Before he was even elected, Gov. Haley Barbour said he believed government should be run like a business.
A glance at his most recent appointments to the Board of Trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning reveals that belief is as strong as ever. A businessman, an accountant, an attorney with an accounting background and a doctor now wait for Senate confirmation before they can begin their 10-year terms in May.
Barbour said in introducing his appointments that he wanted College Board members who would have no difficulty dealing with and managing large sums of money.
“I want people who could serve on the board of a Fortune 500 company,” the governor said, adding he spends more time mulling over these appointments than he does any other. Headed for what is expected to be almost certain confirmation by the Senate are:
• Representing the 1st (Central) Supreme Court District, C.D. Smith Jr. is a regional manager with AT&T in Meridian. He is chairman of the board of trustees for Meridian Community College; chairman of the board of directors of the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Institute; and ,a member of the Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) Commission. Smith is on the Columbus-Lowndes Industrial Development Corporation’s board and also serves on the board of governors for the Mississippi Economic Council.
Smith attended Mississippi State University (MSU), where he earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in business administration. A member of the Air National Guard, Smith previously served on the national board of directors of the MSU Alumni Association.
• Christy Pickering, a certified public accountant, is owner of Christy Pickering CPA, where she has worked since 1991. A resident of Biloxi, Pickering will serve as an IHL Board member from the 2nd Supreme Court District. Within her community, Pickering serves as a director of Hancock Bank and Hancock Holding Company; as a member of the board of directors for Mississippi Power Company and Gulf Coast Renaissance Corporation; and, is past chairman of the board of trustees for Gulf Coast Medical Center. Pickering is a past member of the Biloxi Development Commission and was the Small Business Accountant Advocate for the State of Mississippi in 1996.
An honors graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, Pickering holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration. In 2006, she was a member of the University of Southern Mississippi’s Presidential Transition Team.
• Alan W. Perry, a founding partner of the Foreman Perry Watkins Krutz & Tardy law firm in Jackson, represents the 1st Supreme Court District. Perry is a trustee of the Robert M. Hearin Foundation and Support Foundations, which are charitable organizations that work to support Mississippi colleges and universities. Listed as a “Leading Lawyer” in Chambers USA, Perry is also listed in The Best Lawyers in America for three categories: business litigation; corporate law; and, “bet the company” litigation.
Perry graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from the University of Mississippi. He earned a law degree from Harvard Law School, where he was editor and senior editor of the Harvard Law Review and had the highest GPA in his graduating class. Perry is a former member of the board of visitors of Harvard Law School and the Mississippi College School of Law.
• Dr. Douglas W. Rouse of Hattiesburg will represent the 2nd Supreme Court District. He is licensed by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the American Medical Association and the State of Mississippi. Rouse is partner at Southern Bone and Joint Specialists, where he has practiced since 1998. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, Rouse holds a bachelor’s degree of science, and earned a doctor of medicine degree from the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He is a member of the Area Development Partnership board and serves on the University of Southern Mississippi Athletic Foundation.
Understanding the role
Smith said he will approach his duties on the College Board like he does a business’s board of directors.
“What is common between them is knowing the role of the board and dealing with policy,” he said.
Pickering was quick to point out that, although she has not yet attended a meeting of the College Board, she plans to apply the principles of running a business to her new position.
“I do believe (the College Board) should be run like a business,” she said. “I believe directors should be directors.”
Contact MBJ staff writer Clay Chandler at clay.chandler@ msbusiness.com .