The president of the Hancock Chamber of Commerce, Stephen Schruff who is the West Area Coast Division Manager for Mississippi Power Company, was recognized as one of the top ten community leaders this year. A graduate of MSU, he holds a masters in Electrical Engineering and is a registered Professional Engineer. Stephen also graduated from Leadership Gulf Coast and the Mississippi Power Leadership Development Program. He has served on the Chamber board not only in Hancock County but also in Biloxi and Long Beach. For the Hancock Chamber, he led the effort to establish the Business Retention and Expansion program with the Port and Harbor Commission that was recognized by the Mississippi Economic Development Council with a statewide award. Schruff also serves on the board of Partners for Stennis and Michoud, and has served the United Way, the Rotary Club, St. Vincent De Paul Society. The Mississippi Power Community Connection recognized him as volunteer of the year.
Other Community Leaders recognized include:
Dr. Alice Graham, Back Bay Mission; Amy Brandenstein, Chevron Pascagoula Refinery; Mayor Billy Hewes, City of Gulfport; Bruce Marie, Coast Electric Power Association; Cederick Hurd, Mississippi Power; Dave Estorge, Memorial Hospital Foundation; Debbie Anglin, Pascagoula-Gautier School District; Kady Beaoui Pietz, MS Gulf Coast Community College; and, Ricky Cox, Balch & Bingham, LLP.
In the Top 10 Under 40 category, the following leaders were recognzied:
Bryan Jacobs, State Farm; Erin Willcutt, Hancock Whitney Bank; Jamie Daniels, Mississippi Power; Jenifer Freridge, William Carey University; Jenny Gates, Merrill Lynch; Justin Chance, Hancock Whitney Bank; Dr. Kimberly Rasmussen, MS Department of Marine Resources; LaShaundra McCarty, 3C: Creative Communication; Mayor Mario King, City of Moss Point; Nikki Johns, AGJ Systems & Network
The One Coast Awards are the rebranding of the former Roland Weeks Hall of Fame, The Sun Herald Top 10 Under 40 and Community Leader Awards. The Roland Weeks Hall of Fame was established in 2002. Recognizing the wealth of outstanding business and community leaders across the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the Top 10 Under 40 and Community Leader Awards were developed to recognize community leaders and strong, up-and-coming young business leaders, and to hold them up as examples in the Roland Weeks Leadership Hall of Fame, named for the long time publisher of the Sun Herald.
The program and awards have been revitalized as the One Coast Awards to continue the ideal that One Coast is a regional belief that our common interests far outweigh any difference; an awareness that what benefits one, ultimately benefits all; a celebration of our unique communities and an attitude of no boundaries.