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V102<br />


2 • NOVEMBER 2023

Hometown MADISON • 3

"We make buying floors easy!"<br />

Unwrap your<br />

dream kitchen<br />

at<br />

2660 Lakeland Drive<br />

Flowood, MS 39232<br />

(601) 932-2926<br />

4 • NOVEMBER 2023

For Nominating AFC in the Top 5 of<br />

Hometown Madison Best of the Best!<br />

Front row: Kalai Key, Meghan Watson, Ivey Shelton, Olivia Brown<br />

Back row: Scarlet Middleton, Kim Woodward, MaryRhea Waterloo, Rosalynn Williamson, Shanika Wigley, Allyson Walker<br />

Not pictured: Gabe Ibarra<br />


Hometown MADISON • 5

6 • MARCH 2024

Hometown MADISON • 7

Let’s Talk...<br />

Have you ever wondered if your investment<br />

strategy needs a second opinion? Maybe<br />

you have unanswered questions. Maybe<br />

you need advice on your retirement plan.<br />

The team at Mascagni Wealth Management<br />

might be exactly what you are looking for.<br />

We are a Registered Investment Advisor<br />

with over 30 years of experience helping<br />

Mississippians and their families. Let’s sit<br />

down over a cup of coffee and talk about<br />

your financial future. Call us today.<br />

205 E. Main Street • Clinton, MS<br />

For an free initial consultation,<br />

please call 601-925-8099 or visit<br />

mascagniwealth.com<br />




8 • MARCH 2024

FROM OUR<br />


Madison’s County’s Best of the Best Red Carpet Gala<br />

Eight years ago, Hometown Rankin Magazine created a red-carpet<br />

event that would serve to extend the offerings of our advertising platform,<br />

create additional awareness of the many businesses nominated, and<br />

provide an overall fun evening of glitz and glamour. In that inaugural<br />

year, we had around 60 categories of businesses and the event was<br />

attended by nearly 500 people.<br />

In January of this year, the event spanned two nights, celebrating 108<br />

categories, and had nearly 1,800 people in attendance. For two glorious<br />

evenings, the single most repeated accolade was simple: “Thank you.”<br />

Business owners were grateful for the opportunity to not only be<br />

recognized, but to mix and mingle with other business owners and<br />

leaders whom they, themselves, may have been inspired by. It was not<br />

only humbling to see how much the event had grown, but humbling to<br />

realize how much it was valued.<br />

So, now we’re bringing a red-carpet event to Madison. Hometown<br />

Madison Magazine presents Madison County’s Best of the Best Red<br />

Carpet Gala celebrating 44 categories of business in this inaugural year<br />

where the top five in each category have been overwhelmingly voted<br />

upon. Winners will be announced at a black-tie gala held on March 21.<br />

Congratulations to everyone nominated! We wish you continued<br />

success and are honored to celebrate your achievements. We’re also<br />

proud to be a part of your journey.<br />

Thank you for supporting these businesses and ours. We’re all in<br />

this together. When one wins, we all win.<br />

We look forward to seeing you on the red carpet!<br />


Tahya Dobbs<br />


CFO<br />

Kevin Dobbs<br />


Mary Ann Kirby<br />


Barbie Bassett<br />


Reader Spotlight 11<br />

Go Red Woman of Impact 16<br />

Madison’s Red Carpet 26<br />

Hometown Family 32<br />

Kids Who Care 38<br />

5th Squad 56<br />

Salute to First Responders 72<br />

The Time Coin 82<br />


Amy Forsyth<br />



Melissa Kennon<br />



Alisha Floyd<br />


Susan Wolgamott<br />

...see you around town.<br />


Daniel Thomas<br />

3dt<br />

STAFF<br />


Othel Anding<br />

STAFF<br />


Debby Francis<br />


Jodi Jackson<br />

www.facebook.com/hometownmadisonmagazine. For subscription information visit www.htmags.com or contact us at info@HTMags.com / 601.706.4059 / 200 Felicity Street / Brandon, MS 39042<br />

All rights reserved. No portion of Hometown Madison may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. The management of Hometown Madison is not responsible for opinions expressed by its writers or editors.<br />

Hometown Madison maintains the unrestricted right to edit or refuse all submitted material. All advertisements are subject to approval by the publisher. The production of Hometown Madison is funded by advertising.<br />

Hometown MADISON • 9

10 • MARCH 2024

READER<br />


Brent<br />


Why did you make Madison your home?<br />

Stacy and I wanted to live where it is safe, had<br />

great schools for our children, and near where<br />

I was teaching and coaching.<br />

How long have you lived in Madison County?<br />

Twenty-seven years<br />

Tell us about your family.<br />

This April 2nd I will have been married to<br />

Stacy for thirty years. We have three children.<br />

Morgan (26) lives in New York City, Josh (23)<br />

lives in Madison, and Ryan (21) is attending<br />

Mississippi State. I started my career coaching<br />

football, basketball, and golf at Clinton, Southern<br />

Arkansas University, and Hernando. We moved<br />

to Madison County in 1997 when I started<br />

coaching basketball at Madison Ridgeland<br />

Academy. The next year, I started my first of<br />

twenty-years in the Madison County School<br />

District, where I served as a coach, an assistant<br />

principal, and the principal at Madison Middle<br />

School, the Academic Options Center, and Rosa<br />

Scott. I retired this past June and have circled<br />

back to MRA, where I serve as the high school<br />

dean of students.<br />

What is your favorite memory of living<br />

in Madison?<br />

I was fortunate enough to be on the football<br />

coaching staff at Madison Central in 1999<br />

when we went 15-0 and won the 5-A State<br />

Championship. We beat South Panola for<br />

the first time ever in the north half and beat<br />

Provine in the state championship game.<br />

That was a fun football season with lots of<br />

great players!<br />

Where are your three favorite places<br />

to eat in Madison?<br />

Georgia Blue in Madison, Local 463 in<br />

Ridgeland, and Railroad Pizza in Flora.<br />

What are some fun things to do in Madison<br />

County on the weekends?<br />

Eating good food, going to ballgames, and<br />

playing golf because the courses are great!<br />

What are three things on your bucket list?<br />

Playing golf at Augusta National Golf Club in<br />

Augusta, Georgia; Pebble Beach Golf Links in<br />

Carmel, California; and The Old Course at<br />

St. Andrews in Scotland.<br />

Who is someone you admire and why?<br />

Ted Poore – He hired me at Rosa Scott in 1998.<br />

Not only is he a great friend, but he is also a<br />

spiritual, educational leader and mentor who<br />

I can go to at any time.<br />

Where do you see yourself in ten years?<br />

I don’t really know. I will be sixty-eight, fully<br />

retired, and maybe our children will be married<br />

with a few grandchildren.<br />

What is your favorite childhood memory?<br />

That’s an easy one. I loved playing sports all year<br />

long! I loved to have a ball in my hands.<br />

If you could give us one encouraging quote,<br />

what would it be?<br />

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass.<br />

It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.”<br />

Hometown MADISON • 11

Merit Health extends heartfelt gratitude<br />

to our community for recognizing our<br />

exceptional medical professionals.<br />

Your trust and support inspire us to continue delivering<br />

outstanding healthcare with compassion and dedication.<br />


Merit Health Medical Group, Canton<br />

Nominated for Best Medical Clinic<br />

Merit Health Madison<br />

Nominated for Best Place to Work, Large Business<br />

MHM Merit Health Madison Best of the Best Nomination 2024 Ad 8x5.indd 1<br />

2/14/24 11:05 AM<br />

12 • MARCH 2024





601.957.3753 • KOESTLERPRIME.COM<br />


Hometown MADISON • 13

The No-Delay<br />

Debit Card<br />

Lost card? You don’t have time to wait on hold, much less<br />

for the mail. Just walk in to your nearest BankPlus and get an<br />

Instant Issue Debit Card then and there. bankplus.net<br />


Member FDIC.<br />

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer, but it’s also one<br />

of the most preventable. Fortunately, the rate of people diagnosed with colon<br />

or rectal cancer continues to drop because more people are getting screened<br />

earlier and changing their lifestyles to avoid health risks.<br />

And even more good news: St. Dominic’s Comprehensive Cancer Program is<br />

nationally accredited by the Commission on Cancer for our high-quality and<br />

comprehensive cancer care.<br />

If you have risk factors for colorectal cancer, such as being older, overweight,<br />

tobacco or alcohol use or family history, talk to your primary care provider<br />

