd served for years as the Senior Vice President of Public Relations and Business Development for Merchants & Marine Bank. He was the Community Relations Director of the Home of Grace Recovery Program and served as the Development Director of the MS Gulf Coast Youth for Christ organization. He founded and directs a three-quarter way home in Gautier, MS called Trinity House, has been the Chairman of the Board of the Salvation Army of Jackson County, President and Board Member of the Pascagoula Rotary Club, Vice-Chairman of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Habitat for Humanity organization, Jackson County Chairman of the 2008 Jimmy Carter Work Project, Vice-Chairman of the Gulf Coast YMCA, and was the founder and Executive Board Member of Rebuild Jackson County. Additionally, he is the past President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Jackson County, past Chairman of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, sits on the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Foundation and serves on several other key Board of Directors and Advisory Councils throughout the Gulf Coast region. He has been the Chairman of the Jolly McCarty Memorial Golf Classic for the past thirteen years. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from USM, is a graduate of Leadership Jackson County, Leadership Mississippi and the Gulf Coast Business Council Master’s Leadership Class. Todd has been honored as the Volunteer of the Year by several local agencies, the MS Legal Services Corporation selected him as the State of Mississippi’s Southern Region’s Top Community Leader, and in 2007, he was honored by The Sun Herald & Governor Haley Barbour with his induction into the Roland Weeks Hall of Fame as one of South Mississippi’s Top Community Leaders.
Winner, Todd Trenchard
- Barry was born and raised in Biloxi, where he graduated from Biloxi High School. He went on to get a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from Delta State University. He was a professional baseball player for 14 years with 7 seasons in Major League Baseball. You may remember him as a member of the 1986 World Series Champion New York Mets! Barry is Team Ambassador for the Biloxi Shuckers and leader of the effort to bring Minor League Baseball to Biloxi. Barry is also a graduate of the Home of Grace Christian Addiction Recovery Program. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Home of Grace. He shares his personal testimony and frequently speaks at churches, schools, civic groups and support groups. His vision is to help as many people as possible in overcoming addiction and depression. Julie Ann Lyons was born and raised in Mobile, AL. She graduated from Davidson High School and attended The University of South Alabama. Julie is Sales Manager and Account Executive for South Mississippi Business Machines. They are blessed with three children (Son: Jerrime, & Daughters: Jamie and Danielle) and three Grandchildren (Grandson: Jaxon & Granddaughters: Elizabeth and Emilia). The couple resides in Gulf Hills and are members of Center Pointe Church in Ocean Springs. Barry says, “Julie is instrumental in my seeking help and my addiction recovery and supportive of all my efforts to help others. We both believe that sound mental health is extremely important for the overall health and well-being of everyone. We seek to assist in bringing awareness to the efforts of MHA in assisting those in need of help along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.”
Honorees, Barry & Julie Lyons
- Aaron Duncan is the General Manager of DoubleTree by Hilton Biloxi located on the beach right by the I-110 Loop. He is from New Orleans, LA. He has been married for 18 years to Shanta Duncan. They have a 17-year-old son who will be a senior at Biloxi High and plays football for the school. Aaron graduated from Grambling State University with a B. S. in Business Management. He has a passion for his involvement with inner-city youth and mentoring young leaders. Aaron loves spending time with my wife and son as well as watching or playing sports. Something interesting about Aaron is he is related to pretty famous musical family – his first cousin is Jonathan Batiste! When asked why Aaron feels mental health and wellness is important, Aaron says, “For many years mental health was considered a Taboo subject. We need to make this a conservation that a person should not be ashamed of, but as a sense of pride similar to a person getting into excellent physical shape for the first time.”
