The HUB Award for 2011 has honored two of Hattiesburg’s outstanding professionals. Healthcare professional Bill Ray and attorney Percy Watson were honored their contributions to the community, commitment to excellence and dedication to public service.
Ray has served as executive director of the Northeast Mississippi Regional Medical Center in Clarksdale; president and CEO, Wesley Health Systems Inc., Hattiesburg; and, presently president and CEO of the Asbury Foundation of Hattiesburg Inc. He is a Life Fellow of the American College of Health Care Executives. Additionally he has represented the Fifth Congressional District on the Mississippi State Board of Health; served the Mississippi Blue Cross/Blue Shield board of directors as chairman for nine years and vice chairman for six years. He has served as president of the Mississippi Hospital Association, and served as a regent for the Mississippi Affiliates of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Ray is currently on the Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport Authority Board, board of directors of William Carey University, a Rotarian and on the board of directors of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes of the Pine Belt.
Ray is a graduate of Mississippi State University and Delta State University, receiving a bachelor of science and a diploma in hospital administration from the University of Alabama in Birmingham.
Ray is married to Charlotte (Chalie) Carroll Ray, Miss Mississippi 1962, and they have two daughters, Robin D’Nev Martin, wife of Trae Martin, residing in Hickory, N.C., and Jennifer Keri Galey, wife of Roman Galey, of Hattiesburg. The Rays have eight grandchildren.
Watson, a native of Hattiesburg, is an attorney and member of the Mississippi House of Representatives. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in political science in 1972. His undergraduate degree was awarded with special honors and he was inducted in the Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. Pursuing further study at the University Of Iowa College Of Law, he graduated from this institution’s first accelerated program in July 1974. After returning home in 1975, he pursued further study at the University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey University.
Watson is a member of the Iowa, Alaska, and Mississippi Bar Associations. He has been engaged in the private practice of law in Hattiesburg since May 1976. Watson was first elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives in November 1979, and he was re-elected to this position in eight subsequent elections. In the Legislature, he serves as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and is a member of the Judiciary, Malpractice Insurance and Management Committees. He also serves as a member of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee.
Civic and community involvement include Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Regions Bank advisory board and chairman of the board of deacons, Ebenezer Baptist Church.
The father of one son, Kobie, and four daughters, Ayanna, Anika, Nina, and twins Megan and Mallori, he is married to the former Barbara A Smith, and is the son of Mr. and Mrs. P. W. Watson.
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