Jerry DeFatta, associate director for external affairs for the Southern Miss Alumni Association, has been promoted to the role of executive director.
DeFatta, who has been an employee of the University of Southern Mississippi for nearly five years, replaced Bob Pierce July 1. Pierce, who has served as executive director of the association for 12 years, has been named the university’s vice president for advancement. The position increases Pierce’s responsibilities to include oversight of the University Foundation as well as the Alumni Association.
As executive director, DeFatta will lead the association’s 11-person staff, manage the overall administration of the organization and serve as secretary and treasurer of the association’s board of directors.
DeFatta was recommended for hire to university President Martha Saunders by a 17-person selection committee, led by incoming association president Randy Pope and comprised of alumni, faculty, staff, students and community leaders.
Prior to joining the staff of the Alumni Association, DeFatta was employed with the Cintas Corporation, an Ohio-based uniform and facility service company, where he held various positions serving as a sales representative, service manager and plant manager.
He is a member of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Hattiesburg Sertoma Club.
DeFatta and his wife, Bethanie, currently reside in Petal with their daughters, Eva Marie and Ella Katherine.