More Than a Night of Entertainment – HCHRA’s 2017 Awards & Recognition Gala

More than a night of food and dancing.  More than a night of speaking and awards. More than a night of black-tie elegance and entertainment.  Hinds County Human Resource Agency’s 23rd Annual Awards and Recognition Gala held on Friday, September 29, 2017 at the Jackson Marriott Hotel, was much, much, more.

Why? Because it involved the community.  ‘Helping families, strengthening communities’ is the cornerstone of  Hinds County Human Resource Agency (HCHRA), and helping Hinds County advance continues to be one of HCHRA’s main goals. Caring about the citizens and providing life-changing opportunities through the services HCHRA offers is what made the Gala more…much, much, more.  It is HCHRA’s annual signature event, which helps to provide critical matching funds for several services such as home-delivered meals, congregate meal sites, and Hinds County rural public transportation.  This year’s gala was especially significant, as it was also part of the Agency’s 40th year anniversary celebrations being held throughout the year.

The keynote address was provided by Ms. Denise Harlow, CEO of the National Community Action Partnership in Washington, D.C.  Harlow encouraged the Agency to keep its feet to the mission of helping families and strengthening communities, as she continues to champion the work and impact of the nation’s Community Action Agencies around the country.

Dr. Jessie Primer III, Saxophonist, provided superb entertainment that was as excellent as the great food served up by the Marriott as everyone shared in the festive night.  Yet, it was even more than that.  The Gala provided an opportunity to create awareness about its programs and services; to celebrate clients who transitioned out of poverty to self-sufficiency; and to honor volunteers and community partners who worked with the Agency throughout the year to help eradicate poverty and provide a better life for more than 65,000 low-income citizens throughout Hinds County.

It was more, because it involved HCHRA sponsors.  HCHRA President and CEO Kenn Cockrell remarks, “If not for the unwavering support of sponsors to help HCHRA empower disadvantaged Hinds County citizens to become self-reliant and realize their full potential, the task would be insurmountable.”  The 2017 Gala was made possible by BankPlus (Platinum Sponsor); Mississippi Group Marketing, PA and The Mississippi Link (Gold Sponsors); Kenn Cockrell & Family, along with C Spire (Silver Sponsors); Entergy, HCHRA Board of Directors, Jackson Advocate, Patty Peck Honda, Phelps Dunbar, and Watkins, Ward & Stafford, PLLC (Bronze Sponsors); and valued friends, Atmos Energy, M3A Architecture, PLLC, Vera Butler and Chelsea Luster, Mississippi Development Authority, HCHRA Advisory Committee, Walker & Son, Jackson Memorial Funeral Service, WEM Consulting Group, WWISCAA, and David Knight & Natasha Phillips, D.O.  Contributions made this year will go towards expanding programs and services in the upcoming year.  “Having strong corporate and community partners who are committed to the Agency’s efforts has made a tremendous difference in the lives of the children and families HCHRA serves.  We thank them for believing in the work we do,” said Cockrell.

It was more, because it involved HCHRA donors. Donor generosity was undeniably at the top of the charts! From must-haves to essentials, from dining to on-the-go, from dressing up to a night out, as well as remarkable artwork, generous donations in support of the HCHRA Awards & Recognition Gala’s silent auction, its first ever, helped to make the evening a grand affair.  Silent auction items included everything from tickets to Walt Disney World, to gift cards at local restaurants.  HCHRA thanks Office Products Plus, Penn’s, McAlister’s Deli, The Fairview Inn, Almeta Roberts, IP Casino Resort & Spa, Caesars Entertainment/Horseshoe Tunica Hotel & Casino, Kats Wine & Spirits, Walmart (Flowood), C Spire, MS Products, Inc., Staffers, TempStaff, M3A Architecture, PLLC, R.J. Young, Elkins Wholesale, Kendra Scott, Andrea Little, Marriott (Jackson), Hilton Garden Inn Jackson/Downtown, Heartwood, Aundrayeah Ramsey, Vera Butler, Jimmy Mumford, Kwame Braxton, Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi, Venture Technologies, Walt Disney World Company, Jessica Davis, and Jackson Data Products for their support.

