Hawkins, Tullos win top 2 United Way awards

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 25, 2002

Kim Tullos, general manager of Isle of Capri Casino, right, smiles as she looks at her United Way Volunteer of the Year Award presented by United Way President Barbara Tolliver Thursday night. At left, board chairman Bryan Brabston, left, presents the Leadership Award to Rusty Hawkins.(The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

[02/22/02]Russell E. “Rusty” Hawkins and Kim Tullos received two of the top awards from the United Way of West Central Mississippi at the organization’s awards banquet Thursday night.

In addition, Abraham Green of International Paper’s Vicksburg Mill was installed as the United Way board chairman for 2002, succeeding Bryan Brabston in the top volunteer post for the combined charity campaign.

Hawkins, managing partner with May & Co., received the Leadership Award, and Tullos, the general manager of the Isle of Capri Casino, received the Volunteer of the Year Award.

Hawkins has worked with the local United Way for more than 30 years and served in many, if not all, of the positions held by volunteers. He served as chairman of the board in 1979 and again in 1998, as campaign chairman in 1991. His year in charge of the campaign was the first year the local United Way campaign raised more than $1 million. In addition to his activities with United Way, Hawkins is president of the board of the YMCA, vice chairman of the Economic Development Foundation and will serve his second term as chairman in 2003. He has been president of the Vicksburg Jaycees, Vicksburg Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce.

In introducing Tullos, United Way President Barbara Tolliver said under her leadership the more than 600 employees of the Isle of Capri responded to the United Way’s needs not only with financial contributions but with contributions of their time.

In remarks during the evening, Tolliver said the United Way is taking on a changing role in the community.

“We feel we are taking on a new role as a business and a community service in that the organization is responsible for the business of community work,” she said.

Tolliver said the United Way intends to continue to focus on its missions and goals, to get to know its customers better, to be visible all year and not just during campaigns and to continue to be accountable to the donors and proclaim honesty.

“Technology and competition have made it necessary for the United Way to move from paternalism to partnerships, from annual work plans to multiyear strategies, from exclusiveness to inclusiveness, from selling to marketing, from obligation to opportunity and from process to product,” Tolliver said.

Other awards presented were:

Corporation of the Year: Entergy Operations, Grand Gulf Nuclear Station.

Coordinator of the Year: Scott Smith, Johnny Reynolds, Dr. Shawn Panzer and Cecil Russell from River Region Health Systems.

Combined Federal Campaign Volunteer of the Year: Missy Arnold.

Allocations Volunteer of the Year: Judy Monroe and Charlie Bennett.

Teen Volunteer of the Year: Rebecca Harden and Bern Ebersole.

In addition to Green, the other United Way officers are Steve Wagner, first vice chairman; Bryan Brabston, immediate past chairman; and Cindy Howington, treasurer.

The directors who will be serving a three-year term are: Wayne Cummins, Dr. Kimberly Winters, Dr. Brian Shockley, Paul Winfield, Jamee Carter and Leslie Murrell. The directors who will serve a second term are Pat Cashman, Terri Cosey, David Cox, William Eaton, Curt Follmer, Briggs Hopson III, William Lauderdale Jr., Joe Osborne, Steve Wagner and Steve Wyman.

Last fall’s campaign raised $1,701,251 for 23 member agencies in the Vicksburg area through individual and corporate gifts and pledges from workers’ paychecks.