Duty, not 'glamor,' draws state board appointees

By Bobby Harrison/NEMS Daily Journal Jackson Bureau

JACKSON – Terry Waters Gentry, a third-generation funeral home operator, says he took a position on the Board of Funeral Services to help protect the industry and the people it serves, not for his own benefit.
“It is no windfall,” said Gentry, of Waters Funeral Home in Baldwyn. “There is absolutely no glamour.”
Gentry was one of nearly 200 people confirmed by the Mississippi Senate during the 2011 session to serve on the boards and commissions that oversee various aspects of state government – barbers, doctors, contractors and others.
Under state law, most of the boards pay members $40 per day when they meet, and the pay is limited to a certain number of days per year. They also receive mileage for their trips to Jackson for the meeting.
Through the years, board members have said that much their work actually occurs before the meeting, reading a voluminous amount of information in anticipation of voting on issues when they meet.
Some of the boards are high profile, such as the College Board. Others, such as Gentry’s Board of Funeral Services, work with no fanfare or publicity.
“I have been in this profession all my life,” he said. “I want what is good for the profession and for the public.”
Gentry was nominated by Gov. Haley Barbour, and was confirmed by the Senate. His term ends June 30, 2012.
The board oversees licenses for funeral home operators, investigates complaints and works on the regulations for the industry.
The governor makes most of the nominations to the boards and the Senate confirms them. But state law does provide other state leaders, such as the speaker and the lieutenant governor, some nominations.
Other Northeast Mississippians nominated and confirmed this past session are, with end of term:
* Mike McBunch, Tupelo, appointed by the governor to Board of Barber Examiners; June 30, 2013.
* John W. Campbell, Starkville, appointed by governor, Board of Barber Examiners; June 30, 2013.
* Joel Anthony “Tony” Carroll, Tupelo, appointed by governor, Board of Contractors; June 30, 2015.
* Tom Wicker, Tupelo, appointed by governor, Board of Department Information Technology Services; June 30, 2015.
* Richard Galen Hilton, Starkville, appointed by governor, state Hospital Equipment Facilities Authority; June 30, 2012.
* Charles R. Russell, Tupelo, appointed by governor, Mississippi Hospital Equipment Facilities Authority; Jan. 10, 2012.
* Richard DeVoe Oxford, appointed by governor, Business Finance Corp.; March 31, 2016.
* Joel B. Davis, Abbeville, appointed by governor, Veterans Home Purchase Board; June 30, 2013.
* Jody Bryan, Starkville, appointed by governor, Veterans Home Purchase Board; June 30, 2014.
* Charles Davis Miles, West Point, appointed by governor, state Board of Medical Licensure; June 10, 2016.
* Jerry Dean Worsham Jr. Oxford, appointed by governor state Board of Examiners for Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists; June 30, 2014.
* Frank Trice Dalton, Corinth, appointed by governor, state Board of Dental Examiners; June 30, 2016.
* Benjamin “Ty” Hubbard Jr., Oxford, appointed by governor, state Board of Optometry; June 20, 2015.
* Manda Sue Stephens “Pumpkin” Griffin, Houlka, appointed by governor, state Board of Mental Health; June 30, 2018.
* Floyd “Buck” Hobbs, Byhalia, appointed by governor, Mississippi Forestry Commission; Jan. 19, 2017.
* Leonard Hugh “Len” Blanton Jr., Tupelo, appointed by governor, state Board of Directors of the College Savings Plans of Mississippi; June 30, 2014.
* Frank Evans Jr., Calhoun City, appointed by governor, state Board of Optometry; June 20, 2013.
* Michael David Allen, Starkville, appointed by governor, Mississippi Board of Chiropractic Examiners; April 20, 2015.
* David Hughes McElreath, Oxford, appointed by governor, Mississippi Crime Stoppers Advisory Committee; June 30, 2012.
* Mariel Wayne Mitchell, Belmont, appointed by governor, state Board of Funeral Services; June 30, 2013.
* Catherine Kelly “Cathy” Jones, Starkville, appointed by governor, state Board of Examiners for Social Workers and Marriage Family Therapists; June 30, 2012.
* Terry Wayne Emerson, West Point, appointed by governor, Mississippi Board of Animal Health; July 31, 2015.
* David Gerald Senter, Booneville, appointed by governor, Commercial Mobile Radio Service Board; June 30, 2015.
* John Beecher Mitchell Sr., Corinth, appointed by governor, state Board of Registration for Foresters; June 30, 2016.
* Todd Sandroni, Tupelo, appointed by governor, Mississippi Board of Pharmacy; Feb. 10, 2016.
* Kay Mathews, Tupelo, appointed by governor, state Board of Massage Therapy; June 30, 2015.
* Joseph Boyce “Joe” Gregory, Oxford, appointed by governor, Mississippi Business Finance Corp., March 31, 2017.
* Shannon Ray Singletary, Oxford, appointed by governor, state Board of Physical Therapists; June 30, 2015.
* Steven Richard Daniewicz, Starkville, appointed by governor, Mississippi Boiler and Pressure Vessel Safety Advisory Committee; June 30, 2015.
* Glenn Ray Waller, Oxford, appointed by governor, state Board of Examiners for Licensed Professional Counselors; June 30, 2016.
* Dianne Cutshall Biddle, Iuka, appointed by governor, state Board of Funeral Services, March 13, 2015.
* Sharon Wilson Catledge, Tupelo, appointed by governor, Mississippi Board of Nursing; June 30, 2014.
* Myrtis Elizabeth “Leisa” Stuart, Oxford, appointed by governor, state Board of Cosmetology; March 28, 2015.