about screening.<br />

Early detection is the best protection.<br />

stdom.com/colorectal<br />

14 • MARCH 2024

Hometown MADISON • 15

2024 METRO JACKSON<br />

Woman<br />

of IMPACT<br />

The American Heart Association, Metro Jackson, is proud to be<br />

celebrating the Woman of Impact Class of 2024, a complement<br />

to the Metro Jackson Go Red for Women movement. Over the<br />

past few months, AHA received nominations for a select group of<br />

local women to be recognized for their passion and drive in building<br />

stronger communities. The areas of impact were limitless – from<br />

healthcare to philanthropy, from business to faith. If they “lead<br />

with heart,” they were eligible for nomination.<br />

Women of Impact are changemakers, dedicated to making a<br />

lasting impact on the health of the Metro Jackson community;<br />

women who lead by example, improving the well-being of those<br />

around them. By joining the Go Red for Women movement as a<br />

Woman of Impact, each honoree has assembled their own team of<br />

volunteers, set a fundraising goal, and made a meaningful impact<br />

on the health and wellbeing of the Metro Jackson community.<br />

Teresa Boutwell<br />

GI Associates<br />

Teresa Boutwell describes herself as a born<br />

and raised Mississippi girl. She was born in<br />

Jackson and has lived in Rankin County since<br />

1976. She serves as the director of human<br />

resources at GI Associates in Flowood.<br />

She and husband Michael are parents to<br />

three children – Lindsey Shearer, Kevin<br />

Boutwell, and Kelly Coleman, and have six<br />

beautiful grandchildren, ranging from two to<br />

fifteen years old. Spending time with family is<br />

what makes Teresa happy, “Nothing brings me<br />

greater joy than having them all together and<br />

just hanging out with them.” Working with the<br />

American Heart Association to combat heart<br />

disease is close to her heart. In 2008, she<br />

suffered a heart issue which resulted in<br />

quadruple bypass, “Just at the time I was about<br />

to have my first grandchild! My daughter,<br />

Lindsey suffered a heart attack in February<br />

of 2023. I want to help educate women<br />

across the state about heart disease and the<br />

importance of taking care of our bodies.”<br />

For more information about<br />

Teresa’s campaign, go to<br />

www2.heart.org/goto/TeresaBoutwell<br />

For more information on how you can get involved with the<br />

Metro Jackson American Heart Association, please visit<br />

new.event.gives/jxngored<br />

For more information about the Go Red for Women Movement,<br />

visit MetroJacksonGoRed.heart.org<br />

16 • MARCH 2024

Amanda Keith<br />

Blog, Red Lips and Vino Sips<br />

Mobile-native Amanda Keith is a blogger (Red<br />

Lips and Vino Sips) and shares all about wine,<br />

food, and travel. She and her husband, Peter,<br />

have been married for thirteen years. They<br />

met in high school but did not date until after<br />

college. Amanda says their two yorkies Gibbs<br />

and Bosch “are my heart,” and she finds joy<br />

in spending time with them plus friends and<br />

family. She shared that, unfortunately, heart<br />

disease touches the majority of families in<br />

some way. Her first experience with heart<br />

disease was with her maternal grandfather.<br />

“He had a long battle with heart disease for<br />

many years and underwent open heart surgery<br />

when I was very young. In his later years,<br />

congestive heart failure eventually took his life.”<br />

The next time heart disease would change<br />

Amanda’s family was the day her mother<br />

underwent quadruple bypass surgery. “After<br />

watching her recover from that amazing<br />

surgery, I knew I had to do everything I could<br />

to prevent others from suffering through such<br />

an excruciating and scary experience. I want to<br />

encourage others to take the best care of their<br />

hearts as possible, get their checkups, and<br />

encourage others to do the same!”<br />

For more information about<br />

Amanda’s campaign, go to<br />

www2.heart.org/goto/AmandaKeith<br />

Mindi Kern<br />

The Winning Smile Dental Group<br />

Mindi Kern is the director of marketing for The<br />

Winning Smile Dental Group, a multi-location<br />

dental practice with five offices in the Metro<br />

area. A Corinth native, her family has lived in<br />

Madison for the last thirteen years. Husband<br />

Joey is the chief risk officer for PriorityOne<br />

Bank. They have two children, son Everett (11)<br />

and daughter Mirren (8). The kids’ schedules<br />

keep them busy with tournament baseball,<br />

football, competitive cheer, and tennis. They<br />

recently added a new puppy to the family<br />

named Duffy. The Kerns are active members<br />

at St. Joseph Catholic Church. All of this brings<br />

them joy and Mindi adds, “So does being with<br />

our extended family on vacation, reading a<br />

good book in the bathtub, watching the<br />

sunset at the lake, learning to push myself<br />

and challenge myself through activities; most<br />

recently, learning to play tennis with a fun<br />

group of women!” She said that heart disease<br />

does not directly impact her life currently, but<br />

statistics show that it will eventually, “whether<br />

me or a loved one.” Mindi went on to share,<br />

“As a woman, I know how much we take care<br />

of others in our lives and often don’t prioritize<br />

our own health and put our well-being last.<br />

When I learned that heart disease is the #1<br />

killer of women, it was a harsh reality check<br />

that my heart health doesn’t only affect me,<br />

but my children and husband as well. Joining<br />

the mission of heart health awareness helps<br />

better our community and our loved ones.”<br />

Carla Kirkland<br />

The Kirkland Group<br />

Carla Kirkland is the CEO of The Kirkland<br />

Group, an educational consulting company.<br />

She is a native of Carthage and was married<br />

to the late Malcoln Kirkland Sr. for 36 years.<br />

Joy for Carla is found in travel, dance, and<br />

gospel music. She is mom to daughter, Alexia,<br />

and son, the late Malcoln Kirkland Jr. Carla’s<br />

eight-year-old grandson Collin Malik Stanton<br />

calls her “Gigi.” The fight against heart disease<br />

has become very personal for her. She says,<br />

“On February 4, 2023, I lost my thirty-threeyear-old<br />

son to heart disease. As a mom,<br />

nothing makes one fight harder than something<br />

that affects our children. We found out<br />

about his diagnosis of an enlarged heart ten<br />

years before, while he was playing college<br />

basketball at Arkansas State University. At age<br />

twenty-three, this was devastating to our family<br />

and heart disease ended his basketball career<br />

early and brought about a deep sadness that<br />

he never seemed to overcome. I fight this<br />

disease because it ends lives too early.”<br />

For more information about<br />

Carla’s campaign, go to<br />

www2.heart.org/goto/CarlaKirkland<br />

For more information about<br />

Mindi’s campaign, go to<br />

www2.heart.org/goto/MindiKern<br />

Hometown MADISON • 17

Dr. Catherine Lowe<br />

Jackson Heart Clinic<br />

Dr. Catherine Lowe is an interventional<br />

cardiologist at Jackson Heart Clinic. She and<br />

her husband met in medical school and have<br />

been married for seven years. Catherine said,<br />

“He makes me laugh daily!” They are parents to<br />

two “wonderful little boys, ages one and three<br />

years old, that keep us on our toes. We also<br />

have two adorable pups that just add to the<br />

fun.” When asked what brings her joy, she said<br />

“Honestly, the dynamic of seeing my kids grow<br />

and the honor of getting to be their mom<br />

paralleled with getting to care for my patients<br />

and forming connections that allow me to take<br />

better care of them. I am glad to have stayed<br />

in the state where I was born and raised and<br />

provide care to those who need it most in our<br />

state. Outside of home and work, I enjoy<br />

water skiing, any activity outdoors, and a good<br />

murder mystery.” What is Catherine’s why?<br />

“I have joined the fight against heart disease<br />

because I have seen too many women care<br />

for others while missing the warning signs of<br />

their own bodies. Heart disease is the number<br />

one killer of women, and yet it is the most<br />

overlooked. I want to provide awareness and<br />

education so that if even one woman starts<br />

taking preventative measures, then it will make<br />

a difference.”<br />

For more information about<br />

Catherine’s campaign, go to<br />

www2.heart.org/goto/DrCatherineLowe<br />

Dr. Ardarian Gilliam Pierre<br />

University of Mississippi<br />

Medical Center<br />

Dr. Ardarian Gilliam Pierre grew up in Verona<br />

and completed her undergraduate studies at<br />

Mississippi University for Women with a degree<br />

in microbiology. In 2012, she completed her<br />

medical degree and returned to Jackson to<br />

complete a residency in family medicine<br />

followed by a fellowship in geriatrics and<br />

gerontology at University of Mississippi<br />

Medical Center. Because she has a passion<br />

for education, she remained at UMMC as an<br />

attending physician to train future physicians.<br />

Dr. Pierre and her husband Dr. David C. Pierre<br />

met in medical school. They enjoy serving in<br />

the community with their beautiful children<br />

- Arden, Avery, Dylan, and Aubry. In her free<br />

time, she enjoys family time, playing the piano,<br />

and traveling. She claims that her family “is the<br />

best part of me! We are a nuclear family of six,<br />

and we are adventurous. You can find us<br />

anywhere between home watching movies,<br />

to sporting events and traveling.” Day-to-day<br />

connections with humankind are what bring<br />

her immense joy. Ardarian joined the fight<br />

against heart disease years ago before<br />

embarking on her medical journey, saying<br />

“A number of my family members suffered<br />

from hypertension, strokes, and heart attacks.<br />

I began seeing the need to educate people<br />

about their health risks and the importance of<br />

daily habits like eating appropriate foods and<br />

exercise. As a physician, I often teach my<br />

patients that prevention is key!”<br />

Jennie Simmons<br />

Simmons Erosion Control, Inc<br />

Lake, Mississippi, native Jennie Simmons is the<br />

president of Simmons Erosion Control, Inc.<br />

She and husband Chris have been married for<br />

over twenty-five years and have three daughters,<br />

Katie Beth Simmons who is engaged to Bailey<br />

McDill, Kariana Simmons, and Krissi Joe<br />

Simmons. Jennie says, “Faith brings me great<br />

joy, and I love learning about God through<br />

His word. I love spending quality time with my<br />

family. I am an avid reader. I love to volunteer<br />

in the community, and at my daughter’s<br />

school. I am a huge MSU Bulldog fan/alumnae,<br />

and I love to attend Bulldog sporting events.”<br />

Jennie has a family history of heart disease<br />

through her father, her paternal grandfather,<br />

and her maternal grandmother. She admits<br />

that heart disease “isn’t something that a<br />

person thinks about when they are younger.<br />

However, as I grow older, I have begun to<br />

realize that I should have been thinking about<br />

it and taking proactive steps to make sure that<br />

I remain healthy. Our younger generation<br />

needs to become aware and remain vigilant,<br />

especially if they have a family history of heart<br />

disease.”<br />

For more information about<br />

Jennie’s campaign, go to<br />

www2.heart.org/goto/JennieSimmons<br />

For more information about<br />

Ardarian’s campaign, go to<br />

www2.heart.org/goto/DrArdarianPierre<br />

18 • MARCH 2024

Cathy Lott Northington<br />

Mississippi Economic Council, State Chamber of Commerce<br />

Jackson native Cathy Lott Northington is the<br />

COO for the Mississippi Economic Council,<br />

State Chamber of Commerce. She is the<br />

mother of three, Matt (Macie), Courtland, and<br />

Jordan, and grandmother to Amelia. Cathy<br />

said that, “Being a parent at such an early age<br />

(21) helped me develop a profound work ethic<br />

characterized by resilience, adaptability, and a<br />

steadfast commitment to provide for someone<br />

other than myself.” The joy of becoming a<br />

grandparent to Amelia has further heightened<br />

Cathy’s motivation, giving her a renewed<br />

sense of purpose and responsibility. She said,<br />

“My family’s unwavering support and inspiration<br />

continue to fuel my dedication to serving<br />

others.” What is Cathy’s why? “I am fighting<br />

for heart health to unmask the myth of the<br />

superwoman and advocate for a healthier,<br />

heart-conscious approach to life. I am living<br />

proof that our strength lies not in shouldering<br />

unrealistic expectations but in taking charge<br />

of our heart health — a far more enduring<br />

and meaningful power. As women, we often<br />

find ourselves juggling parenting, career, and<br />

everyday life roles. I was no exception until a<br />

pivotal moment changed everything.<br />

Exhausted by a headache for almost three<br />

days, I brushed off the warning signs, believing<br />

I could power through. A good friend urged<br />

me to check my blood pressure. Unaware of<br />

what was considered high, I was shocked to<br />

discover that my numbers were at stroke<br />

levels. I quickly realized the importance of<br />

knowing our numbers for heart health,<br />

especially for black women. This realization<br />

reshaped my perspective on what it means<br />

to be a strong, capable woman. I now do my<br />

best to urge any woman sharing my story,<br />

especially those who might see me and<br />

assume I’m a superwoman, to embrace the<br />

true superpower of knowing their heart health<br />

numbers. It’s a declaration of empowerment,<br />

a commitment to prioritizing our well-being<br />

over the unrealistic demands of modern life.”<br />

For more information about<br />

Cathy’s campaign, go to<br />

www2.heart.org/goto/CathyNorthington<br />

Since 2004, the American Heart<br />

Association’s signature women’s<br />

initiative, Go Red for Women, has<br />

addressed the awareness and clinical<br />

care gaps of women’s greatest health<br />

threat, cardiovascular disease.<br />

At the Heart Association, we are<br />

prepared to meet the evolving needs<br />

of women now, and at every age,<br />

every stage, and every season of their<br />

lives as their trusted, relevant source<br />

for credible, equitable health solutions.<br />

The Woman of Impact is an inclusive<br />

initiative to drive awareness and raise<br />

funds for women’s heart health in our<br />

community. Together, our Women of<br />

Impact are a relentless force, using their<br />

voices to advocate for women’s heart<br />

health and raise awareness that<br />

cardiovascular disease is the<br />

number one killer of women.<br />

For more information about the 2024<br />

Jackson Women of Impact campaign<br />

or to support one of our nominees<br />

with a donation, use this QR code.<br />


2024 Metro Jackson Go Red for Women Luncheon<br />

Friday, June 7 / Jackson Convention Center<br />

The event chair is Debra McGee, senior vice president for BankPlus.<br />

The luncheon includes a health fair and a heart disease survivor fashion show.<br />

