JIM COLLINS ELECTED CITIZEN OF THE YEAR
During the event, Jim Collins, Executive Director of the Hancock County Food Pantry was elected as Citizen of the Year by members of the Hancock Chamber of Commerce from a field of 10 Outstanding Citizens.
An avid member of the Rotary Club, you never know when you will run in to Jim. At almost 89 years of age, he volunteers his time applying his leadership and financial skills so the Food Pantry can help tens of thousands in need. And, you may also find him at the Hospital greeting patients or at Dunbar Village just visiting with the residents. This New Orleans native has called Bay St. Louis home for more than 50 years. He worked for 27 years as CEO of Goodwill Industries of SoutheasternLouisiana and another 17 years working in marketing for Goodwill of South Mississippi before retiring.
You’ll also find him at the local soup kitchen, Kings Kitchen, where he cuts the hair of the people who may need a “pick me up!” He is constantly offering rides to Walmart and Doctor’s offices to those without cars in our community. He visits shut-ins weekly.
As a faithful Roman Catholic, he sings and reads at morning masses and goes to the adoration chapel at Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic Church every single day.
“On behalf of the Collins family, I just want to say a huge thank you to the members of the Hancock Chamber of Commerce for recognizing my precious father-in -law for his tremendous and quiet service to this community,” said Shannon O’Brien Collins.
“He is constantly showing all of us (his three sons and seven grandchildren), through his actions, how to live as followers of Christ.” said Shannon. “I am proud to be his daughter-in-law, and
I am thankful to the members of the Hancock Chamber for recognizing his loving service to our community. I know, when his time comes to go to Heaven, which I hope will be a long time from now—God will look at Jim Collins and say: job well done, my good and faithful servant!”
HANCOCK COUNTY’S OUTSTANDING CITIZENS RECOGNIZED
Nine other outstanding citizens were recognized during the Gala. Cynthia Chauvin is Executive Director of CASA Hancock County, improving quality of life for the children. Through the St. Rose Outreach Group, Janita Cole is paying it forward helping those in need. Bernie Cullen uses her many talents to get things done wherever she sees a need—Ground Zero Hurricane Museum, the arts, the library and beautification. Rick Fayard has served the county for more than 20 years, helping with emergency management to prepare the community. Ashley Mayley demonstrates her passion to help others through her work with the Bay St. Louis Rotary, Relay for Life and more. Karen Rice heads up Keep Diamondhead Beautiful creating a clean, green and beautiful community. SamanthaWalley, as past president of the Bay St. Louis Rotary Club, embodies what community volunteerism is all about through her spirit of giving. Edward Wikoff gives generously of his time as an architect through many years of service to the Historic Preservation Commission and as a Scout Master. Brian Wilemon created the Bay Rats Marching Battery, a drum line for children which teaches them discipline and teamwork.
FOUR RECOGNIZED AS BUSINESSES OF THE YEAR
Members of the Hancock Chamber of Commerce also elected four to be recognized this year as 2018 Businesses of the Yearfrom a field of 18 nominees: Mayley’s Pest Control, Bay St. Louis; Rum Kitchen, Waveland; Hancock Whitney Bank, Diamondhead; and, Friends of the Animal Shelter, Kiln Area/Hancock County.
RELATIVITY SPACE RECEIVES INDUSTRIAL AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
The event is also co-presented with the Chamber by the Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission. The Commission presented the prestigious Industrial Award of Excellence to Relativity Space at NASA Stennis Space Center.
Accepting the award for the company was CEO Tim Ellis.
“Through Relativity Space technology, rockets will be built and flown in days instead of years,” said Ellis. “We are building the future of humanity in space.”
Relativity Space has established a new process to build inflight rockets, 3D printing entire rockets. “We have actually built the largest medal 3D printer in the world and are building the first factory that will actually print rockets made on Mars,” said Ellis.
“We have already tested 100 3D printed rocket engines at Stennis, and we have proven that the technology does work. That’s why we are expanding our presence at Stennis to build the whole rocket there.”
Relativity Space is a $45 million venture capital backed start-up company. Already, they have invested $1.5 million in Stennis using existing, unused facilities to build its capability on top of it, which saves the company time and money and is good news for taxpayers and NASA.
“We plan to significantly expand our team of three employees and invest another $5 million at Stennis,” he said.
“Relativity Space shows that Mississippi can attract millennial talent and high tech entrepreneurship companies without massive incentives,” said Bill Cork, CEO of the Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission. “It also shows that our federal governmental agencies like NASA can rapidly and responsibly create new and important commercial partnerships to grow and expand the jobs in our region.”
Platinum sponsors of the event are: Aerojet Rocketdyne, American Medical Response, Coast Electric Power Association, Hancock Whitney Bank, Hollywood Casino – Gulf Coast, Lockheed Martin, Mississippi Power Company, and Silver Slipper Casino Hotel.
Gold sponsors of the event are: Goodwill Industries of South Mississippi, James J. Chiniche, P. A. Engineering and Surveying, John McDonald Realty, Ochsner Medical Center – Hancock, Southern Mississippi Planning & Development District, and The Peoples Bank.