It was more, because it involved HCHRA staff and volunteers. It is the mission of HCHRA to empower disadvantaged Hinds County citizens to become self-reliant and realize their full potential.  HCHRA employs nearly 400 people to carry out its mission.  In addition to the work performed by staff, last year, volunteers donated 678,592 hours to support the work of HCHRA.  “HCHRA has a very talented and dedicated group of staff members and volunteers,” said Cockrell.  “It is because of their untiring work ethic, commitment and support to advance the community that the Agency has successfully operated for forty continuous years.”

HCHRA’s 23rd Annual Awards & Recognition Gala was more than just a night of food and dance, or speaking and awards; it was much, much, more – it was to honor the work HCHRA has done over the past 40 years to make Hinds County a more prosperous community in which we are all afforded access and opportunities to education, employment, health, and safety.

To all of our staff, volunteers, friends and supporters who contributed in any way, HCHRA thanks you.

Each year, HCHRA honors individuals and organizations who help to further the mission of HCHRA, as well as those who work to help families and strengthen communities throughout Hinds County.

The following is a list of the 2017 awards and their recipients:

AWARD       RECIPIENT(S)
THE MEDGAR WILEY EVERS HUMANITARIAN AWARD

Presented to individual(s) whose work in and for the community during the year most closely personified the noble legacy of Medgar Wiley Evers.

  • Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Center
THE J. B. CARR COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD

Presented to the individual, organization or community group that has made the greatest contribution to the community during the year.

 

  • Alexis Harvey (posthumously)
  • Former Executive Directors of HCHRA/Community Service Association – among those honored were:
  • Benjamin Bradley
  • Rudolph Jackson
  • Charles Jones
THE BILL COOLEY AGENCY DEVELOPMENT AWARD

Presented to the individual or institution that has generated or provided substantial monetary and other resources during the year.

  • BankPlus
  • DeJohn Hampton
THE CEDRIC MORGAN/BETSY SMITH LEADERSHIP AWARD

Presented to the individual who has been the solid rock of support for the Agency because of his/her steady guidance and leadership during the year.

  • Ann Burton
  • David Knight
  • Chelsea Luster
THE AGENCY SUPPORT AWARD

Presented to the agencies, organizations or individuals that have contributed tremendous support to the Agency during the year.

  • Hinds County Board of Supervisors
  • Tina Ruffin, Division of Community Services, Mississippi Department of Human Services
THE VOLUNTEERS OF THE YEAR AWARD

Presented to individuals who unselfishly contributed their time and resources to the Agency in order to make a difference in the lives of the children and families served during the year.

  • Angela Burleigh
  • Wayne Goodwin
  • Gloria Green, Esq.
  • Nicole Martin
  • Cedric Morgan
  • Dr. Joeann Williams
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AWARD

Presented to the individual within Hinds County Human Resource Agency (Board, Policy Council or staff) who has served people and has met the mission of the Agency during the year.

  • Laura Patterson & Eulander Kendrick Head Start Center
  • Almeta Roberts & Mary C. Jones Head Start Center
  • Dr. LaTessa Long
  • Angelique Rawls
THE PRESIDENT & CEO AWARD

Presented by the President and CEO to the individual who has made outstanding contributions to the success of the Agency.

  •  Kathleen Williams-McGriggs

It’s Here! The 23rd Annual Awards & Recognition Gala – Friday, September 29, 2017

At Hinds County Human Resource Agency, our goal is to help families and strengthen communities.

The Annual Awards and Recognition Gala is Hinds County Human Resource Agency’s annual signature development event, which helps to provide critical matching funds for several services such as home-delivered meals, congregate meal sites, and Hinds County rural public transportation.

The featured keynote speaker for this year’s Gala will be Denise Harlow, Chief Executive Officer of the Community Action Partnership in Washington, DC.  Enjoy dinner, live music and dancing, entertainment, and a fabulous silent auction.  Cash and credit cards accepted.  Tickets are $75.