For more information, email our Go Red Director Katherine Byrd at katherine.byrd@heart.org<br />

or go to heart.org/jxngored<br />

Hometown MADISON • 19

20 • MARCH 2024

Hometown MADISON • 21

Dr. Charlene Collier, MD, MPH, MHS, FACOG<br />


22 • MARCH 2024<br />

HAVEN<br />

Pregnancy Wellness & Women’s Health<br />

302 Higland Park Cove, Suite B, Ridgeland, MS<br />

601.707.3970 / www.mycarehaven.health

Susan Marquez<br />

advertiser spotlight<br />

Dr. Charlene Collier<br />

Provides a Safe Haven for Women of All Ages<br />

When Dr. Charlene Collier moved to<br />

Mississippi in 2013, she was excited to have the<br />

opportunity to work in public health. The OBGYN<br />

doctor is a native of New Jersey but was introduced<br />

to Mississippi through her medical school.<br />

“Brown has a fifty-year partnership with<br />

Tougaloo College, which includes students from<br />

Tougaloo attending Brown’s medical program<br />

each year, and Brown students being able to visit<br />

Mississippi. I visited Jackson through that program<br />

and became fast friends with Jackson native Janelle<br />

Thompson Vinson who became my med school<br />

roommate.”<br />

Collier visited Mississippi once during college<br />

and returned for her roommate’s wedding. “I met<br />

my husband there,” she laughs. Gerald Collier, a<br />

Monticello native, attended Mississippi State<br />

University and graduated from law school at<br />

Mississippi College. “He was willing to move up<br />

north, but I was excited that God led me to an<br />

opportunity to combine my medical and public<br />

health career in Mississippi. That’s what I had<br />

always wanted to do.”<br />

With a passion for trying to alleviate disparity<br />

in the medical world, Collier is also very concerned<br />

with patients having a good experience with their<br />

doctor. “From the time I was a child, dreaming of<br />

becoming a doctor, I never imagined I would<br />

own a practice, but I wanted to build on what I<br />

had been working on for so long. I had developed<br />

programs and health policies, but I wanted a<br />

more personal impact. It was important to me to<br />

see these things in action. I wanted people to feel<br />

seen, heard, and valued.”<br />

After ten years of working in public health<br />

and academic practice, as well as a brief year in<br />

executive leadership at a maternal health startup<br />

company, Cayaba Care, 2023 brought a year of<br />

big changes for Collier. On October 24th last<br />

year, Collier opened her practice, HAVEN:<br />

Pregnancy, Wellness, and Women’s Health, in<br />

Ridgeland. “A doula I often work with helped<br />

come up with the name,” she says. “It reflects<br />

comfort and acceptance, which is the spirit we are<br />

trying to capture.” HAVEN is a comprehensive<br />

women’s health practice that focuses on the<br />

long-term relative to women’s health. “We treat<br />

a full spectrum of women, from adolescents to<br />

post-menopause and later years. From prenatal<br />

care, to obstetric and gynecological care, women’s<br />

health is important for their full life, and we are<br />

here for all of it.”<br />

Collier focused on three things that were<br />

important to her when building her practice.<br />

“First, we are family at HAVEN. Our staff is only<br />

three people for now, but we take care of each<br />

other, and we pray for each other, the practice, and<br />

our patients. Providing a workplace where the<br />

staff is valued creates a better overall experience<br />

for everyone, and in the end, there are better<br />

outcomes.” Trina Smith, the receptionist and<br />

office manager for HAVEN, always makes patients<br />

feel welcomed with a smiling face. Jakita Winters<br />

is the lead practice nurse at HAVEN. “I help<br />

make sure the practice runs smoothly and that<br />

each person’s experience is positive.”<br />

Next is the environment, which is soothing<br />

and comfortable. Decorated more like a home<br />

than a medical facility, close attention was paid to<br />

the patient experience. Artwork is diverse and<br />

empowering. Robes and slippers are in the rooms,<br />

and chairs are cozy and easy for people of all<br />

abilities and body shapes to be comfortable.<br />

Finally, the practice is designed to care for<br />

diverse patients – economically, socially, racially,<br />

and ethnically. “I spent my career fighting<br />

disparities in healthcare where Black women<br />

were more likely to die during childbirth, have<br />

preterm births, or experience infant deaths. Most<br />

of those experiences were linked to women<br />

having negative interpersonal experiences and<br />

saying they were not being listened to or valued.<br />

That is unacceptable, and no patient will ever feel<br />

that way in our care.”<br />

Collier says her doors are open to all women.<br />

“We don’t want people to be denied healthcare<br />

due to race or economic concerns. I believe in<br />

equitable care. Everyone at HAVEN will receive<br />

the care they need for the best outcome.” Collier<br />

says that sometimes means making a home visit<br />

or a telehealth appointment. “We try to be as<br />

creative and flexible as possible, including things<br />

like making sure people have a blood pressure<br />

cuff so we can monitor them.”<br />

More than anything, Collier wants HAVEN<br />

to be a place where people feel heard. “I want<br />

to focus on wellness and positive outcomes,<br />

and I want patients to feel safe and comfortable<br />

asking questions. If people don’t feel heard, they<br />

may shy away from doctors. Our focus isn’t just<br />

on surviving, but thriving. We want people to feel<br />

grounded in a healing space to receive the care<br />

they need. If people feel safe and special, they’ll<br />

continue to come back.”<br />

While the practice is small, Collier says she<br />

hopes to grow. “My dream is to bring this model<br />

of compassionate, close, and uplifting care to<br />

as many people as God will bless me to serve.<br />

I’ve found this to be a joyful way to provide care.<br />

I never want medicine to be a source of stress –<br />

it should be a relief from stress!”<br />

Collier says she is happy to be in Ridgeland.<br />

“I believe there is a real need for what we are<br />

doing here,” she says. A part of the community in<br />

which she services, Collier and her husband reside<br />

in Ridgeland with their two sons.<br />

www.mycarehaven.health<br />

Hometown MADISON • 23

24 • MARCH 2024

Hometown MADISON • 25

Madison’s<br />

BEST OF<br />

THE BEST<br />

26 • MARCH 2024

With a continued desire to promote Madison<br />

County businesses, Hometown Magazines has created a<br />

red-carpet event that will celebrate the outstanding business<br />

community in which we live and work. Madison County’s<br />

Best of the Best Red Carpet Gala is born!<br />

Forty-four categories have been established to start.<br />

We asked for submissions from the public for favorites<br />

in each category. Thousands of votes were cast as<br />

people voted for their top choices in each group.<br />

On March 21st, nominees will walk the red carpet at the<br />

inaugural event where the winners will be announced.<br />

Listed here are all the nominees. We congratulate<br />

every single business for this incredible achievement–<br />

and love being a part of your success story.<br />

Nominees<br />

Hometown MADISON • 27

Dining<br />

BEST BAR<br />

Caet [seafood | oysterette]<br />

Half Shell Oyster House<br />

Koestler Prime<br />

The Briar Patch<br />

Two Rivers Restaurant & Catering<br />


Angelo's BBQ-Pizza-Italian<br />

Boo's Smokehouse BBQ<br />

Burgers Blues Barbecue<br />

Dickey's Barbecue Pit<br />

Full Moon Bar-B-Que<br />


Bless This Food Catering<br />

Madison Graze<br />

The Strawberry Cafe<br />

Two Rivers Restaurant & Catering<br />

Your Personal Chef<br />


Cups Expresso Cafe<br />

Fusion Coffeehouse<br />

Kudzu Coffee & Bakery<br />

Mocha Mugs<br />

Parkway Perk<br />


Aplos Simple Mediterranean<br />

Mama Hamil’s Southern Cookin'<br />

and Bar B Que Buffet<br />

Primos Cafe & Bake Shop<br />

The Strawberry Cafe<br />

Trace Grill<br />


Cazadores, Ridgeland<br />

El Ranchito, Madison<br />

El Sombrero, Gluckstadt<br />

Fernando's, Ridgeland<br />

Plato Feliz, Livingston<br />


Lost Pizza<br />

Pizza Shack<br />

Railroad Pizza Company<br />

Sal & Mookie’s<br />

Soulshine Pizza<br />



Madison Nutrition<br />

MissiSIPPi Nutrition (Sipp)<br />

Smoothie King<br />

Stadt Nutrition<br />

The Blend Nutrition<br />


Bill's Creole and Steak Depot<br />

Ely’s Restaurant & Bar<br />

Koestler Prime<br />

Shapley's Restaurant<br />

Two Rivers Restaurant & Catering<br />

Health & Wellness<br />


Body Anew Spa & Aesthetics<br />

Faces, PLLC<br />

Gluckstadt Aesthetics<br />

MAD Esthetics Medspa<br />

SKIN Aesthetics<br />


Center for Contemporary Dentistry<br />

Murphey Dental Aesthetics<br />

Olde Towne Dental<br />

The Winning Smile<br />

Tracey Douglas, DMD, PA<br />


Baptist Healthplex<br />

Burn Boot Camp<br />

Flora Fit - CrossFit Flora<br />

Gluckstadt Fitness<br />

Orangetheory Fitness<br />


AFC Urgent Care<br />

Baptist Medical Clinic- Gluckstadt Primary Care<br />

MEA-Madison Primary Plus Clinic<br />

Merit Health Medical Group, Canton<br />

