2017 Board of Directors
Creative Director, MightyPenguin Design
Matt is the owner and creative director of MightyPenguin Design, an imaginative and innovative source of creative, clever and unconventional advertising, photography, graphic design, and public relations. MightyPenguin Design’s nationally-recognized, award-winning work has a distinctive look and feel, garnering numerous ADDYs and PRisms, Lanterns and Maggies, and even a glorious golden cell phone, for a host of regional, national and international clients.
Having received his BA in English from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Mississippi, Matt keeps his writing fresh by teaching English at Pearl River Community College. He has served as president of the Board of Directors for several professional and non-profit organizations in Hattiesburg as is currently in his second term as President of the Pine Belt Chapter of PRAM.
DuBard School for Language Disorders
Liz also oversees the Pine Belt Young Professionals. A native of Salt Lake City, Utah, Liz began her career in Communications at the Utah State Senate before moving to the Utah Governor’s Office, where she worked as a Communications Specialist for Governor Gary R. Herbert. Liz received her B.A. in Art History from the University of Utah and is currently working toward a Masters in Mass Communication at The University of Southern Mississippi. Liz enjoys spending time with her husband, Keith and son, Keith IV.
Director of Marketing and Communications, United Way of Southeast MS
Staci is the go-to communications person for United Way of Southeast Mississippi and is responsible for the promotion of not only United Way initiatives, but their 19 service partners as well. Prior to working with United Way, Staci worked at The University of Southern Mississippi for 7 years. During those 7 years, she was an Instructional Specialist with the Think Center and also the Assistant Director of the Luckyday Foundation Citizenship Scholars Program. Staci is a member of the 2016 Leadership PineBelt Class, PineBelt Young Professionals, and Extra Table Community Board. She also serves on the board for her neighborhood association and coordinates the volunteers and curriculum for the children at her church, Ekklesia. She also owns Little Dog Cinema, an outdoor theater.
Marketing Manager, Munn Enterprises, Inc.
Joshua coordinates communications and marketing efforts for Munn Enterprises, Inc., a rapidly-growing, family-owned sign manufacturer and outdoor advertising firm with both local and national accounts. He has experience in the higher education, foodservice distribution, and newspaper industries and serves as an adjunct professor at his alma mater, William Carey University. A native of Brookhaven, Wilson holds B.S. and M.B.A. degrees. He is the president of the Acadia Oaks Homeowners’ Association in Lamar County, serves on the Board of Directors for the William Carey University Alumni Association, and has served in roles with the Mississippi Press Association, the College Public Relations Association of Mississippi, and the College Media Association. Wilson was awarded the 2015 Professional Promise Award by the Pine Belt Chapter.
Support Specialist, Hattiesburg Clinic
Director of Communications, National Center for Spectator Sports and Security
Alison is the Director of Communications for the National Center for Spectator Sports and Security (NCS4) at The University of Southern Mississippi. Her role is to manage and coordinate the communication and marketing efforts of the Center including the NCS4 newsletter, website, social media, print and web materials, as well as media relations. In addition, she oversees exhibitor/sponsorship sales and management for four annual Safety and Security Summits, as well as the annual National Sports Safety and Security Conference and Exhibition. Alison received her B.F.A. in Graphic Design from Mississippi State University and a M.S. in Public Relations from The University of Southern Mississippi.
Jean Claire Monroe, Workshop Coordinator
Community Relations Director, First Light HomeCare
Jean Claire Monroe is a graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi where she studied both Music Education and Public Relations. She is the Community Relaions Director for First Light HomeCare where she manages all marketing and advertising initiatives. Jean Claire is a member of the Hattiesburg Concert Association performing with the Meistersingers and Hattiesburg Choral Union. An accomplished Christian speaker and writer, Jean Claire enjoys sharing her faith and encouraging others how to find true joy in their everyday lives. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Theological Studies at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
Communications Facilitator, Cooperative Energy
Tonya Williams is currently the Communications Facilitator for Cooperative Energy. She has experience in energy, healthcare, hospitality and the education industries. Williams has won several public relations awards including the Judges Choice SPARK Award- the top award for PR work in the Pine Belt. She also was awarded the 2016 Professional Promise Award by the PRAM PineBelt Chapter. Tonya also is an advisor for the Alpha Chi Omega Sorority at The University of Southern Mississippi.
Program Coordinator, Extra Table
Stacy Ahua is the Program Coordinator for Extra Table, a local non-profit organization dedicated to ending hunger in Mississippi. In her role as Program Coordinator, she is responsible for logistics and planning of events, fundraisers, community outreach and external communication, all of which contribute to expanding donor base and support for the organization. In addition to her role at Extra Table, Stacy works as a Political Consultant for campaigns and candidates throughout south Mississippi through her firm, EMMIT Consulting, LLC. Shortly before beginning at Extra Table in 2014, she completed a Masters degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, where she also served as Graduate Instructor and Coach of Southern Miss Forensics Society—a program she helped launch in 2011. Stacy is also a 2010 graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Speech Communication. Stacy is a 2015 graduate of the Leadership Pine Belt, member and Community Action and Service Chair of Pine Belt Public Relations and Marketing, Co-Chair of the Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association Promotions Committee, member of the University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association, Sales & Marketing Professionals-Pine Belt, Leaf River Valley Board of Directors, Greater Pine Belt Community Foundation Communications Committee members and Pine Belt Young Professionals, and was been named Top 20 Under 40 in the Pine Belt in 2015. Stacy is the daughter of Dr. Emmanuel and Mary Ahua, and sister to Ember Ahua (Hattiesburg, MS) and Dr. Roselyn Ahua (Charlotte, NC). She also attends Ekklesia Church.
Public Relations Coordinator, College of Science and Technology at The University of Southern Mississippi
Meghan Burk is the Public Relations Coordinator for the College of Science and Technology at The University of Southern Mississippi. She coordinates and implements marketing/ promotions for College of Science and Technology events and for promoting college-wide activities and accomplishments by faculty/ staff/ student. Meghan received her B.A. in Journalism with a minor in Communication Studies. She is currently working toward a Masters in Mass Communication at Southern Miss. Meghan enjoys volunteering with local organizations, and enjoy spending time with her daughter Journee Marie and other family and friends.
Mercey is a graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi where she majored in Public Relations and minored in French. While studying at USM, Mercey served as Chapter President of the Public Relations Student Society of America, served as Fundraising Chair for her sorority, Delta Gamma, and studied abroad in Paris, France where she earned a certificate in French Language and Culture. Mercey now works as the Public Relations and Digital Strategies Coordinator at Visit Hattiesburg/Hattiesburg Convention Commission where she promotes tourism and development in Hattiesburg. Mercey is a member of Pine Belt Young Professionals and enjoys volunteering with organizations including the Hattiesburg Downtown Association and the Fieldhouse for the Homeless.