Reynolds learned to volunteer from his mother, now serves the community

Published 10:31 am Sunday, November 26, 2023

Johnny Lee Reynolds, Sr. is a native son of Vicksburg and a lifelong advocate for his hometown. Reynolds has been in the healthcare industry for almost 30 years as a patient advocate.

He has worked as a patient care representative of Vicksburg Saint Joseph Hospice since 2019 and serves on the Merit Health River Region Hospital Quality Outcomes Committee.

Reynolds graduated from Mary Holmes Junior College and attended Hinds Community College where he played basketball. He has been married to Annie Reynolds for 19 years, and they are the parents of four children and several grandchildren.

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Reynolds and his family attend Pleasant Valley Missionary Baptist Church, where he serves as a deacon and a board trustee.
In his spare time, he enjoys community service, traveling and listening to live music.

As a volunteer, Reynolds has helped with the Miss Mississippi program for over 30 years, and was recognized in 2022 as the Mississippi Pageant Volunteer of the Year. He serves on the Miss Mississippi Pageant Board of Trustees and has helped prepare and accompany title holders on their journey to the national stage. In addition to the Miss Mississippi Pageant Board, Reynolds is heavily involved in the Vicksburg community serving on many more boards including the United Way of West Central Mississippi, Red Carpet Bowl and the Warren-Washington-Issaquena-Sharkey Community Action Agency (WWISCAA).
He has also served in leadership positions on the boards of the Vicksburg Port City Kiwanis (President) and the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors (Chairman).

As Chairman of the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, he has represented the tourism industry on the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors since 2021. Reynolds also has served on the RiverFest Music and Arts Festival Committee and has been involved with bringing musical acts to Vicksburg such as Bobby Rush, Wilson Pickett, Willie Clayton, Jason Aldean and Rick Springfield.

How long have you been volunteering with the organizations you serve?
Miss Mississippi Pageant,  more than 30 years; Port City Kiwanis, 10 years; Red Carpet Bowl Committee, 15 years; United Way, more than 30 years; and Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, six years.

What is your favorite memory while volunteering?
One of my favorite memories from serving as a volunteer with the Miss Mississippi program is riding in the Show Me Your Shoes parade with Miss Mississippi when the pageant was in New Jersey.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering in general?
Volunteerism is something my mother instilled in me and my four siblings at an early age. She would get us up in the morning time and instruct each one as to how we could help the neighbors. It may not have always been something a child was interested in doing, but I always followed through with the task. I continue to help out and give back to this day. It can give you a sense of accomplishment when you see things come together and I love trying to make Vicksburg the best it can be.

What are some of the tasks you’ve performed while volunteering?
As a board member and volunteer for the Miss Mississippi program, I have done everything from making sure people are getting their photos done to assisting with the parade lineup for the Miss Mississippi Parade. There is a lot that goes into the production of the Miss Mississippi competition and you have to be willing to step into any role that you may be needed. As the chairman of the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, I serve on the Chamber Board as the tourism spokesman. I’ve attended planning meetings to help increase visitation in the city and have appointed committees from our board of directors to assist in carrying out the goals of the tourism bureau.

What have you learned from volunteering?
You can always get things accomplished more quickly and more thoroughly when you work with a great team. Surrounding yourself with a great team allows you to achieve the impossible.

How can someone else who might be interested in volunteering get involved?
There are so many ways to volunteer in Vicksburg. United Way is even working on a program that is just for community volunteers who want to get involved. I would start with United Way. If there is a specific interest in tourism or the pageant or Red Carpet Bowl, then just reach out. All of the organizations that I am involved with are always eager to entertain help from volunteers.

If there is a volunteer who should be featured, please submit their name and contact information to volunteer@vicksburgpost.com