HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Mayor of Hattiesburg has added a familiar face to his staff.
Mayor Toby Barker announced the addition of Joe Paul, Ph.D., as the city's customer service coordinator and the newest member of his administrative team.
In this role, Paul will focus on training and coaching city employees to provide the best level of customer service across departments, according to a news release issued by Barker's office.
"So much of my experience worked toward helping public and corporate entities shift their organizational culture to focus on customer service and positive first impressions. We have a great city and dedicated employees serving our municipal government. By setting the bar for customer service, we can and will make Hattiesburg even better," said Paul. "I am delighted to join Mayor Barker's team in this capacity and to give back to the city that my family and I treasure so dearly."
According to Barker, Paul's day-to-day tasks will include project management and serving as a liaison to departments to help improve service delivery and programmatic responsiveness.
"Customer service is a platform I campaigned on, and the creation of this position was a necessity," said Barker. "We cannot expect our employees to provide the best level of customer service if we don't equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to provide such. I want each touchpoint and interaction between residents and their city government to be positive and improve the perception of Hattiesburg's future."
Barker said that Paul's deep community roots will serve as an asset to the city and his staff.
"Dr. Paul is known in our community for the many, many contributions he has made to The University of Southern Mississippi and his capacity to train and encourage extends far past the perimeter of campus," said Barker. "I am thankful he is choosing to help us as we write this next chapter of Hattiesburg's story."
About Joe Paul:
After 39 years of building relationships, influencing students and remaining dedicated to Southern Miss, Paul retired from the vice president for student affairs' position in 2015. He then returned to the university as vice president emeritus in a part time capacity with a focus on fundraising and leadership development. During his tenure at Southern Miss, Paul was responsible for significant achievements, including the creation of the Luckyday Citizenship Scholars program and construction of more than $100 million in student-dedicated facilities.
In addition to his role at the university, he also worked as an organizational development consultant and executive coach. As a consultant, he has presented seminars and training in management and leadership for business, industry and education. Clients Paul has worked with include UPS, RJR Nabisco, Ohio-Edison, Stennis Institute, US Navy, Accenture, South Central Mississippi Medical Center, Sanderson Farms and the Horne CPA & Business Advisors Firm.
A Bay St. Louis native, Paul earned two degrees from Southern Miss, graduating with a bachelor's degree in communications and political science in 1975 and a master's in communication and management in 1978. In 1986, he earned a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Alabama. His many honors include induction into the Southern Miss Alumni Hall of Fame in 2000.