President Elect
Immediate Past President
Executive Secretary

Dr. Colin McKenzie is an educator, conductor, and music administrator, currently serving as Director of the School of Music and Conductor of the Symphonic Winds at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS.

Before moving into an administrative role at The University of Southern Mississippi, McKenzie served as Associate Director of Bands, Associate Professor of Music, and Director of the Pride of Mississippi at the same institution.  He conducted the Symphonic Winds, administered all facets of the comprehensive athletic band program, taught course work in conducting, and assisted in student teacher preparation and observation.

Prior to his appointment at the University of Southern Mississippi, Dr. McKenzie served as Associate Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands at Georgia Southern University.  At Georgia Southern, he directed and administered all facets of the Southern Pride Marching Band and Hoop Troop Athletic Bands.  He also served as conductor of the Georgia Southern University Wind Symphony, founding conductor of the University Band, and taught graduate conducting and marching band techniques within the Department of Music.

Before teaching at Georgia Southern, McKenzie was on the faculty at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he was assistant director and, later, acting director of the Golden Wave Band, conducted the concert band, co-conducted the symphonic band, and taught undergraduate courses in music education and conducting.  In addition to his duties within the University Bands, McKenzie also served as Associate Conductor of the Waco Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Dr. McKenzie holds the Bachelor in Music Education from Valdosta State University, the Master of Music in Conducting from Baylor University, and the Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from Michigan State University.  His primary conducting teachers are Dr. Kevin Sedatole and Dr. Joe Brashier.  His professional affiliations include the College Band Directors National Association, the Mississippi Bandmasters Association, honorary membership in Tau Beta Sigma and Kappa Kappa Psi, and membership in Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

Lynn Walton presided over the meeting. Mark Killingsworth provided the opening prayer. Matt Rumph led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Lynn led the club in the Four Way Test. The meeting was held at the Holiday Inn in Hattiesburg and via Zoom.
Lynn thanked club members for showing up, volunteering, and making this year a success for our club. She noted that the new officers and directors for the coming year will be installed at today’s meeting.
Lynn then presented the award winners for 2021-2022.
Presentation of the Milam S. “Sonny 34” Cotton New Rotarian Award
Awarded to a dedicated Rotarian who has been a member of the club for less than three years. This award is named for Dr. Milam “Sonny 34” Cotton, a dedicated Rotarian who lived to serve. Dr. Cotton was the last member of this club to rise to the level of District Governor. For his eagerness and enthusiasm in taking on club responsibilities, this year’s New Rotarian Award goes to Coty Primeaux.
Presentation of “The Bill Gwyn Non-Rotarian Service Award”
Our club’s best attempt to look beyond our membership. It is our opportunity to recognize someone from our region who exemplifies our club’s values, our commitment to service, and the empowerment of those less fortunate. This year the Bill Gwyn Non-Rotarian Service Award goes to Mavis Creagh. Although Mavis is now a Rotarian, the award was presented to her for her work throughout the community before becoming a Rotarian.
Presentation of “The Joe Spell Spirit of Rotary Award”
The Joe Spell Spirit of Rotary Award” is presented to a club member for their service not only to the Rotary Club of Hattiesburg, but to the community as well. This honor is named for Hattiesburg Rotarian, Joe Spell, who displayed a consistent, enthusiastic passion for the Rotary Club of Hattiesburg and Rotary International. Joe was often heard to say, “Being a member of Rotary is not the same as being a Rotarian”. This year’s Joe Spell Spirit of Rotary Award goes to Mark Killingsworth.
Presentation of the “T.C. Hannah Rotarian of the Year”
The T.C. Hannah Rotarian of the Year Award is given in recognition of a Rotarian for outstanding service and unwavering dedication to the Rotary Club of Hattiesburg. T.C. Hannah was a charter member and the first president of the Rotary Club of Hattiesburg. Through serving on the board of directors, management of our Clubs involvement with the Rotary International Foundation and taking care of things that often go unnoticed, this Rotarian does it all. This year the T.C. Hannah Rotarian of the Year is Matt Rumph.
The 2022-2023 Officers and Directors were then sworn in by Lynn. Mallory Donald will be the club president. Other board members for the coming year include Lucy Sanguinetti, Ryan Kelly, Stew Deen, Mark Killingsworth, Matt Rumph, Katie Anthony, Bill McLeod, and Mike Ratliff. Stew Deen will be the Sergeant at Arms.
Mark Killingsworth has volunteered to chair the membership committee. He encouraged each member to recruit just one new member throughout the coming year.
There being no further business to come before the club, Lynn adjourned the meeting with our motto: “Service Above Self.”  

