Over 400 area residents, community and business leaders gathered at the Jackson Marriott Hotel on September 23, 2016, to celebrate Hinds County Human Resource Agency’s 22nd Annual Awards and Recognition Gala.
The annual gala brought supporters from across the state to celebrate individuals who are living out the mission of Hinds County Human Resource Agency (HCHRA) to empower disadvantaged citizens to become self-reliant and realize their full potential and to acknowledge those who have given of their time and resources to make that mission possible.
The Bootstrap Award was presented to six individuals who, with HCHRA resources and great personal effort, overcame challenging life situations and achieved great accomplishments.
HCHRA also presented the following awards to individuals and organizations for their community service and Agency support: Medgar Evers Humanitarian Award – presented to BankPlus for its commitment to supporting low-income initiatives; J.B. Carr Community Service Award – presented to Hope House and Midtown Partners; Volunteers of the Year Award – presented to Alexis Harvey (Head Start Policy Council member), Shamsie Ruffin (Head Start Policy Council member), Keishawna Smith (Head Start Policy Council Chairman) and the Hinds County Human Resource Agency Advisory Committee; Agency Support Award – presented to the Hinds County Board of Supervisors and the Mary C. Jones Head Start Center staff (Ms. Almeta Roberts, Center Administrator); Bill Cooley Agency Development Award – presented to Angelique Rawls (Director of Communications and Development); Board of Directors Award – presented to Ann Burton (Chairman of the Board) and DeJohn Hampton (Board of Directors Development Committee Chairman); Cedric Morgan/Betsy Smith Team Leadership Award – presented to David Knight (Executive Vice President & COO) and Kathleen Williams-McGriggs (Senior VP, Administrative & Board Services); the President & CEO Award – presented to Dewayne Frederick (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services – Atlanta, Georgia) and Johnny Donaldson (President, BankPlus – Jackson).
Corporate partners recognized for their support included BankPlus, M3A Architecture, The Mississippi Link, Mississippi Group Marketing, Phelps Dunbar, Jackson Advocate, AT&T, Atmos Energy, C Spire, Entergy Mississippi, Hinds CAP Lions Club, Institute of Government at Jackson State University, Jackson Memorial Funeral Service, Mississippi Development Authority, Risk Management Partners, Shady Grove M.B. Church, Walker & Son, and Watkins Ward & Stafford.
“Hinds County Human Resource Agency has been serving the community for more than 39 years,” said Kenn Cockrell, HCHRA president and CEO. “Because of a dedicated staff and strong community support, we have been able to improve the quality of life for thousands of Hinds County residents, including almost 2,000 children, daily. The gala is our opportunity to celebrate those who work tirelessly and give so generously to help create positive change in our communities.”
Mr. Johnny Donaldson, president of BankPlus – Jackson, served as keynote speaker for the gala and delivered an inspiring message on the importance of faith, family, education and hard work in order to succeed against all odds. Ms. Joy Redmond, weekday morning anchor for WLBT 3 On Your Side, served as emcee. Entertainment was provided by world renowned saxophonist, Dr. Jessie Primer III.
Joy Redmond, WLBT 3 Weekday Morning News Anchor, served as Mistress of Ceremonies
HCHRA Chief Operating Officer David Knight presents award to
Keynote Speaker Johnny Donaldson,
President of BankPlus Jackson
Head Start students created centerpieces for each of the banquet tables.