Hood heading home to Meridian

BY JENNIFER FARISH
Daily Journal

Former North Mississippi Boys & Girls Club executive director Ricky Hood, who officially announced his resignation Thursday, is leaving Tupelo to return home.

Hood said he is returning to Meridian to serve as director of the East Mississippi Boys & Girls Club, where he worked for 13 years.

“We are going back home. It is my wife's hometown and my adopted hometown,” he said, explaining he moved to Mississippi in 1978 and since then has considered Meridian home.

“I felt the organization (in North Mississippi) is strong enough, and I feel even better today because I know Ron Green will do an excellent job,” he added.

Green, who Hood hired a month after joining the North Mississippi organization three years ago, is the director of the Northside Unit and has been named the interim executive director.

“I can say with complete confidence that Ron has grown more than anyone in the Boys & Girls Club in the state of Mississippi,” Hood said.

Green, a graduate of Tupelo High School and Itawamba Community College, said there are a number of challenges facing the organization during his time as interim director including dealing with a loss of funding and getting the community more involved.

A combination of cuts in federal and state grants has resulted in the organization losing 50 percent of its current budget.

The organization plans to deal with the cuts through a “tighter staff and program budget,” said Roy O. Parker Jr., president of the Board of Directors.

Green added the cuts will make increased community involvement even more important.

“We want to get the community more involved to help the staff we have,” he said.

He added the loss of Hood's leadership will be a definite challenge in the months ahead.

“It is a challenging because of the leadership we were under. We are not just losing a leader, we are losing a friend as well,” Green said.