Akwete Muhammad is responsible for outreach to the broader community and recruiting volunteers that support the mission of Pine Belt Habitat. She assists in grant writing, serves as project manager for fundraising events, is responsible for press releases, and maintains a constant social media presence. She also assists Pine Belt Habitat in offering families, sustainable and affordable housing solutions throughout the Pine Belt Area.

Akwete is a current member of the ADP’s Leadership Pinebelt Class of 2022. She is a recipient of the class of 2022, Mississippi Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 for business leaders. Akwete is a proud member of Pine Belt Young Professionals (PBYP). She is also a chair for the United Way of SEMS Economic Mobility Council. She prides herself on being involved in her community and pushing the mantle of increasing the quality of life for families across the Pine Belt Area.

Akwete is a proud graduate of Tupelo High, and she attended the University of Mississippi as a Bio-Chemistry Pre-Med Major. In her spare time, she enjoys basketball, cooking, reading, traveling, art, and binge-watching Netflix. She also has two amazing parents who are veterans of the United States Army. She has two siblings, a younger sister and a twin brother.

Lynn Walton presided over the meeting. Ryan Kelly provided the opening prayer. Mavis Creagh led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Lynn led the club in the Four Way Test. The meeting was held at the Holiday Inn in Hattiesburg and via Zoom.
Lynn thanked those who showed up for the workday at Wesley Manor. She noted that the project exceeded what was budgeted and encouraged members to purchase raffle tickets to help offset the expense. The drawing for the raffle will occur at the end of today’s meeting.
Lynn also announced that the awards program and the officer installation ceremony is scheduled for June 24. She encouraged members to contact past presidents and invite them to the ceremony.
Lynn then introduced today’s guest speaker, Sandy Middleton who is the Executive Director of the Center for Violence Prevention. The Center is a non-profit organization in Mississippi designed to combat domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking while serving those effected by these acts of violence.
Human Trafficking is the use of force, fraud, or coercion to control another person for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or soliciting labor or services against his/her will. Force, fraud, or coercion does not need to be present if the individual engaging in commercial sex is under 18 years of age. Sandy says the Center has five rapid response teams across the state to respond to human trafficking issues. The Center also operates the Tower. It provides voluntary services to identified victims of trafficking through its multidisciplinary professionals and community partners to achieve safety, recovery, and restoration. Participation in the program is voluntary and requires consent, active participation, and adherence to the established guidelines for the safety and well-being of all clients and staff. Victims can participate in Tower programs for up to two years.
Sandy noted that only ten rape cases were successfully prosecuted in Mississippi last year, far below the average in other states. In 2021 the Center housed 105 human trafficking victims. They counselled 105 victims through their outreach program and had 188 rapid responses.
The target age of girls in our state for human trafficking is 14 – 16. About 99% of the buyers are males.
Lynn thanked Sandy for this update. A drawing was held for the raffle basket. Mark Killingsworth was the winner.
There being no further business to come before the club, Lynn adjourned the meeting with our motto: “Service Above Self.”  
Hattiesburg Rotary

We meet In Person
Tuesdays at 12:00 PM
Holiday Inn Hattiesburg–North
6553 US HWY 49
Hattiesburg, MS 39401
United States of America
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Upcoming Speakers
Colin McKenzie
Jul 07, 2022
Director of the School of Music, Conductor of the Symphonic Winds - USM
Akwete Muhammad
Jul 12, 2022
Habitat for Humanity of the Pine Belt