Honoree, Aaron Duncan
- Justin Hill is originally from Gulfport and holds a Marketing Degree from the University of Southern Mississippi. In his professional career, Justin has held positions of Director of Marketing & Director of Player Development for casinos and resorts in the southeast, including both Biloxi and Florida. Currently, he is the Director of Player Development at the Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort. Justin has a long list of organizations he has been involved with such as Board Member of Make a Wish Foundation and Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation Destin; Committee member of Beaches of South Walton Tourism, Coastal Vision 3,000, Destin Charity Wine Auction, Gulf Coast Golf Association and Gulf Coast Tourism; Anthony Dartez Charity Golf Tournament Director & Grants Committee. He was also an Honorary Commander at Eglin Air Force Base. Justin enjoys outdoor and water activities such as boating, fishing, and golf. He is also a PADI certified Rescue Diver and Master Diver. Before working at Scarlet Pearl Justin lived in on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten for 2 years until Category 5 Hurricane Irma came through and he had to be evacuated out on a C-130 by the National Guard! Justin states, “I believe that Mental Health and Wellness is important because it affects everyone; mental health issues affect about 80% of people in one way or another. … It determines how we handle stress, relate to others and make choices. It’s really a balance of emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental health.”
Honoree, Justin Hill
- You may know Steve as Scuba Steve, owner/creator of the clothing brand he started 10 years ago. Steve grew up in Gulfport, where he went to Jefferson Davis Community College and then graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi earning Bachelors in Business. This home business has a busy online store and you can see Steve at various festivals along the Gulf Coast. As President of the Pink Heart Funds, every October he chooses a local woman fighting Breast Cancer and gives her proceeds from his October sales. Hobbies include playing and watching golf, shoe collecting, and watching sports on TV. Steve has shared his personal story: I have suffered from severe Anxiety disorder since the age of 14; I have to have a plan wherever I go. Often I can’t even leave the house because of it. As someone who suffers so badly from a mental health issue, I know it affects your entire body and life. It is often hard for me to go places, hang out with friends, and just do normal activities that everyone does. Awareness for this aspect of your health is extremely important to me as I feel it is the most vital part of wellness you need to live to your full potential. It is often overlooked, but I am living proof that you can still attempt to function and have a business, a girlfriend, and a social life. However, the battle to make all of that happen is unbelievable to someone who has no idea and probably could never tell what you are going through.
Honoree, Steve Johnson aka Scuba Steve
- Justin Mitchell is a regional growth and social editor for McClatchy, the parent company of The Sun Herald in Biloxi. He has lived his life in Bay St. Louis and went to The University of Southern Mississippi. From there he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in News-Editorial Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Public Relations. Justin plays an important role in reaching parts of the community that are underserved and often under-voiced in Mississippi. He does so by hosting a podcast called Out Here in America that explores what it’s like being LGBTQ in Mississippi and in other places in the Deep South. Justin lists his favorite hobbies as photography, anything Kardashian-related, and reality TV. Also, a good Netflix binge, Taco Bell, CrossFit and CrossFit Portside in Gulfport. Justin experienced being kidnapped when he was three-years-old. His babysitters took him and were heading out of the country when police caught up with them in Texas. Justin jokes, “My mom was most upset because I had a long, blonde mullet and they shaved my head. She never recovered. And I’ve been going bald ever since.” He also reflects, “I think that mental health, still in 2018, has been silenced by our culture. People don’t like to talk about it. They are ashamed because of the constraints our society has put on them. I think talking about mental health is important to the overall health of every person in South Mississippi. The more we talk about who we are and how ii affects us, the healthier we all will be.”
Honoree, Justin Mitchell
- Sita is a Restauranteur and Owner of Le Cafe’ Beignet located in the old library on Lameuse Street. Sita recently moved back to her hometown after 17 years in banking in Orlando FL. She made the decision to move back to support Downtown Biloxi’s Revitalization Projects by way of establishing a unique restaurant on Downtown Biloxi’s growing Restaurant Row creating a Tourist Attraction, Le Cafe’ Beignet. Some of Sita’s favorite hobbies include diving, tourist outreach and family time. When asked why she feels mental health and wellness are important to our overall health, Sita responds, “I feel it’s important to support those with this issue to help with a piece of happiness and life stability in their lives.”
