Board of Trustees
John Taylor, Board Chairman
John Taylor was born in Yazoo City, MS. He is a 1975 graduate of Mississippi State University with a degree in Plant Pathology and Weed Science. While at MSU John held several leadership roles including Treasure of the Agriculture School, member of the Student Senate, and vice president and secretary of the Beta Tau Chapter of Kappa Alpha Order. John was also head cheerleader while on the cheerleader squad. Upon graduating from State, John entered the agriculture pesticide industry which is the field in which he continues to work in today. Most of John’s career centered around Terra Industries where he started as a salesman in 1976 and later moving through the positions of Location Manager, Regional Manager, Sales Manager and ending Divisional Vice President in 1997.
Areas of service on interest that John has participated in have been past President of Montgomery Island Timber Company, past President of Yazoo County Club as well as former member of Manchester Academy School Board. John is President of Horseshoe Lake Land Company, Board Chairman for the Mississippi Wildlife Fisheries and Parks Foundation and CEO of Mississippi Valley Ag, LLC as well as being a member of AgSaver, LLC a post patent pesticide company. He also owns and operates a fire ant and mosquito controlled application for business and homeowners. When not in the office John can be found somewhere in the outdoors.
Currently John is a licensed Agriculture Weed Scientists, Plant Pathologist and Entomologist Consultant. Other outstanding licenses that John holds are in Horticulture Weed Control, Horticulture Pest Control, Agriculture Weed Control, Mosquito and Biting Fly Control, and Demonstration and Research Pesticide License.
John and his wife, Kay Biglane Taylor, live in Natchez, MS. Their three children are Presley T. Jennings (Jackson Hole, WY) and J. Hunter Taylor (Hernando, MS) both graduates of Mississippi State University and their youngest, Pepper is currently a junior at MSU.
Roy Noble Lee, Jr., Vice Chairman
Roy Noble Lee, Jr. is a lifelong citizen of Scott County, Mississippi, having graduated Forest High School, Mississippi College and the University Mississippi School of Law in 1981. He has practiced law in Forest, Mississippi since his graduation from Law School. Noble has served as a Commissioner for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks and is an avid outdoorsman. In addition to his love for the outdoors, he is a lifelong military historian and has an extensive collection of military artifacts. He is married to Paula Brantley Lee and has 3 children, Jonathan Jones, Joseph Jones and Roy Noble Lee, III.
Peyton Self, Co Treasure/Secretary
Chris G. Gouras, Jr., Co Treasurer/Secretary
Chris Gouras, Jr. was born in Panama City Beach, FL. He received his Bachelor of Science with an emphasis on Finance from Florida State University in 1993, and his Master of Business Administration from Mississippi College in 1997.
Chris is the owner and principal of Gouras & Associates LLC, an economic development and grants management consulting firm. He owns The Gouras Restaurant Group which operates Another Broken Egg Café’s, located in Mississippi and Tennessee.
He is the Vice-President of Horseshoe Lake Land Company. Chris is also an Executive Committee member of Bully Bloc, a non-partisan political action committee committed to electing political leaders who will ensure that the interests of Mississippi State University and other higher education institutions are advanced.
Chris and his wife, Ashley Gouras, live in Madison, MS. Their three children are Tripp, Kendyll and Branch.
Paul Benton is a life-long resident of the Gulf Coast where he has been a practicing attorney since graduating from Ole Miss law school in 1980. For over ten years, Paul has served on the Foundation for MWFP, as well as on the Board of Millsaps College where he played football and earned a Bachelor’s degree in 1976. Paul still enjoys attending Millsaps football and NFL games. However, his favorite pastime is hunting whitetail deer with friends and family, including his daughter Marlana and partner Michelle, at his camp in north Mississippi.
Sassy Draper Mauldin
Sassy Mauldin has served on the Foundation for MWFP since 2008 and is the scholarship chairman for this Board. Sassy is a graduate of MSU and is retired as a math teacher and also a paralegal for Chapman, Lewis and Swan. She also currently serves the Executive Board for GCM (Garden Clubs of Mississippi) as it’s BeeGAP person helping increase awareness of our needs for pollinators in our state and nation. Sassy is the state director for the organization Personal Ponies which places ponies with special needs children. (personalponies.org)
Sassy is married to Doug Mauldin, has three children and four grandchildren and lives in Cascilla, MS where the family has begun Honeyheads Bee Company raising honey bees and pure organic honey for the public. Sassy is also working this summer with Tallahatchie General Hospital’s new Wellness Center as it’s Garden Manager producing fresh produce for local citizens of Tallahatchie County. She is active in her church an community and enjoys her horses and hunting deer and turkey on their farm. As an avid outdoorsmen and conservationist, Sassy is passionate about the admirable goals, projects and work done and supported by the Foundation for MWFP.