Trustcare Medical Clinic, Highland Colony Pkwy<br />



Crawford Eye Care<br />

Eye Group of Mississippi<br />

Jackson Eye Associates<br />

Northeast Eye Care<br />

Professional Eyecare Associates, Madison<br />


Boleware | Vassar Orthodontics<br />

Dr. Eugene Brown, DMD<br />

Jolly Orthodontics<br />

Moffett & Walley Orthodontics<br />

SmartSmile Orthodontics<br />


Brick City Drugs<br />

Flora Pharmacy<br />

Saver Express, Ridgeland<br />

The Corner Pharmacy and Market<br />

Uptown Pharmacy<br />


CLINIC<br />

Elite Physical Therapy<br />

Healing Hands Rehabilitation Services<br />

Performance Therapy<br />

Professional Therapy Solutions<br />

TherapySouth<br />

Retail<br />


CIA Autoplex<br />

Hallmark Hyundai North<br />

Mac Haik<br />

Mercedes-Benz of Jackson<br />

Patty Peck Honda<br />


Ace of Grace Boutique<br />

CoatTails<br />

Monkee's of Ridgeland<br />

Pink Possum<br />

West of Fifty Five<br />


Bellini Blooms<br />

Gina Diamond's Flower Co.<br />

Green Oak Florist<br />

Mostly Martha's Floral Designs<br />

Wisteria Lane Florist & Gifts<br />


Elle James Bridal<br />

Once Upon a Dress<br />

Prim and Proper<br />

The Bridal Path<br />

Tuxedo Junction, Ridgeland<br />


Farmhouse<br />

Interior Spaces<br />

J.Allan's<br />

Relish Home Accents<br />

SummerHouse<br />


Apple Annie's<br />

Impromptu<br />

Lagniappe Gifts<br />

Madison Marketplace<br />

Persnickety<br />

28 • MARCH 2024



Callaway's Yard & Garden Center<br />

Freshway Produce<br />

Madison Garden Center<br />

Martinson's Garden Works<br />

Two Dog Farms<br />


Best Nails, Madison<br />

Euro Nails<br />

4 Seasons, Gluckstadt<br />

Sandals Day Spa & Nails<br />

Serenity Nails, Gluckstadt<br />


Canvas Salon<br />

Salon Honey<br />

The Glossary Salon<br />

The Tonsorium of Flora<br />

Watercolor Salon<br />

Professionals<br />


GranthamPoole, PLLC<br />

Harper Raines Knight & Company, P.A.<br />

HORNE<br />

Matthews, Cutrer & Lindsay, P.A.<br />

Weems McDonald, LLC<br />


Dean Architecture P.A., Ridgeland<br />

Design Studio Inc., Ridgeland<br />

Greg Ainsworth Architects, Madison<br />

Joseph Orr Architecture P.A., Madison<br />

Seabold Architectural Studio, Ridgeland<br />


Big 10<br />

Car Care Clinic<br />

European Auto Repair<br />

Madison Motor Werks<br />

Mavis Madison Tire & Brakes<br />



Big River Rentals<br />

Deviney Rental & Supply<br />

Hartley Equipment Company<br />

Mississippi Tent & Party Rental<br />

Puckett Rents<br />


BankPlus<br />

Cadence Bank<br />

Origin Bank<br />

RiverHills Bank<br />

Trustmark Bank<br />



Cedarstone Construction<br />

Ellard Properties<br />

Servpro of Jackson & Madison County<br />

Tate Properties<br />

Watkins Construction and Roofing<br />


Allstate, Amy Edwards and Derek Tortorich<br />

Nationwide Insurance, Rusty Healy<br />

Shelter Insurance,<br />

Bradford Foster and David Thames<br />

State Farm, Robin Covington<br />

Summit Insurance Group, Sarah McCurdy<br />


Burleson Lawn Service<br />

Kinkade's Lawn and Landscape<br />

LawnScape Solutions<br />

Pro-Lawn Landscape and Maintenance<br />

Turf Solutions, LLC<br />


Baldridge Law Firm, PLLC<br />

Butler Snow<br />

Elliott Law Firm, PLLC<br />

Luckett Land Title<br />

Wells Marble & Hurst PLLC<br />


The Chandler Group<br />

Haley Properties<br />

Hometown Property Group<br />

Keller Williams New Beginnings<br />

Polles Properties<br />


AAA Travel<br />

Allen Travel Planners<br />

Elite Travels<br />

For Travelers Only<br />

Magnolia Travel Group<br />


All Creatures Animal Care Center<br />

Canton Animal Hospital<br />

Flora Animal Hospital<br />

Gluckstadt Animal Hospital<br />

Mannsdale Animal Clinic<br />

Community<br />



St. Catherine's Village<br />

Sunnybrook Estates<br />

The Blake At Township<br />

The Orchard<br />

The Waterford on Highland Colony<br />


ACE Cheer Company<br />

Encore Dance Studio<br />

JAM Athletics<br />

Mississippi Metropolitan Dance Academy<br />

Victory Sport<br />


- SMALL<br />

(1-49 EMPLOYEES)<br />

Flora Pharmacy<br />

Morris Transport and Moving<br />

MS Neurology Care Clinic<br />

Repeat Street<br />

SmallTown Hunting Properties & Real Estate<br />


- MEDIUM<br />

( 50-100 EMPLOYEES)<br />

AccentCare Home Health<br />

Georgia Blue<br />

Origin Bank<br />

Sullivan's Marketplace, Gluckstadt<br />

Watkins Construction and Roofing<br />


- LARGE<br />

(101 + EMPLOYEES)<br />

C Spire<br />

City of Madison<br />

Madison County School District<br />

Merit Health Madison<br />

Nissan<br />


Hope Hollow Ministries<br />

Junior Auxiliary of Madison County<br />

MadCAAP<br />

Sunnybrook Children's Home<br />

The Lily Pad<br />

Hometown MADISON • 29


Open House<br />

0 4 . 0 4 . 2 4<br />

J e n n i f e r R a v e n s t e i n , F N P - B C - N u r s e I n j e c t o r<br />

1 8 9 6 M a i n S t . | M a d i s o n , M S | 6 0 1 . 8 5 3 . 2 3 1 0<br />











The mission of the Madison County Business League & Foundation is to bring together, under one<br />

organization, the voice of numerous entities in order to establish a clear and concise message for the future.<br />

This organization, which is comprised of elected, appointed, business and individual leaders of Madison<br />

County, will enable all partners in business and economic development to participate collectively in bringing<br />

together the overall vision for Madison County.<br />

135 Mississippi Parkway | Canton, MS 39046 | 601-707-3303<br />

www.madisoncountybusinessleague.com<br />



30 • MARCH 2024

Hometown MADISON • 31

32 • MARCH 2024

The<br />

Chustzs<br />

Tell us about your family.<br />

We're Jamie-50, Katie-49, Steven-22, and Sam-18<br />

We are members of Christ United of Jackson. All the boys love<br />

to play tennis together and also with and among many friends in<br />

their respective tennis communities. Both boys played travel and<br />

high school soccer. Sam enjoyed many years of basketball and<br />

baseball, and Steven played high school football. When the boys<br />

are not playing sports, they all enjoy deer and duck hunting at<br />

their camps in Yazoo County and near Greenwood. Katie enjoys<br />

watching all sporting events, working out at Burn Boot Camp<br />

and HOTWORX, running 5ks, traveling, and reading a variety<br />

of genres of books. As a family, we have enjoyed going to MSU<br />

football and tailgating for decades.<br />

How did you meet, and how long have you been married?<br />

We have been married for twenty-seven years this May. We met<br />

at Mississippi State when Jamie was asked to coach my sorority<br />

flag football team. As college sweethearts, we feel blessed to have<br />

“grown-up” together during those fun days of campus life. We<br />

moved to Madison in our first year of marriage and have loved<br />

and appreciated how our city leadership has grown an exceptional<br />

community for us to raise our family.<br />

Hometown MADISON • 33

Do you allow time to be with your<br />

spouse for a date night?<br />

We have never had a scheduled date night,<br />

per say, but we have many common<br />

interests, so enjoying time together has<br />

never been difficult. Traveling to a<br />

sporting event is honestly some of our<br />

best time together. We also like a rare<br />

weekend getaway opportunity, too.<br />

What brings you the greatest joy<br />

as a parent?<br />

As our boys continue to grow older, the<br />

greatest joy is experiencing them both<br />

maturing and becoming the two adults<br />

that we like to hang-out with the most.<br />

We get the most joy from talking to them<br />

and learning from their perspectives on<br />

everything from life, to politics, and<br />

even religion.<br />

34 • MARCH 2024<br />

When your children were younger,<br />

what was your discipline philosophy?<br />

Looking back now, we laugh with our boys<br />

about their bigger discipline moments.<br />

We can also see now that what worked for<br />

one son didn’t always work for the other.<br />

Equal is not always fair, fair is not always<br />

equal. Depending on the age and infraction,<br />

we used a combination of corporal<br />

punishment, time-outs, rewards, and<br />

privilege management. For us, prayer and<br />

talking to other boy parents was our<br />

lifeline to all parenting challenges, and it<br />

still is today!<br />

Who is the financial manager<br />

in your home?<br />

Naturally, as a banker, Jamie is the<br />

detail manager for all things financial.<br />

I hate numbers.<br />

What do you see in your role as the<br />

greatest benefit to your family?<br />

Faith. Communication. Laughter.<br />

Forgiveness. Also, being near our extended<br />

family here in Madison and within<br />

Mississippi and the South has been a<br />

benefit that reaps support and unconditional<br />

love. Finally, strong schools and<br />

church communities have helped come<br />

along beside us providing the benefit of<br />

growth personally and spiritually.<br />

What’s a quick go to meal that isn’t fast<br />

food? And who does the cooking?<br />

Two boxes of Zatarain’s red beans and<br />

rice and throw in some deer sausage that<br />

is always available in our freezer. A Caesar<br />

salad kit is always in our fridge, so toss<br />

that with it. I probably do the majority<br />

of school night meals, and Jamie is the<br />

grill master on the weekends.