The Gala provides an important opportunity to create awareness about our programs and services; to celebrate our clients who have transitioned out of poverty to self-sufficiency; and to honor our volunteers and community partners who work with us throughout the year to help eradicate poverty and provide a better life for more than 65,000 low-income citizens throughout Hinds County.

Our programs and services would not be available without the invaluable support of our community and corporate partners.  With your gift, we can do more!

To make a donation or for more information on tickets, ads, and sponsorships, call 601-923-1838.

A Smashing Senior Awards Day!

“I don’t like instant grits!” were the words that bolted out of the mouth of anchorwoman Maggie Wade of WLBT News as she spoke to a lively crowd of about 45 seniors during the Senior Awards Day program held on July 12, 2017 at Mt. Wade Baptist Church in Terry, Mississippi.  “I’ve learned to laugh at myself.  I’ve learned to stay humble.  I’ve learned patience.  And I’ve learned to forgive and let it go.  When you get older, people think you are less useful.  Give our youth the right example.  You are still equipped to use the wisdom you have to reach out to the kids of today,” Ms. Wade continued.  She encouraged the seniors and let them know that there are things left for them to do.

The Senior Awards Day was an appreciation event hosted by Hinds County Human Resource Agency (HCHRA) for seniors in the Hinds County area.  Rural area sites convened together at Mt. Wade not only for opportunities to socialize, but to present awards for the Funniest Senior, the Best Dressed and the Senior of the Year.  To some, receiving an award was a very pleasant surprise.  HCHRA Neighborhood Service Center site managers who organized the awards program were Emma Welch – Mt. Wade Neighborhood Service Center site manager, Vivian Johnson – Edwards Neighborhood Service Center site manager, and Towanda Anderson – Fannie Jackson Neighborhood Service Center site manager.

Cornelius Beasley, assistant vice president of Community Programs and Services, states the purpose of the awards event was to show appreciation for our seniors in the Hinds County area and to create greater awareness about the programs and services HCHRA has available for seniors, especially in the rural parts of the county.  “We hope that seniors will see what we’re doing and realize they have a place to go to during the week to socialize, enjoy hot meals, and participate in fun, safe activities,” said Beasley.  HCHRA Neighborhood Service Centers are open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  Last year, HCHRA served more than 5,700 congregate meals to senior citizens at gathering sites throughout Hinds County where seniors met and participated in social activities.  The Congregate Meals Program is funded by the Mississippi Department of Human Services Division of Aging and Adult Services through the Central Mississippi Area Agency on Aging.  For more information about senior services and activities offered by HCHRA, call (601) 923-3930 or click here.

Mt. Wade Neighborhood Service Center Awards

Fannie Jackson Neighborhood Service Center Awards

Edwards Neighborhood Service Center Awards

HCHRA Managers Henderson and Long Complete Spring 2017 PML Program

Tarsha Henderson, Deputy Chief Financial Officer (second from left) and Dr. LaTessa Long, Children’s Services Director (next to Henderson), are pictured with other public and nonprofit managers who participated in the Public Management and Leadership Certificate Program.

Hinds County Human Resource Agency managers Tarsha Henderson and Dr. LaTessa Long completed the Public Management and Leadership (PML) Certificate Program at Jackson State University’s Institute of Government (IOG) in the spring of 2017.

The 16-week-long program provided intensive, comprehensive techniques on management skills.  When asked about the purpose and impact of the PML Program, Dr. Long stated it provided middle management staff with the necessary tools to become more effective leaders within their organizations.  Role playing and conflict resolution provided Dr. Long with beneficial opportunities to see different aspects of management and how she could immediately utilize those practices. Caliber professors such as Hinds County Circuit Clerk Eddie Jean Carr, former Mayor of the City of Jackson Harvey Johnson, Attorney Will Simpson from the Governor’s office, Assistant District Attorney Terry Wallace, and other leaders in government conducted the 16-week-long sessions.

Dr. Long says she has already implemented the direct methods and skills she gained at the PML program to advance her department and also plans to use these skills for team meetings and the new Head Start school year.

