HATTIESBURG — Jervis Mims of Hattiesburg was recently inducted into the Mississippi Housing Hall of Fame, the highest honor given by the Home Builders Association of Mississippi.
Mims, a graduate of Forrest County AHS in Brooklyn, attended the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) and served in the United States Naval Reserve from 1952-1960. He grew up around the building business, working with his uncle, who was a local builder, while still in high school.
A pioneer in establishing the Home Builders Association chapter at the local and state levels, his legacy in the home building industry started in the 1950s when he worked as a carpenter, and established Mims Real Estate and Construction in Hattiesburg in 1957.
In 1962, Mims was a charter member of what is now known as the Greater Hattiesburg Home Builders Association, serving as secretary, vice president and as president four times. In 1971, he served as secretary/treasurer of HBAM, vice president the following year and president in 1973. That same year, he was included in the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Lifetime Spike Hall of Fame and is an NAHB lifetime board of directors member and a Life Spike. Also in 1973, NAHB presented Mims with an Honor Award for Outstanding Achievement in Membership Development at their national Convention. In 1980, he was again recognized by the NAHB as membership chairman and in 1984 as a designated lifetime national director.
In 1977 and again in 1985, the Hattiesburg Area Home Builders Association named Mims their Builder of the Year.
In 1968, Mims was appointed to the Forrest County AHS School Board, and in 1970 was appointed by Gov. John Bell Williams to the Forrest County School Board for a six-year term. He received a Service Award from the Forrest County School Board in 1976. In 1998, he was appointed by the Forrest County Board of Supervisors to the Forrest County Park Commission and served until 2001. During his service on this board, numerous industrial prospects were recruited which created hundreds of jobs in the Hattiesburg community.
Mims always promoted the importance of professional development opportunities and strong ethical standards for area builders. His vision for an ethical, professional membership was demonstrated by his efforts in the creation of the Construction Technology Program at USM.