Note: Jamie is great at grocery shopping<br />

and strangely enjoys it, which is great since<br />

I truly dislike all stores.<br />

How long has Madison been your home?<br />

Twenty-six years. Wow!<br />

What are some of your favorite things<br />

about Madison County?<br />

The walking and biking trails, sidewalks,<br />

and the Reservoir for boating. We also love<br />

the central location close to our favorite<br />

weekend trips to hunting camps, Starkville,<br />

Memphis, New Orleans, and the Coast.<br />

How do you spend your summer breaks?<br />

As a teacher, I view summertime as a<br />

blessing! Since my days of managing my own<br />

children’s summer activities have ended,<br />

I enjoy finding ways to volunteer at various<br />

non-profits. Digging in the dirt, cooking<br />

new dishes, as well as reading and exercising<br />

at decent mid-morning hours at both<br />

HOTWORKS and Burn Boot Camps<br />

keeps me busy. Summer also allows more<br />

time spent with family and friends near and<br />

far. Jamie likes to save a week of vacation<br />

time for summer travel with the family,<br />

typically to the beach.<br />

What accomplishments make you proud<br />

during your time living in Madison?<br />

Katie Raising two boys to be good and<br />

successful adults, and teaching generations<br />

of students in both Madison County<br />

Schools and Jackson Academy in my<br />

twenty years as a classroom teacher.<br />

Jamie Investing in raising our boys<br />

throughout their lives and enjoying all the<br />

moments while watching them grow and<br />

flourish in our great community in which<br />

we have been blessed to raise them.<br />

What drives you to have the job that you<br />

have? And what do you do for a living?<br />

Katie I love my job as a 9th grade health<br />

and electives teacher at Rosa Scott High<br />

School. After teaching mostly science<br />

classes 6-12th grade for the majority of my<br />

career at three different schools, I feel like<br />

I have landed in the best role for this season<br />

of my life and career, both for my family<br />

and students. Now that my own boys are<br />

older, I particularly love coming to school<br />

each day and spending my time with<br />

fifteen-year-olds.<br />

Jamie I have always enjoyed my career<br />

in commercial real estate. I was blessed<br />

as a young man to be hired by Leland<br />

Speed at Parkway Properties, and now<br />

I am blessed to use my background in<br />

CRE to help others as a lender and advisor<br />

for the projects they are passionate about,<br />

which make an impact on our community.<br />

I have also enjoyed doing so in a great<br />

environment with my family at First<br />

Commerical Bank.<br />

What was your favorite memory<br />

raising your family in Madison?<br />

Katie Riding bikes with my boys to<br />

Smoothie King and watching them<br />

play baseball in the cul-de-sac with<br />

neighborhood kids.<br />

Jamie Walking the boys to school at<br />

Madison Avenue and sledding on the<br />

rare snow days.<br />


What’s your favorite thing to do<br />

as a family?<br />

Steven Watch movies<br />

Sam Play tennis with dad<br />

What your favorite restaurant?<br />

Steven Shapley’s or Koestler Prime<br />

Sam Fusion<br />

What’s your favorite TV show?<br />

Steven For all Mankind<br />

Sam Breaking Bad<br />

What was your favorite childhood<br />

memory growing up in Madison?<br />

Steven Hitting a homerun at Liberty<br />

Park and movies at Malco.<br />

Sam Playing soccer and baseball at<br />

Liberty Park.<br />

Hometown MADISON • 35

Thank You!<br />

for voting Elite PT<br />

TOP 5 for Best<br />

Physical Therapy<br />

We are proud to provide physical therapy services<br />

to Madison County and look forward to continuing<br />

to serve the local community with exceptional<br />

physical therapy care!<br />

locations:<br />

Flora<br />

740 Highway 49, Suite F • Flora, MS 39071<br />

P (601) 401-5073<br />

Madison<br />

1022 Highway 51, Suite 300 • Madison, MS 39110<br />

P (601) 572-3818<br />

Yazoo City<br />

110 N Jerry Clower Boulevard, Suite M<br />

Yazoo City, MS 39194<br />

P (662) 763-3750<br />

Request an appointment at ElitePT.com<br />

36 • MARCH 2024

Helping Opportunity Take Shape<br />

CadenceBank.com<br />

© 2023 Cadence Bank. All Rights Reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Opportunity Lender.<br />

Hometown MADISON • 37

38 • MARCH 2024<br />

Photos: Destiny Perkins Photography


Mollie Buchanan<br />

Susan Marquez<br />








“That may come from growing up with a<br />

brother who lives with autism. She has a very<br />

compassionate heart.”<br />

Mary and her husband, Curt, are very proud<br />

of both of their children. Mollie is a tenth grader<br />

at Germantown High School. Her brother,<br />

Tripp, is thirteen months younger than Mollie,<br />

and he attends Germantown High as well.<br />

To say Mollie stays busy is an understatement.<br />

In addition to her classes and schoolwork, she<br />

participates in several extracurricular activities,<br />

including being a member of the Diamond Girls,<br />

a group of girls who support the Germantown<br />

baseball team by running the music at the games,<br />

working the concession stand, and even running<br />

after foul balls. She is also on the yearbook staff,<br />

Student Council Association, and she is currently<br />

up for representative of the Interact Club, a<br />

community service group club that serves different<br />

roles in the community. Mollie especially enjoys<br />

participating in the Healthcare Academy at<br />

Germantown, a which requires an application/<br />

process. Students are selected each year, and their<br />

classes are on a medical track with RN’s teaching<br />

their medical classes. “It is super fun,” says Mollie.<br />

“It’s like the first couple of years of medical school.<br />

Each semester we study a different system in the<br />

body like the muscular system.” Participating<br />

students will graduate already having certifications<br />

in the medical field, so it is a step ahead for<br />

those students who want to go that route.<br />

Mollie says she wants to go into occupational<br />

therapy for special needs kids. “My mom has a<br />

friend who works at the Little Light House who<br />

does that kind of work. I volunteer there when I<br />

can. I think it would be amazing to help children<br />

through occupational therapy and teaching them<br />

to do things they thought they couldn’t do.”<br />

She has seen the work of occupational<br />

therapists first-hand with her grandmother. “It is<br />

amazing what they are able to help her do.”<br />

Growing up with Tripp has taught Mollie<br />

patience and compassion. She volunteers regularly<br />

at Hope Hollow Ministries, which provides<br />

year-round Christian camp experiences for<br />

families touched by disability. “A friend invited<br />

me to go to a spring break camp there when I was<br />

in the eighth grade,” she says. “We went every day<br />

for a week, and I loved making crafts with the<br />

special needs kids there.” Mollie now helps with<br />

cooking classes at Hope Hollow once a week, as<br />

well as Parent’s Night Out, but her favorite thing<br />

to do there is a girl’s Bible study. “I work with a<br />

group of middle school girls, and I love every<br />

moment of it. We meet once a month, and the<br />

girls always look forward to it. I have grown very<br />

close to them while sharing God’s word.”<br />

Mollie is also involved with the student<br />

ministry at her church, Broadmoor Baptist, and<br />

she loves spending time with her grandmother.<br />

“My grandma is amazing, and with each moment<br />

I spend with her, I realize we aren’t promised<br />

tomorrow. She is such an inspiration. She has<br />

done work with prison ministries, she has passed<br />

out water bottles to people in her hometown, and<br />

she has baked cookies for the firemen. She has<br />

always had such a giving heart, and I think she is<br />

one of the reasons I’m motivated to do all I do.”<br />

To think what this sixteen-year-old can<br />

accomplish in her next two years of high school<br />

boggles the mind. She makes it all look so easy.<br />

Her whole friend group is like Mollie,” says her<br />

mom. They are all amazing kids. It gives you<br />

hope for the future when you see them.”<br />

Hometown MADISON • 39

Thank you for your<br />

vote, Madison County!<br />

We are honored by the outpouring of support<br />

from our customers, family, friends, and<br />

community. Protecting you is our passion!<br />

Covington Insurance Agcy Inc<br />

Robin Covington, Agent<br />

118 Weisenberger Rd Ste 100<br />

Madison, MS 39110-5012<br />

Bus: 601-898-8110<br />

www.rcovington.com<br />

Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there. ®<br />

40 • MARCH 2024

Inpatient mental health services for senior adults ages 65+<br />

Psychiatric assessments may be necessary<br />

if an individual has trouble with:<br />

• Memory loss<br />

• Mood disturbances<br />

• Depression or anxiety<br />

• Coping with losses and transitions<br />

• Activities of daily living<br />

• Substance use<br />

We can help with no-cost assessments<br />

available 24/7. Walk-ins are welcome and<br />

most insurances accepted. Call us today<br />

at 601-936-7886 to take the next step.<br />

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Model representations of real patients are shown. Physicians are<br />

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limited exceptions, are independent practitioners who are not<br />

employees or agents of Brentwood Behavioral Healthcare. The facility<br />

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Hometown MADISON • 41

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Hometown MADISON • 43

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Hometown MADISON • 47

advertiser<br />

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48 • MARCH 2024

When she graduated from<br />

Brookhaven High School,<br />

Christi Chandler<br />

headed to Ole Miss to major in<br />

communications and marketing.<br />

“Honestly, I envisioned being<br />

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After she graduated, Christi landed a job<br />

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The Millsaps position required a lot of<br />

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When she isn’t working, Christi enjoys<br />

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Christi and Blair have two children, daughter<br />

Baili, who is seventeen, and son Phen, who<br />

is sixteen.<br />

Hometown MADISON • 49

50 • MARCH 2024

Hometown MADISON • 51

advertiser spotlight<br />

For more than 30 years, the Mississippi<br />

Metropolitan Ballet has been a dynamic<br />

force in enriching the cultural landscape of<br />

central Mississippi. MMB, a pre-professional<br />

and non-profit ballet company based in<br />

Madison, brings the magic of dance into our<br />

community through critically-acclaimed<br />

performances, a commitment to quality dance education, and an extensive outreach<br />

program that brings dance to children and communities that are typically underserved<br />

by the arts. Artistic Director Jennifer Beasley and Artistic Associate Crystal Skelton<br />

recently answered our questions regarding MMB and their upcoming performance of<br />

“Alice in Wonderland” at Jackson Academy Performing Arts Center on March 23 and 24.<br />