Ms. Henderson says the training and interactive course modules certainly help to improve leadership skills that aid in managing day-to-day operations, resolving issues, and promoting efficiency.  She plans to apply the knowledge gained to help her department operate more effectively and efficiently and will encourage her peers to do the same.

For more information about the Center for Public Management and Leadership, contact the Jackson State University Institute of Government at 601-979-2339.

HCHRA Held Community Action Partnership Banquet in Honor of National Community Action Month

Nearly 300 area residents, community and business leaders gathered at the Hilton Jackson Hotel on May 19, 2017, for the Community Action Partnership (CAP) Banquet hosted by Hinds County Human Resource Agency (HCHRA) in honor of their 40th year of service to the community. The event celebrated individuals who embody the mission of HCHRA, and featured a banquet dinner, entertainment, an awards ceremony, and an inspirational keynote address.

In addition to being a part of HCHRA’s 40th year anniversary celebration, the CAP Banquet was held in recognition of National Community Action Month, which is observed by Community Action Agencies all across America for the entire month of May. HCHRA is a part of a state and a national coalition of Community Action Agencies whose goal is to help low-income families move out of poverty and achieve economic security.

HCHRA honored six individuals who, with the individualized assistance of HCHRA, overcame tremendous odds and significantly challenging life situations.  The Bootstrap Award winners this year were Jennifer Cole, Alicia Darden, Sharleo Griffith, Brittney Knox, Stephanie & Malcolm Thompson, and Shasondria Wise.

Rev. C. Edward Rhodes, II, pastor of Mt. Helm Baptist Church in Jackson, delivered an inspirational message about perseverance and achievement, even when the odds are stacked against you. Ms. Erin Pickens, morning anchor for 16 WAPT News in Jackson, was the Mistress of Ceremonies for the evening, and entertainment was provided by world-renowned saxophonist, Dr. Jessie Primer III.  HCHRA was also honored to have members of the Jim Hill High School JROTC serve as hosts for the event.  Hand-made table centerpieces were provided by HCHRA Head Start students and staff.

Board of Directors Vice Chairman Trent Walker Presents Bootstrap Award to Jennifer Cole

Bootstrap Award Presented to Sharleo Griffith (center) by Director of Children’s Services Dr. LaTessa Long (left) and Vice Chairman Walker

Bootstrap Award Presented to Malcom and Stephanie Thompson

Bootstrap Award Winner Shasondria Wise (center) with Vice Chairman Walker and Asst. Vice President for the Department of Community Programs Cornelius Beasley (right)

Bootstrap Award Presented to Alicia Darden (center)

Chairman of the Board Ann Burton with Keynote Speaker

EVP/COO David Knight Recognizes Guests

HCHRA Hosts Community Action Partnership Banquet on May 19th in Honor of National Community Action Month

In celebration of 40 years of service to the community, Hinds County Human Resource Agency (HCHRA) will host the Community Action Partnership (CAP) Banquet on Friday, May 19, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. at the Hilton Jackson Hotel.  The evening will feature an awards ceremony and an inspirational keynote address from Rev. C. Edward Rhodes II, pastor of Mt. Helm Baptist Church in Jackson.

In addition to being a part of HCHRA’s 40th year anniversary celebration, the CAP Banquet is being held in recognition of National Community Action Month, which is observed by Community Action Agencies all across America for the entire month of May. HCHRA is a part of a state and a national coalition of Community Action Agencies whose goal is to help low-income families move out of poverty and achieve economic security.  HCHRA is the largest Community Action Agency in central Mississippi, serving more than 20,000 individuals last year in Hinds County alone.

More than 300 tickets have already been sold for the CAP Banquet.  The event will kick off with a banquet dinner, and will feature the musical styling of world-renowned saxophonist, Dr. Jessie Primer III. The Mistress of Ceremonies for the night will be Ms. Erin Pickens, morning anchor for 16 WAPT News in Jackson.  Though the festivities are sure to please, the highlight of the evening will undeniably be the presentation of the Bootstrap Awards.  The Bootstrap Awards are presented to members of the community who, with the individualized assistance of HCHRA, have overcome tremendous odds and significantly challenging life situations.  “HCHRA is proud of its Bootstrap Award recipients, all of whom exemplify hard work and determination,” said Kenn Cockrell, president and CEO of Hinds County Human Resource Agency.  “Their personal and professional accomplishments have truly set them apart, and they exemplify the mission of HCHRA – to help empower disadvantaged Hinds County citizens to become self-reliant and realize their full potential.”