Terry L. Abby
Terry L. Abby lives in Walnut, MS where he and his family have lived for the past 25 years and he and his wife Linda have two children, Cody and Shannon. He is the founder and owner of Abby Manufacturing Co., Inc. with locations in Ashland MS, New Albany MS, and Walnut MS. Terry is also founder and owner of Abby Equipment Co. with locations in North MS and West TN.
Steve Grantham Jr.
Steve Grantham Jr. has served as President of J&R Restaurant Group since 2006. J&R was established in 1993 by Steve Grantham Sr. as the Outback Steakhouse franchisee for Mississippi & West Tennessee. J&R currently operates (9) Outback Steakhouse restaurants in Jackson, MS, Flowood, MS, Hattiesburg, MS, Meridian, MS, D’Iberville, MS, Tupelo, MS, Southaven, MS, Cordova and Jackson, TN. Steve is married to his wife of 16 years Mary Grantham and they have three children – Wiley, Gayle and Victor. Steve began supporting our Mississippi Guard in 2006. Since 2006, Steve and Outback have supported numerous Mississippi National Guard units across the state for weekend drills, deployment readiness weekends, retirement and rank advancement ceremonies and family day events. Outback has supported the 185th, the 172nd, the 1108th, the 112th & 114 Military Police, 2nd Battalion Special Forces, Special Boat Team 22 based out of the Stennis Space Center & the 43rd Flying Training Squadron out of Columbus Air Force base. Also, Steve & Outback support the VA and the Mississippi Veteran’s homes in Collins, Jackson, Kosciusko and Oxford with annual dinners for the residents and staff. Steve & Outback have also supported Veteran’s day events with luncheons and sponsored the PT-17 trainer flyovers in 2012 & 2013 for the Veteran’s day parade. Steve has been involved with the annual Trail of Honor paying tribute to America’s military personnel past & present since 2009.
Tom Janoush is a resident of Cleveland, Mississippi where he has been a practicing attorney for the past 21 years. Founding member of Westerfield, Janoush & Bell, P. A. Former City Judge for the City of Rosedale from 1994 – 1999. Currently serving as City Judge for the City of Cleveland. Lifetime member of the Delta State University Alumni Association and Athletic Association. Currently serving his 8th year as a member of Delta State University Foundation Board of Directors where is the Chairman of the Trusteeship Committee. He is also a member of the Executive Board for the Chickasaw Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He also serves on the State Bank & Trust Advisory Board in Cleveland, Mississippi. Tom is married to the former Desira Coleman Warrington and they have two children, Alex and Coleman.
Trent A. Mulloy
Trent A. Mulloy is a native of Laurel, MS, and is the fourth generation of his family to work at Laurel Machine & Foundry Company, which was founded in 1904. He currently serves as President of LM&F. He was a founding Board Member of The FirstBanc Shares Inc, holding company of The First, A National Banking Association, which is now the 7th largest bank in Mississippi. He is also a current member of the Laurel Advisory Board of The First, A National Banking Association. Mr. Mulloy is a member of the following professional societies: the Mississippi Economic Council, the National Association of Manufacturers, and The American Foundrymen’s Society, where he has served as the 1st Vice Chair of the Mid-South Chapter. He was elected to the Board of The Mississippi Manufacturer’s Association in 2003 and re-elected to a 2nd term in 2006, and a 3rd term in 2010. In 2011 he was elected to serve on the Executive Board for MMA and currently serves as Chairman. In 2004, he was appointed by Governor Haley Barbour to the Mississippi State Work Force Investment Board and has served on the Momentum WIRED Steering Committee. Trent Mulloy is currently a Board Member of the Mississippi Automotive Manufacturer’s Association, being elected in 2006. Trent was also recently elected to serve on the Board of BIPEC and was appointed in 2015 to serve on the Foundation for Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. Lt. Phil Bryant appointed Trent Mulloy to the Small Business Regulatory Review Committee for the State of Mississippi in 2013. He has served as a District Committee Member of the Boy Scouts of America for the Pine Burr Area Council and is currently Den Leader of WEBELOs for Pack 23 in Laurel, MS. Trent Mulloy has also recently served as a Board Member for the Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District (SMPDD) and He was elected to the board of the Jones County Economic Development Authority in 2011 and currently is on the Lauren Rogers Museum Council. Mr. Mulloy is also a member of the One Hundred Club of Jones County and a past Board Member. Mr. Mulloy graduated with a B.A. degree from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. He attends and is Junior Warden of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Laurel, Mississippi. He is married to Elizabeth Mulloy of Winston-Salem, NC (Sewanee, ’94) and they have two children: Sloan Mulloy and Henry Mulloy.