Jennifer Beasley<br />

Artistic Director<br />

Crystal Skelton<br />

Artistic Associate<br />

What inspired the choice of “Alice in<br />

Wonderland” as the Mississippi Metropolitan<br />

Ballet’s 2024 spring production?<br />

Beasley Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet has created a<br />

tradition of presenting beloved fairytale ballets each<br />

spring throughout its 30 year history. Past productions<br />

have included “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Little<br />

Mermaid,” “Frozen Heart,” “Cinderella,”“The Princess<br />

and the Pea,” and “Alice in Wonderland.” We have<br />

presented “Alice in Wonderland” a couple of times<br />

since the company’s inception, and I choreographed<br />

our original version more than 25 years ago. In 2018,<br />

Artistic Associate Crystal Skelton and I decided that it<br />

was time to bring a fresh, more elaborate production<br />

into our repertoire that would better suit our bigger,<br />

more resource-rich, company.<br />

Skelton We began to research possible choreographers<br />

for a new production of “Alice,” and as members<br />

of the Southeastern Regional Ballet Association/<br />

Regional Dance America, we were connected to a<br />

network rich with talented options. After considering<br />

several possibilities, we contacted Charles Maple,<br />

a former dancer with New York’s American Ballet<br />

Theatre who had recently created a critically-acclaimed<br />

production of “Alice” with his own company, the Maple<br />

Youth Ballet in Irvine, California. We were able to<br />

watch some video of his production and we knew, right<br />

away, this was the way to go. The choreography was<br />

brilliant, the sets and costumes bright and inventive,<br />

and the special effects totally stunning. The moment<br />

we started a conversation with Mr. Maple about how<br />

to bring his production to Mississippi is when we fell<br />

down the rabbit hole and started a new adventure! We<br />

had such an overwhelming response to our 2019<br />

production and so much hard work went into the<br />

creation that we felt this would be the perfect time for<br />

the company to bring it back to the stage this season.<br />

52 • MARCH 2024<br />

Could you provide insights into the<br />

collaboration between choreographers,<br />

costume designers, and set designers in<br />

bringing the production to life?<br />

Beasley With so many quirky characters and<br />

whimsical moments in this “Wonderland” came the<br />

need for a lot of quirky costumes and whimsical set<br />

pieces, all of which needed to be created from scratch.<br />

This is where the army of volunteers and parents set to<br />

work—from creating both Alice’s iconic dress and a<br />

miniature matching version for “Little Alice,” to<br />

constructing 18 petal costumes from foam, to creating<br />

unicorn horns and tails, hedgehog costumes,<br />

Tweedledee and Tweedledum’s suspenders and beanie<br />

hats, the Queen’s elaborate red dress and red wig, and<br />

the Cheshire Cat’s handpainted pink and purple<br />

catsuit. Producing costumes for each of the ballet’s<br />

more than 100 roles was a huge task. MMB recruited<br />

current and past dancer parents who possessed sewing<br />

skills, and they tackled the challenge over several weeks.<br />

Additionally, MMB brought in Mr. Steven Inskeep,<br />

the designer of Mr. Maple’s original “Alice in<br />

Wonderland” at the Maple Youth Ballet, who worked<br />

with MMB’s volunteer costume crew to instruct and<br />

assist in creating costumes, headpieces, and props while<br />

he was in residence with MMB for more than a week<br />

in February in 2019. We set up what was basically a<br />

costume factory in one of our volunteer’s garage for<br />

that week, churning out petal costumes, bumblebee<br />

headpieces, mushroom, spider, and ladybug costumes…<br />

you name it. Mr. Inskeep and our volunteers worked<br />

13- 14 hour days and accomplished in one week what<br />

Mr. Inskeep said took him more than 2 months when<br />

he did the original production with Mr. Maple.<br />

Are there any unique elements in this<br />

performance of “Alice in Wonderland”<br />

that the audience can look forward to?<br />

Beasley One of the main selling points for MMB in<br />

acquiring Mr. Maple’s “Alice in Wonderland” was his<br />

use of special effects. When we watched the video clips<br />

of his DVD, the camera followed the White Rabbit as<br />

he jumped off the front of the stage, presumably down<br />

the rabbit hole, and then Alice followed him. Next the<br />

camera panned up and there was Alice, suspended in<br />

mid-air as she tumbled and tumbled. Our jaws<br />

dropped! It was such a cool effect. To achieve this, we<br />

cast a double for Alice (‘Tumbling Alice’) who hangs<br />

from rigging above the stage that will be provided and<br />

supervised by the professional theatrical flying service,<br />

ZFX Flying Effects, which is considered the most<br />

prolific and widely-respected theatrical flying service in<br />

the world, and will send a flying director to<br />

Mississippi mid-March to conduct all aspects of this<br />

special effect in MMB’s show. There are several other<br />

fantastic special touches and effects employed in the<br />

production, but I hesitate to disclose too many of<br />

our secrets. We hope to keep our potential audience<br />

curious enough to come and see for themselves!<br />

In what way does “Alice in Wonderland”<br />

showcase the technical and artistic<br />

capabilities of the Mississippi Metropolitan<br />

Ballet dancers?<br />

Beasley There are many roles in “Alice in Wonderland”<br />

for dancers of all ages which is one reason it was<br />

appealing to our company. In selecting ‘Alice’ for our<br />

2024 spring production, we actually had many<br />

candidates. Mr. Maple was here in the summer of 2023<br />

teaching at our Summer Intensive and selected a few<br />

dancers at that time to learn selections of each featured<br />

role as an audition. These dancers worked on the<br />

choreography and auditioned again in January. We<br />

narrowed it down to four candidates, and after many<br />

videos being viewed by Mr. Maple, MMB soloist<br />

dancer Rebecca Trowbridge was selected for the role.<br />

Trowbridge, a senior at Madison Ridgeland Academy<br />

and a dancer with MMDA/MMB since the age of 8,<br />

was a perfect fit for the role. Trowbridge is both an<br />

accomplished technical dancer and a talented actress.<br />

Skelton I just knew from the beginning of rehearsals<br />

that she would excel in bringing the role of Alice to life.<br />

Obviously Alice has to carry the ballet. These are<br />

Alice’s adventures in Wonderland, and there are many<br />

of them! Alice is a tough role because she is in virtually<br />

every scene. It requires a lot of stamina and technical<br />

prowess, as well as a wide range of emotions. Alice

encounters many interesting characters as she travels<br />

through Wonderland: the White Rabbit, the Cheshire<br />

Cat, the Tiger Lily, the Duchess, the Mad Hatter and<br />

the March Hare, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, the<br />

Caterpillar, the Queen of Hearts—they all appear in<br />

Mr. Maple’s version, and MMB dancers fill nearly all<br />

the roles, except for the Mad Hatter and the<br />

Caterpillar. These roles will be danced by professional<br />

guest artists. Additionally, the role of the Executioner<br />

will be played by William Johnson of Clinton who will<br />

don rollerblades onstage as the Queen’s assassin. The<br />

rollerblading Executioner is one of the many quirky,<br />

whimsical elements of this “Alice in Wonderland” that<br />

is sure to leave audiences smiling like the Cheshire Cat.<br />

Could you elaborate on the role of<br />

community outreach programs like<br />

“Ballet in the Balcony” and how they<br />

contribute to the mission of the Mississippi<br />

Metropolitan Ballet?<br />

Beasley Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet distinguishes<br />