Honoree, Sita La’Cap
- Jennifer was born in Biloxi, MS. She received her bachelor of science in nursing at William Carey University and has been working as a psychiatric registered nurse for the past 4 years. She is a member of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association and obtained her CPI Instructor Certification in 2015. She previously worked as a mental health nurse, Intake behavior specialist, and CPI Instructor at Merit Health Biloxi. Currently, Jennifer works as a psychiatric nurse and CPI Instructor at Garden Park Medical Center. She also remains active with her Mississippi state licensure in property and casualty insurance. Jennifer is ever thankful and most greatly appreciative of her mentor, Joannie Evans, PMHNP-BC, for the teaching, guidance and extensive knowledge obtained in the psychiatric specialty while both training under Joannie as a graduate nurse and continued mentoring in now working under Joannie as a provider at Garden Park. In addition to Joannie Evans, Jennifer is also highly appreciative and thankful to Dr. Angela Burt, Dr. Brian Hammock, Dr. Mohammad Anwar, Dr. Julie Teater and Matt Addison, RN for the opportunity, experience, and knowledge gained while working under all of these providers and preceptor/colleague at Merit Health Biloxi. Jennifer says, “each and every one of them is absolutely brilliant!” Jennifer is divorced and currently resides in D’Iberville, MS with her 18-year-old daughter, Alexia Ann, who she says is her heart and absolute pride and joy. Alexia Ann recently graduated from D’Iberville High School with a 4.0 GPA, high honors, and a member of the ACT 30+ Club, National Honor Society, and Mu Alpha Theta National Mathematics Honor Society. Her daughter, Alexia, received an academic scholarship to attend the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. She will be attending USM as a freshman this August to pursue an advanced degree in Psychology.
Honoree, Jennifer Robinson
- Bryan Rhodes – Bryan is originally from Canton, MS. He is the Operations Manager at Coast Radio Group on Lorraine Road in Gulfport. Bryan has been doing morning radio on the MS Gulf Coast for 35 years. You can hear him on Kicker 108 with Lisa Vee. Every weekday on the radio they talk about community events, bring on people from different organizations to talk about what is happening on the coast and are around the coast participating. Bryan enjoys website development and he is an avid X-BOX Gamer. He says, “I think everybody believes to some degree that being healthy also involves being happy. And so, I believe that mental health is very important to everybody’s well-being.” Lisa “Momma” Vee – Lisa’s radio career started in ‘85 doing overnights, then moving to middays 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. for 10 years. Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, she was to replace Gwen Wilson who moved to Arkansas. Gwen had been a major icon in the radio business for many years, not an easy act to follow! Bryan and Momma In the Morning came to be in ‘95 and they feel very blessed to still be together… so thanks, to all of the dedicated listeners & friends! Lisa is the Production Manager at Coast Radio Group. She is responsible for all the commercials heard on any of the 5 stations in Coast Radio Group’s network. Being “on location” is one of her favorite things to do because she can mingle with listeners, have a few laughs and get to know them personally. She says, “I do consider our listeners as “friends.” Lisa Vee enjoys spending time with her family & friends in her spare time! Outdoor activities are a must! Lisa says, “I consider myself lucky and happy where I am in my life! Mental health does play a big part in everyone’s life, always remember to ‘keep your head up, HONEY!’”
Honoree, Bryan Rhodes & Lisa “Momma” Vee
Please scroll to the bottom for Sponsor Opportunities!
Dorothy Smith Tinsler
Garden Park Medical Center
Gulfport Behavioral Health System
Stewart Sneed Hewes
Le Cafe’ Beignet
Beau Rivage Resort & Casino
Bradford-O’keefe Funeral Home
Keesler Federal Credit Union
Papania Dental Clinic
The Peoples Bank
Threaded Fasteners Manufacturing, Inc.
South MS Business Machines
Food Tasting Sponsors
By The Slice
Fleur de Lis Gourmet Bakery
Glory Bound Gyro Co.
Harrah’s Gulf Coast
Gulf Breeze Grill
Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort
Le Cafe’ Beignet
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