B. Bryan Jones III
B. Bryan Jones III was born on February 9, 1950. He is a 1972 graduate of University of Mississippi. He has been employed with Bank Plus since 1972 and currently the President of North Region & Wealth Management.
Bryan has served many leadership positions, he is currently on the Board for Mississippi Wildlife Fisheries and Parks Foundation, Board of Directors for Staplcotn, (Greenwood, MS), Board of Trustees for The Nature Conservancy (MS Chapter), Board of Directors Friends of Children’s Hospital Blair E. Batson, and Commissioner of Yazoo County Port Commission. In past years he served on Board of Directors for Delta Council (Past Treasure and President), Yazoo Rotary Club and Paul Harris Fellow (Past President), and Yazoo County Chamber of Commerce (Past President).
Bryan enjoys hunting and shooting. He is a member of Second Presbyterian Church in Yazoo City, MS. He and his wife, Sara Hines, live in Cruger, MS. They have three children and six grandchildren.
Mitchell Todd Hairston
Todd Hairston grew up in the Mississippi Delta and now makes his home on the coast in Gulfport, Mississippi. He is a graduate of Delta State University with a degree in Environmental Science.
Todd is a managing principal at Covington Civil and Environmental, LLC, and serves as the company’s chief executive officer with 13 years’ experience as an environmental professional on projects for private, commercial, and government clients. Todd was appointed to the Mississippi Community College Board by Governor Phil Bryant in 2013 representing the Fifth Congressional District. He is an activist for business and economic developments on the Gulf Coast. He is involved with Mississippi Works, serves on the Gulfport Architectural Review Board, and is a member of the Gulf Coast Business Council, Gulfport Business Club and the Gulfport Yacht Club. He is a graduate of the Gulf Coast Business Council 2010 Masters of Leadership Program.
Todd has been a lifelong hunter and fisherman of Mississippi and enjoys outdoor activities with his family. Todd and his wife Lacey are the parents of three children, Olivia, Anna Mitchell, and Hailey.
B.T. Steadman is a native of Jackson, MS. where he was an Eagle Scout and graduated from Mississippi State University with a B.B.A. in Banking and Finance.
B.T. is currently a Managing Member of Walker Circle Management, LLC which manages numerous businesses interests. These include Vacuum Truck Rentals, LLC which has fourteen offices throughout the United States and Vacuum Truck Sales & Service which is a full line municipal and industrial equipment dealer with locations in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Other interests include Real Estate Management, Construction, Aviation and the Hospitality industry.
B.T. has served in many leadership positions and currently serves as a Board Member of the Mississippi Wildlife Fisheries and Parks Foundation, an Executive Board Member of the Andrew Jackson Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Chairman of the Sporting Clays Committee of the Andrew Jackson Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Board Member of the Amanda W. Lockey Foundation, Board Member of the Truck Rental and Leasing Association in Washington, DC. He is a former Board Member of the Industrial & Municipal Cleaning Association in St Louis, MO.
B.T. enjoys hunting, fishing, shooting sports and travel. B.T. is married to Tiffany Tyler Steadman and they have a daughter, Tyler Bell and a son Henry Benjamin. They live in Madison, MS and have a farm in Tallahatchie County.
Dr. Sam Polles, Ph. D., Ex officio
Dr. Sam Polles, Ph. D. grew up in Clarksdale, Mississippi and now resides in Madison, Mississippi. He holds a B.S. Degree from Delta State University and received his Masters and Doctorate from Mississippi State University. From 1970 to 1980, he worked as a researcher for both the University of Georgia and the USDA. From 1980 to 1992, he was Co-Owner and Operator of Longleaf Hunting Preserve, Bass Oil Land and Timber Company and Bass Nursery and Pecan Company in Lumberton, MS. In 1992, Dr. Polles was appointed by Governor Kirk Fordice to serve as Executive Director of Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. He is married to the former Mary Margaret Humber of Clarksdale, MS. They have three sons, Tripp, Jim and John.