itself from all others with over 30 years of continued<br />

dedicated service to the community through our<br />

outreach program that has been generously supported<br />

financially by the Gertrude C. Ford Foundation over<br />

the past several years. Our organization strives to<br />

produce sustainable, inclusive, and engaging outreach<br />

programs that make ballet accessible to participants<br />

of all racial, cultural, and economic backgrounds.<br />

MMB is committed to making dance accessible to<br />

everyone, from very young children to senior citizens,<br />

through interactive dance demonstrations, discounted<br />

and free theatre performances and lecture demonstrations.<br />

Our “Ballet in the Balcony” program serves<br />

thousands annually by allowing students from<br />

organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club,<br />

Sunnybrook Children’s Home, The Mustard Seed,<br />

and Joni & Friends to attend our final Nutcracker<br />

dress rehearsal.<br />

What are the educational opportunities<br />

available for aspiring dancers within the<br />

company, and how does the ballet company<br />

support the growth of young talent?<br />

Beasley The Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet is<br />

comprised of dancers from its official school, The<br />

Mississippi Metropolitan Dance Academy, who are<br />

serious about ballet training and want more performing<br />

opportunities throughout the year. Our company<br />

dancers range from age 8-18. The dancers begin at the<br />

apprentice level and progress through the junior level<br />

into the senior level. A select few will become soloists<br />

based on talent and ability. MMB is the only company<br />

in the state of Mississippi that is a member of Regional<br />

Dance America Southeast. Being a member of this<br />

prestigious organization allows our company to be<br />

adjudicated annually in class and performance by an<br />

esteemed dance professional and receive valuable<br />

feedback. Our dancers perform works chosen by the<br />

adjudicator at the annual RDASE festival. Through<br />

RDASE’s Emerging Choreographer’s Program, many<br />

of our dancers have won scholarships to further their<br />

education in choreography, many have worked on solo<br />

variations with Crystal and myself to present in the<br />

RDASE Outstanding Soloist Competition, and quite<br />

a few have won scholarships to summer programs at<br />

prestigious professional school across the country and<br />

college and universities through auditions held at<br />

RDASE festivals.<br />

Can you share some highlights or special<br />

moments from rehearsals that have been<br />

particularly exciting for the dancers and<br />

the creative team?<br />

Skelton The youngest dancers in our company, our<br />

apprentices, are mostly cast as the butterflies in the<br />

garden scene. There is a great candid photo that we<br />

took in rehearsal in 2019 of the butterflies in this one<br />

particular section of the choreography where their<br />

faces are just all full of joy. The part is so much fun for<br />

them, and this photo so perfectly captured their joyful<br />

faces. When we set the same part on the apprentices<br />

this year, in the exact same moment of the choreography,<br />

they all had the same happy smiles and sparkling<br />

eyes. It was such a special thing to see the new cast<br />

have the same experience as the previous cast, at the<br />

same moment in the music and choreography. It really<br />

speaks to the power of dance and how it moves the<br />

soul... for the butterflies, for their teachers, and<br />

ultimately for the audience!<br />

How does the ballet company balance<br />

preserving classical ballet traditions with<br />

exploring contemporary and innovative<br />

elements in its productions?<br />

Skelton Jennifer and I both believe that bridging the<br />

traditions of classical ballet with contemporary ideas<br />

and advancements in the art of dance is essential, both<br />

in the training of our dancers and in the productions<br />

we put on the stage. There are very few, if any, strictly<br />

classical professional ballet companies left in the world.<br />

To be an employable and successful dancer in today’s<br />

dance world, one needs to be versatile. The repertory<br />

of ballet companies these days still includes the classics<br />

such as Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty, but also<br />

heavily includes neo-classical and contemporary works.<br />

Dancers need to be proficient in both classical and<br />

contemporary work, as evidenced in the rounds of<br />

competition in the USA IBC, which was just held<br />

here in Jackson last summer. Those who advance out<br />

of the classical first round, must then compete in the<br />

contemporary round before they can advance to the<br />

finals, which then includes both classical and<br />

contemporary. So, we work hard to train our dancers<br />

with both a solid classical foundation and broad<br />

exposure to contemporary choreography and classes.<br />

As for our shows, we have found that when we<br />

incorporate more modern technical aspects, such as<br />

the background projections and special effects in<br />

“Alice,” it is more appealing to today’s audiences. This<br />

makes the show more exciting and visually appealing,<br />

which then broadens our audience. Additionally, we<br />

try to present story ballets that appeal to a contemporary<br />

audience. Last year we presented “Frozen Heart:<br />

the Tale of the Snow Queen” which is based on the<br />

same story that inspired the Disney mega-hit Frozen<br />

movies. We also have presented “The Wizard of Oz,”<br />

“The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” which<br />

all still use classical ballet as the vocabulary for the<br />

choreography, but the stories are more familiar to the<br />

general public than say the classical ballet “Coppelia,”<br />

which is a fabulous ballet, don’t get me wrong, but in<br />

order to appeal to a broader audience, we have found<br />

doing more familiar stories has helped us find success.<br />

How does the Mississippi Metropolitan<br />

Ballet contribute to the cultural enrichment<br />

of the local community, and what partnerships<br />

and collaborations have been key to<br />

achieving this goal?<br />

Beasley Dance, like many other art forms, inspires<br />

us, teaches us and ultimately unites us. Dance has the<br />

power to bring people in the community together. It’s<br />

a unifying force, transcending barriers of language and<br />

heritage, and a medium for personal and collective<br />

expression. We have collaborated with some of the<br />

most well-known classical and contemporary<br />

choreographers and guest artists from all over the<br />

world over the years to bring the highest quality<br />

performances to the metro Jackson area. This also<br />

gives our dancers opportunities to work with leaders in<br />

the artform from many different backgrounds which is<br />

experience they need to move into the professional<br />

world should they choose to.<br />

What are the future aspirations and<br />

projects for the Mississippi Metropolitan<br />

Ballet, and how can the community actively<br />

support and engage with the company’s<br />

artistic endeavors?<br />

Beasley In all that we do at MMB, we strive for the<br />

highest standards. We are creative with the resources<br />

that we have but are always striving to improve, expand<br />

and grow. Since 1992, The Mississippi Metropolitan<br />

Ballet’s core mission has been to share the power and<br />

beauty of dance with our community. Your generosity<br />

is critical to the success of our mission. What you may<br />

not know is ticket sales account for only about 40% of<br />

MMB’s annual operating budget. Nearly three-fourths<br />

of the funds it takes to operate the Ballet come from<br />

donors and other charitable giving.Without you, our<br />

generous patrons and donors, the art we create would<br />

not be possible. Without you, we would not be able to<br />

present world-class ballets such as Charles Maple’s<br />

“Alice in Wonderland,” to collaborate with other artists<br />

and ballet companies, to spark the love of dance in<br />

young students and to provide high-caliber training to<br />

future generations. In closing, I would like to invite<br />

new patrons to come see a Mississippi Metropolitan<br />

Ballet performance. If you see something that makes<br />

you smile, laugh, clap, or cry, please tell your friends and<br />

family. Bring them to a future performance. Show<br />

them that right here in our own back yard is a cultural<br />

crown jewel for this community and state.<br />

Hometown MADISON • 53

P r o u d l y s e r v i n g<br />

M a d i s o n C o u n t y<br />

w w w . b r u n i n i . c o m 6 0 1 - 9 4 8 - 3 1 0 1<br />

54 • MARCH 2024

BlueHealth Baptist is Distinctively Different<br />

Your health is our priority.<br />

With next-generation primary care, we deliver a<br />

personalized & holistic approach to your health.<br />

We address what YOU really need.<br />

Call 877-8-GO-2-BLUE to<br />

schedule an appointment.<br />

401 Baptist Dr. Suite 110<br />

Madison, MS 39110<br />

@BlueHealthBaptist<br />

BlueHealth Baptist is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.<br />

