JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from Junior Auxiliary of Laurel's Humanitarian
Each year the active members of the Junior Auxiliary of Laurel select a person from our community to honor as the Humanitarian of the Year. Nominations for this award are made by Active, Associate, and Life Members of Junior Auxiliary. The person honored is one who emulates the spirit of the organization by working tirelessly and unselfishly on behalf of the children, youth, and families of Laurel and Jones County.
This year's Humanitarian of the Year is a local businessman who was born here in Jones County. He has been and continues to be a huge supporter of youth and children and their activities, especially many schools, churches, sports organizations, and numerous other groups in our community.
He was very instrumental in bringing the 2009 and 2013 Dixie Youth World Series to Laurel and Jones County, and he has continued to help with operations at the Laurel Sportsplex. Over the years, he has coached T-ball, Pee Wee and Youth Football, Dixie Youth Baseball, Travel Baseball, Boys and Girls Basketball, Boys and Girls Soccer, and a has been a volunteer football coach at South Jones High School. He is a natural coach, and he enjoys athletics as much as the children.
He has been a member of the Regions Board of Directors, Red Cross Board, Pine Belt Boy Scouts of America Advisory Board, St. John's Day School Board of Directors and President three years, Mississippi College School of Business Advisory Board, and many, many others. Countless cultural and athletic programs and projects benefit from his support and time. He and his wife have also worked on projects at Blair Batson Children's Hospital at University Medical Center in Jackson. He and his staff are one of the largest supporters of the Salvation Army Angel Tree Project. Because of his generous support and dedication to St. John's Day School, it continues to excel today.
He graduated from Laurel High School where he was a four-sport letterman in football, baseball, track and basketball. He was an All-State Football player. He received the Lauren Rogers Award for outstanding senior and was a member of the Hall of Fame. He was awarded Top 40 under 40 by the Mississippi Business Journal.
He attended Mississippi State University on a football scholarship, playing two years. Then he transferred to Mississippi College and continued to play football. He graduated with a B.S. degree in Business Management from MS College in 1993.
He has been employed by Howard Industries since graduation, starting during his summer years in high school. He has learned every plant job and served as manager of the transformer division, becoming executive vice president of that division. He is now President of the transformer division of Howard Industries, Inc.
He is married to the former Katye Endom of Ellisville, and they have three children, Anna Kate, a sophomore at South Jones High School, Andrew, an eighth grader at South Jones High School, and Abby, a fourth grader at St. John's Day School. He grew up attending St. John's Episcopal Church, and he and his family now attend First Baptist Church of Ellisville.
Laurel and Jones County have benefited from the time, labor, unselfishness, and generosity that he has put into our community.
This year's humanitarian is Michael Howard.