President of the Board of Trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning Robin Robinson has passed the gavel to incoming president Ed Blakeslee at a Board meeting held today in Jackson. Blakeslee will officially take the seat on April 1. Blakeslee was appointed to the IHL Board of Trustees by former Gov. Haley Barbour in May 2004. His term will expire in May 2015.
Blakeslee received a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Mississippi State University and completed accounting courses from the University of Southern Mississippi. He retired as vice president of Mississippi Power Company, where he worked since 1965. He served as vice president of the company from 1984 until retirement. Prior to his position as vice president, Blakeslee served as an assistant engineer, manager of financial services, chief accounting officer and division director.
Before beginning his career with Mississippi Power Company, Blakeslee served in the United States Army.
Blakeslee is a member and past president of the Kiwanis Club of Gulfport. He has served as a member of the adjunct accounting faculty at the University of Southern Mississippi, Gulf Park Campus, past president of the Mississippi State Port Authority at Gulfport, past president of Leadership Gulf Coast and past executive vice president of the Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce. Blakeslee has also served on the Southern Miss Business Advisory Board, the Mississippi State University Engineering Advisory Board and the Community Concert Board. He is currently serving as chairman of the Wolf River Conservation Society.
Blakeslee is a registered professional engineer and a certified public accountant in the state.
He is married to the former Marilyn Moore. They have two daughters and three granddaughters.
Robinson, appointed as a trustee by Barbour in 2004 to represent the Southern Supreme Court District and whose term expires in May 2015, serves as the director of organization development and corporate communication at Sanderson Farms Inc., a position she has held since 2000. She has worked for the Laurel-based poultry company in a variety of roles since her graduation from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1978. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting from Southern Miss.
Robinson is very active in the community and across the state. She serves as chairman of the M.B. Swayze Educational Foundation and serves on the board of directors for the Jones County Junior College Foundation, the United Way of the Pine Belt and the American Lung Association, Mississippi Chapter. She serves on the University of Southern Mississippi Business Advisory Council and is a governor-appointed member of the Mississippi Supreme Court Judicial Advisory Student Committee. She also served on the Governor’s Commission for Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal after Hurricane Katrina struck the Mississippi Gulf Coast in August 2005.