Cockrell went on to explain that Community Action Month is an ideal time for HCHRA to honor and celebrate the impact Community Action has in the lives of families and communities across the country. “Agencies like ours do good work and are successful every day in helping families achieve economic security.  Community Action understands that each community and each family are unique, and it provides a range of resources and programs to meet local needs in creative and impactful ways,” stated Cockrell.

This year, HCHRA will educate 1,910 children through the Head Start Program and assist hundreds of individuals obtain employment.  Some of the other services offered by HCHRA include education assistance, home energy bill payment assistance, congregate meals for seniors and home-delivered meals for those who are home-bound because of age or a disability.

To learn more about HCHRA’s programs and services, please visit www.hchra.org.  For more information on how to purchase tickets for the CAP Banquet, or to find out how you can support HCHRA’s work to move families out of poverty, call (601) 923-1938.

HCHRA Appreciates Its Employees for 40 Years of Continuous Service

To kick off its celebration of 40 years of operations, Hinds County Human Resource Agency (HCHRA) held a company-wide Employee Fun Field Day on March 13, 2017, at the Jamie Fowler Boyll Park in Jackson, Mississippi.

HCHRA planned the event for its nearly 400 employees as a way to say thank you for contributing to the agency’s successful operation and impact to the community over the last 40 years.  HCHRA President and CEO Kenn Cockrell explained that the agency operates federally funded programs such as Head Start and Community Services Block Grant, which are highly regulated and held to strict standards of performance.  “There is no way we could have made it to our fortieth year of operation without employees who work daily in a spirit of excellence,” said Cockrell.  “Saying thank you in a meaningful way shows our employees that we truly value their contributions.”

“This is a great place to work,’’ said Roger Lutrell, vice president for planning and development.  “I have only been with this agency for three months now, and already, they have surpassed my expectations.  I work directly in administration and I see firsthand the love and care that’s put into employees.’’

In spite of chilly temperatures, employees had a great time at the HCHRA Employee Fun Field Day.  They played games such a bingo, Uno, and musical chairs, and enjoyed burgers, hot dogs and chicken fresh from the grill, prepared by HCHRA executives with the assistance of Central Office staff.

The Employee Fun Field Day was the first of several events to be held to commemorate HCHRA’s 40 years of service to the community.  Details about upcoming events will be provided each month on the agency’s website.

VP for Planning and Development Roger Lutrell and EVP/COO David Knight prepared grilled hot dogs, burgers and chicken for almost 400 employees.

HCHRA staff enjoyed the day out…

There was dancing…

Good food…

Games…

Prizes…

Musical chairs…

And laughter…

About HCHRA

HCHRA is a public non-profit community action agency dedicated to helping families and strengthening communities.  For 40 years, HCHRA has built its solid reputation in eradicating poverty by empowering disadvantaged Hinds County citizens to become self-reliant and realize their full potential.  Through Head Start, Early Head Start, congregate and home-delivered meals, home energy assistance, rural transportation, case management, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Earned Income Tax Credit Programs, HCHRA continues to improve the conditions of children, families, single adults, the elderly and citizens with disabilities throughout Hinds County.  More detailed information on HCHRA programs and services is available here on our website.

HCHRA Executive Featured in the Mississippi Business Journal

Hinds County Human Resource Agency’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer David Knight was featured in the March 16, 2017 edition of the Mississippi Business Journal for completing Jackson State University’s Institute of Government’s (IOG) 16-week Public Management and Leadership (PML) Certificate Program.

Click here to read the article and learn more about the PML Certificate Program.

David Knight (center) receives PML Program certificate from Dr. William “Marty” Wiseman, PML Director, and Dr. Otha Burton, IOG Executive Director.