Hub Award recipients announced

The Hub Award for 2015 has honored two of Hattiesburg's outstanding professionals and community leaders. Bernice Linton and Charles Brown were honored with the prestigious Hub Award during a gala dinner and stirring program at the Lake Terrace Convention Center on November17. The award was made posthumously to Ms. Linton.  Both she and Mr. Brown where honored for their outstanding contributions to the community, commitment to excellence, and dedication to public service.

The Hub Award originated in 1979 when a group of community leaders honored Bobby Lee Chain, who was at the time serving as president of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning.  Bobby L. Chain Day was planned in recognition of Mr. Chain's outstanding contributions to the community, commitment to excellence, and dedication to public service.

Bernice Linton

Bernice Linton, 73, died Monday, March 16, 2015 at her home in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  Memorial services were held Friday, March 20, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. at Crossgates Community Church.  She and her husband, Henry, had been members of Crossgates Community Church for many years.

Bernice received her first nursing degree from Greenwood Leflore Hospital in 1963. Her family moved to Hattiesburg so she could further her nursing education. In 1973 she was the first registered nurse to earn a nursing degree from the University of Southern Mississippi. In 1980 she earned a graduate degree in nursing from Southern Miss.

In 1981 she expanded nursing education at Forrest General Hospital to a hospital-wide department that included community outreach programs. After 10 years of clinical nursing and 14 years of hospital education, she was asked to establish the marketing department at Forrest General.

Following 32 years at Forrest General, she was named the executive director of the Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association in 2000. She was the association's first paid executive director, a position she held for seven years. One of her proudest HHDA achievements was seeing the private sector step up, buy and renovating the downtown buildings. During her time she helped make downtown a destination where people came for entertainment, to shop and to eat at the local restaurants.

She was a devoted community servant. In 1990 she became the first female chairperson of the local American Red Cross chapter. She was also the first female member of the Hattiesburg Kiwanis Club, its first female president and the first female district governor. In 1991 she received the Kiwanis Internal Foundation Table of Honor. She also served on many boards and committees such has the District Nurses Association, Hattiesburg Area Chamber of commerce, Sales and Marketing Executing International and the local United Way.

Bernice wanted to be remembered as an energetic person who loved her job. She had four careers and loved each of them.

She was married to Henry Linton of Hattiesburg. She was a member of Crosspoint Church. She has three children, Marcia Luckie Mordica, Pam Luckie Castle, and Jeff Luckie.

Charles Jerome Brown

Charles Brown moves swiftly through his life, making a difference with impeccable service to his country, his long-time employer, his church, and community.

It all began in the public schools of Hattiesburg, ending with his graduation from the L. J. Rowan High School in Hattiesburg, 1958, as class president.  From Rowan his education continued at  William Carey College, Bachelor of Science, May 19, 1973; University of Colorado at Denver, Vocational Training Degree; National Veterans Training Institute, April 8, 1997.

He rendered stellar service to his country for 11 years, serving as Sergeant First Class U. S. Army 1958-1969; Retired 1969; Honorable Discharge 1969; Decorated for heroism: 2 Purple Hearts, 2 Bronze Stars, along with numerous other citations.

He served his life-long employer, Mississippi Employment Security Commission 1973-2000.  During this time he served in Employment Aid as vocational counselor working with applicants receiving state/public assistance; he also served at the levels of Employment Counselor II, Employment Counselor III and worked in the Veterans Outreach Program.  He was recognized as the Mississippi Counselor of the Year in 1990, and received the Mississippi International Association Personnel in Employment Security, Community Service Award 1988 and 1995.

Charles life of hard work and dedicated service earned him a number of honors and awards including:  Hattiesburg, Mississippi Veteran of the Year (the first) 1994; Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity; Dr. John Hope Franklin Award for Community Service 2012; The Hattiesburg Professional and Business Men's Club Man of the Year 1978; Jesse L. Brown Elks Lodge Man of the Year 1987; African American Military History Museum Service Award 2000; Jesse L. Brown Community Service Award 2004; The Brown/Lucas Executive Conference Room at the Lake Terrace Convention Center, in-part, bears his name; William Carey University Hall of Fame Class 2012; History Channel "Vietnam in HD" Television Series; Hattiesburg Convention Commission since 1991; NAACP Life Member; Forrest General Hospital Foundation Board of Directors; AARP.

As a man of deep and abiding faith, Charles is a life-long member of

True Light Missionary Baptist Church where he served as:  Deacon (Past Chair) and Trustee, Past Sunday School Superintendent (25 years), and Director of Youth Department

Charles life of dedication to his employer, his country, and his faith, have brought a number of organizations to take advantage of his expertise, wisdom, and professional competency.  His membership on boards and other organizations include:  Main Street Policy Board; Hattiesburg Convention Commission; Hattiesburg-Petal, Forrest County Library Trustee; Hattiesburg Public Schools Biracial Advisory Committee; Hattiesburg Economic Task Force Committee; NAACP Forrest County Chapter Executive Board; Hattiesburg Arts Council; University of Southern Mississippi Partners for the Art; Disable American Veterans – Life Member; VFW Life Member; Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.; American Legion Vietnam Lecturer the University of Southern Mississippi's History Department; In the year 2000,  accompanied USM students to Vietnam for an in-country study; South Mississippi Community Action Agency; Pine Burr Council Boy Scouts of America – Pine Burr Award; Salvation Army Advisory Council; R3SM Board of Directors; Hattiesburg Rotary Club Non-Rotarian of the Year Award 2011.

Charles has three children: Jermaine Brown, Principal, Hattiesburg High School, Jerome Brown, Senior Vice President, The First, A National Banking Association, Kevin Husband, Retired, United States Navy, Region 8 Home Program Manager, Davita Healthcare, and seven grandchildren.