Hometown MADISON • 55

56 • MARCH 2024

Veterans<br />

Helping<br />

Veterans<br />

“And the truth is that<br />

all veterans pay with their<br />

lives. Some pay all<br />

at once, while others pay<br />

over a lifetime.” - JM STORM<br />

Each year, Hometown Magazines is privileged<br />

to honor local non-profits at their Best of the<br />

Best Red Carpet event. After community voting,<br />

this year’s Best Non-Profit winner was 5th<br />

Squad, an organization whose mission is to assist<br />

veterans across the state of Mississippi.<br />

The idea for 5th Squad began in 2016 with<br />

four members of the 184th Sustainment<br />

Command. One of those men, 5th Squad<br />

President and Co-Founder Lee Stringer, has<br />

served in the Army for more than twenty-three<br />

years and is currently a sergeants major with the<br />

184th SC and defense movement coordinator<br />

for the Mississippi National Guard. “The idea for<br />

5th Squad developed one weekend at Camp<br />

Shelby, after a situation where a fellow soldier<br />

needed help with a utility bill,” says Stringer.<br />

“Several of us pooled our money to pay the bill,<br />

but it got us thinking that it would be great to<br />

start an organization to provide assistance to<br />

service members in need so they don’t have to<br />

swallow their pride and ask friends for help.<br />

We knew there were other organizations that<br />

provide assistance to veterans, but often, the<br />

help doesn’t arrive in time to meet immediate<br />

needs. 5th Squad provided us with a way to not<br />

only help service members like our friend, but<br />

others across the state. It gives us the means to<br />

help and gives veterans an organization to turn<br />

to, since asking for help can be a difficult thing<br />

for them to do.”<br />

5th Squad became an official 501c3 in 2018<br />

and has had tremendous support. They have<br />

indeed been able to assist veterans in a timely<br />

manner, just as they had hoped, without the red<br />

tape that is sometimes unavoidable with other<br />

organizations. Veterans connect with them in<br />

many ways; some contact them directly, and<br />

some are referred from Veterans Affairs or other<br />

organizations that feel 5th Squad could better<br />

serve the need at hand. “Once we receive a request<br />

for assistance, we verify that the applicant is an<br />

active service member, or a veteran who completed<br />

his or her initial enlistment and was discharged<br />

honorably,” says Stringer. “Upon verification,<br />

we move forward with determining how we can<br />

help with life-sustaining issues, such as money<br />

for housing, groceries, or utilities.”<br />

Through partnerships with other organizations<br />

and the generous support of individuals, 5th<br />

Squad has also been able to provide wheelchair<br />

ramps, roofs, a van with wheelchair lift, and an<br />

electric wheelchair, among other things. Last fall,<br />

Keesler Federal Credit Union provided rolling<br />

duffle bags with dental kits and other necessities<br />

for over 650 homeless veterans. 5th Squad<br />

distributed those bags to homeless and needy<br />

veterans on the coast and in Jackson.<br />

One of the biggest events of the year for 5th<br />

Squad is Ruck for Rugrats. This communitywide<br />

event gives 5th Squad and its supporters<br />

the opportunity to provide patients at Children’s<br />

of Mississippi with gifts and Christmas cheer.<br />

Participants walk approximately four and a half<br />

miles to the hospital, their rucksacks filled with<br />

toys. “Soldiers understand being away from<br />

home during the holidays, and while we don’t<br />

compare our situation to theirs, we can<br />

understand how these children may be feeling<br />

being away from home during Christmas,” says<br />

Stringer. “This event is truly a community effort.<br />

The first year, we had approximately thirty<br />

people walking, and $6,000 worth of toys<br />

donated. Last year, we had 450 walkers and over<br />

$120,000 in toy donations.”<br />

As defense movement coordinator, Lee<br />

Stringer coordinates deployments for service<br />

members in Mississippi, so he is very familiar<br />

with the long hours spent at the 172nd Airlift<br />

Wing as they wait for flights taking them to<br />

their assignment. “As these men and women<br />

wait, they are often filled with nervousness and<br />

anticipation, and 5th Squad is there to provide<br />

snacks and drinks and just spend time with<br />

them,” he says. ”This is just one more way we<br />

support service members.”<br />

Like any non-profit, 5th Squad relies on<br />

donations and volunteers to achieve its mission.<br />

Thankfully, they have been blessed by both, and<br />

Stringer points out that there are many ways for<br />

community members to help servicemen and<br />

women and their families. “Bring the garbage<br />

can in for the family of a deployed service member,<br />

offer to cut their grass,” Stringer says. “Small<br />

gestures can mean the world to these families,<br />

and for those wanting to support 5th Squad<br />

monetarily, a monthly donation of just $10 can<br />

do so much to assist with immediate needs.”<br />

As the organization continues to grow, those<br />

involved have the same mindset they did in the<br />

beginning stages of 5th Squad, which is to help<br />

veterans however they can. “If we can provide<br />

something,” Stringer says, “why wouldn’t we?”<br />

For more information about the mission<br />

of 5th Squad, visit www.5thsquad.com or<br />

follow them on Facebook @5thsquadMS.<br />

Hometown MADISON • 57


At The Blake at Township, it’s not just our<br />

professional staff and our world-class<br />

amenities that set us apart – it’s our vibrant<br />

community culture. That’s why we want to<br />

show our gratitude to all of the members of<br />

our community that voted and recognized<br />

us as one of Top 5 senior living communities<br />

in Ridgeland. We thank you for your support!<br />

Call (601) 203-1882 to learn more!<br />

blakeseniorliving.com/township | 608 Steed Rd, Ridgeland, MS 39157<br />

58 • MARCH 2024

Hometown MADISON • 59

Peaches & Cream<br />

Pound Cake<br />

• 2 sticks of butter<br />

• 2 cups sugar<br />

• ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt<br />

• 3 large eggs<br />

• 1½ tsp. pure vanilla extract<br />

• 3 cups flour<br />

• 1 tsp. baking powder<br />

• 1 tsp. kosher salt<br />

• 2 cups diced fresh peaches<br />

Preheat oven to 325. In a large<br />

bowl, cream butter and sugar until<br />

light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.<br />

Add Greek yogurt, eggs and vanilla,<br />

beating on low until combined.<br />

Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt.<br />

Fold in diced peaches. Pour into<br />

a greased loaf pan and bake<br />

until a toothpick inserted<br />

into center comes out<br />

with just a few<br />

crumbs, 68 to<br />

70 minutes.<br />

Easy Old Fashioned<br />

Chocolate Pound Cake<br />

• 2 cups all-purpose flour<br />

• ¾ cup Dutch process cocoa<br />

(or unsweetened cocoa)<br />

• ½ tsp. salt<br />

• 1½ cups softened butter<br />

• 3 cups white granulated sugar<br />

• 5 eggs<br />

• 3 tsp. vanilla extract<br />

• ¼ cup liquid coffee<br />

• 1 cup buttermilk<br />

Preheat oven to 325 and grease and<br />

flour a 10-inch pan. Add flour, cocoa,<br />

baking powder, and salt to a medium<br />

bowl and mix. Add butter to a large<br />

bowl, add sugar and mix well. Add<br />

eggs, vanilla extract, and coffee to<br />

the sugar mixture and combine.<br />

Alternate adding the dry ingredients<br />

and butter milk and mix until<br />

combined. Pour cake mixture into<br />

the bundt pan and bake for 60-70<br />

minutes or until a cake tester comes<br />

out clean. Allow the cake to cool for<br />

about 20 minutes. Then, place the<br />

cake stand on the cake pan and<br />

gently flip it over. Frost the cake<br />

and enjoy!<br />

Twix Pound Cake<br />

• 11 oz. soft caramels, unwrapped<br />

• 2 Tbsp. heavy cream<br />

• 1 Sara Lee pound cake, defrosted<br />

and kept in aluminum tin<br />

• 2 cups chocolate chips<br />

Keep the pound cake in its aluminum<br />

loaf tin. Press against the tin so that<br />

each of the four sides are flush with<br />

the pound cake. (You want to create<br />

a seal to prevent caramel from<br />

leaking down sides.) In a medium<br />

saucepan over low heat, melt<br />

caramels. When beginning to melt,<br />

add the heavy cream. Stir occasionally,<br />

and cook until the caramels<br />

melt completely. Immediately<br />

remove from heat, and pour over<br />

cake. Refrigerate for 1 hour, or until<br />

caramel hardens. When caramel is<br />

set, cut around the aluminum pan<br />

to reveal the cake. Remove the<br />

caramel-topped pound cake from<br />

the tin completely. Place a medium<br />

glass bowl over a pot of barely<br />

simmering water to create a doubleboiler.<br />

Add chocolate, and heat until<br />

melted through completely, stirring<br />

occasionally. Turn off heat, and pour<br />

melted chocolate over the pound<br />

cake to cover completely. Let cool<br />

until chocolate hardens.<br />

60 • MARCH 2024

Million Dollar Pound Cake<br />

• 1 lb. unsalted butter, softened<br />

• 3 cups sugar<br />

• 6 large eggs<br />

• 4 cups all-purpose flour<br />

• ¾ cup milk<br />

• 1 tsp. almond extract<br />

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract<br />

Preheat oven to 300. Grease a 10- inch<br />

tube pan with vegetable shortening or<br />

butter, getting every nook and cranny<br />

covered. Sprinkle a light coating of<br />

flour over the greased surface. Beat<br />

butter at medium speed with an<br />

electric mixer until creamy. The butter<br />

will become light yellow; this is an<br />

important step as the job of the mixer<br />

is to incorporate air in the butter so<br />

the cake will rise. It will take 1 to 7<br />

minutes, depending on the power of<br />

your mixer. Gradually add sugar,<br />

beating at medium speed until light<br />

and fluffy. Again, the time will vary,<br />

and the butter will turn to a fluffy<br />

white. Add eggs, one at a time, beating<br />

just until yellow yolks disappear. Add<br />

flour to creamed mixture alternately<br />

with milk, beginning and ending with<br />

flour. Beat at low speed until blended<br />

after each addition. Batter should be<br />

smooth and bits of flour should be<br />

well incorporated; to rid batter of<br />

lumps, stir gently with a rubber spatula.<br />

Stir in extracts. Pour into a greased<br />

and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake 1<br />

hour and 40 minutes or until a long<br />

wooden pick inserted in center comes<br />

out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack<br />

10-15 minutes. Remove from pan,<br />

and cool completely on a wire rack.<br />

Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake<br />

• 1 cup butter, softened<br />

• 3¼ cups sugar, divided<br />

• 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt<br />

• 1 tsp. vanilla<br />

• 3 Tbsp. heavy cream<br />

• 6 eggs<br />

• 3 cups flour<br />

• ½ tsp. baking soda<br />

• 1 Tbsp. cinnamon<br />

Preheat oven to 350. Line two 9x5<br />

loaf pans with nonstick foil, spray<br />

heavily with cooking spray. In a large<br />

bowl, beat butter and sugar until light<br />

and fluffy. Add yogurt, cream and<br />

vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, mixing<br />

well after each egg. In a separate bowl,<br />

mix flour and baking soda, add to wet<br />

ingredients, and mix until combined.<br />

In a small bowl, mix ¼ cup sugar and<br />

cinnamon. Pour ⅓ of batter into loaf<br />

pans. Sprinkle half of cinnamon<br />

sugar mixture into pan. Repeat with<br />

remaining batter, then cinnamon<br />

sugar, ending with batter. Bake 50<br />

minutes or until edges brown and<br />

toothpick comes out clean. If not<br />

ready at 50 minutes, check every<br />

5-10 minutes. Allow to cool.<br />

Icing<br />

• 2 Tbsp. butter, softened<br />

• 2 oz. cream cheese, softened<br />

• ¼ cup heavy cream<br />

• 1 tsp. vanilla<br />

• 1½ cups powdered sugar<br />

Mix butter and cream cheese. Add<br />

cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar<br />

and mix. Pour over cooled loaves.<br />

Allow to cool one hour before slicing<br />

and serving.<br />

Pecan Pound Cake<br />

• 2 cups butter, softened<br />

• 1 cup granulated sugar<br />

• 1½ cup brown sugar, packed<br />

• 6 large eggs room temperature<br />

• 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract<br />

• ¼ tsp. table salt<br />

• 1½ tsp. baking powder<br />

• 4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted,<br />

spooned, and leveled<br />

• 1 cup buttermilk, room<br />

temperature<br />

• 4 cups chopped, toasted pecans<br />

Preheat oven to 325. In a small bowl<br />

toss pecans with ¼ cup flour. Beat<br />

butter on medium speed with a stand<br />

or hand mixer. Gradually add in<br />

granulated and brown sugar, and beat<br />

until light and fluffy (3 to 5 minutes).<br />

Add eggs in one at a time, beating<br />

until just blended. Stir in vanilla.<br />

In a medium bowl, stir together<br />

baking powder, salt, and 3¾ cups<br />

flour. Add this flour mixture to the<br />

butter mixture, alternating with<br />

buttermilk. Begin and end with flour<br />

mixture until just combined. Do not<br />

over mix. Gently stir pecans into<br />

batter. Spray a 10-inch tube or 10 to<br />

12 cup bundt pan with baking spray<br />

or butter and flour pan. Pour batter<br />

into the pan, and smooth the top with<br />

spatula. Bake for 70 to 90 minutes or<br />

until a toothpick comes out clean.<br />

Check at about 45 minutes and if the<br />

cake is browning too quickly, add foil<br />

over the top and finish baking. Cool<br />

in pan for 15 minutes, and then turn<br />

onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.<br />

Sweet Potato Pound Cake<br />

• 1 package cream cheese, softened<br />

• ½ cup butter, softened<br />

• 2 cups granulated sugar<br />

• 4 large eggs<br />

• 2½ cups cooked, mashed sweet<br />

potatoes<br />

• 3 cups all-purpose flour<br />

• 2 tsp. baking powder<br />

• 1 tsp. baking soda<br />

• ¼ tsp. salt<br />

• 1 tsp. ground cinnamon<br />

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract<br />

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour<br />

a 10-inch tube pan. Beat cream cheese<br />

and butter at medium speed with a<br />

heavy-duty electric stand mixer until<br />

creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating<br />

until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at<br />

a time, beating to combine between<br />

each addition. Add sweet potatoes,<br />

and beat well. Stir together flour,<br />

baking powder, baking soda, salt, and<br />

ground cinnamon in a medium bowl.<br />

Gradually add flour mixture to butter<br />

mixture, beating to combine. Stir in<br />

vanilla. Spoon batter into a prepared<br />

tube pan. Bake for 1 hour and 5 to<br />

10 minutes or until a toothpick<br />

comes out clean. Cool in pan on a<br />

wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove<br />

from pan to wire rack and cool<br />

completely (about 1 hour).<br />

Hometown MADISON • 61

62 • MARCH 2024<br />

Heart Ball<br />

February 17<br />

Country Club of Jackson

Hometown MADISON • 63

March 29-30 / Brandon City Hall<br />

$5 admission includes entrance<br />

and access to all activities<br />

(Children under 10 get in free!)<br />




TICKETS: tinyurl.com/HometownSpringFling<br />

64 • MARCH 2024

In 2024, Wesley Biblical Seminary will celebrate its 50th anniversary, the perfect timing<br />

for the seminary to launch its first-ever capital campaign, Steadfast. The campaign kicked<br />

off in October of 2022 and has since raised more than $3,184,000 in gifts and pledges.<br />

As an independent, multi-denominational seminary, WBS has seen enrollment grow<br />

significantly through the emergence of the Global Methodist Church out of the United<br />

Methodist Church. WBS is the first institution of theological education approved by the<br />

GMC, making this Mississippi-based seminary one of the fastest growing in the nation.<br />

The primary focus of the Steadfast Campaign is to make seminary education affordable<br />

for all. Students who might not otherwise have been able to pursue their calling into<br />

Christian ministry have already been benefitted through scholarships provided through<br />

the campaign.<br />

“Donors to the Steadfast Campaign are investing in the next generation of faithful<br />

church leaders,” said Dr. Matt Friedeman, WBS interim president. “These pastors in<br />

turn lead their churches to do good in their neighborhoods. When you give to Wesley<br />

Biblical Seminary, you are making a difference in communities across the nation and<br />

around the world.”<br />

76% of the campaign’s $4.17 million goal has been pledged by leading donors.<br />

The general public is now invited to help the campaign finish strong.<br />

Hometown MADISON • 65

66 • MARCH 2024<br />

Your architect.

3024 Highway 22 / Madison, MS / 601-427-9207 / info@bridlewoodofmadison.com<br />

BV<br />

@bridlewoodofmadison<br />

Hometown MADISON • 67

What’s<br />

your<br />

all-time<br />

favorite<br />

book?<br />


UPPER ELEMENTARY Adeline Henderson<br />

5TH GRADE<br />

My favorite book is “Ground Zero”<br />

by Alan Gratz.This book is jam packed<br />

with bravery and heroism. This book<br />

is heartwarming with the stories of<br />

Brandon Cruz and Reshmina living<br />

through the war and terrorist attack.<br />

I couldn’t put this book down<br />

for one second.<br />


3RD GRADE<br />

“Dogman” is my all time favorite book.<br />

It’s about a dog and a cop mixed<br />

together fighting crime with a cat.<br />

“Dogman” is the most hilarious book<br />

in the universe! When I read it,<br />

I laugh so hard I can’t breathe.<br />

68 • MARCH 2024<br />

Erin Randall<br />

5TH GRADE<br />

My favorite books is “Piggy & Gerald”<br />

because they make me remember<br />

when I was in kindergarten. It was<br />

the first book I ever read in school<br />

in Mrs. Kirk’s class. I used to laugh<br />

loudly when I read it.<br />

Evelyn Perkins<br />

5TH GRADE<br />

My all time favorite book is<br />

“Series of Unfortunate Events”<br />

because I love mystery and horror.<br />


4TH GRADE<br />

My personal favorite book is<br />

called “Four Eyes” by Rex Ogle.<br />

This graphic novel is about a kid<br />

named Rex who gets glasses in<br />

middle school and his life turns<br />

upside down! Rex learns through<br />

experiences that having glasses<br />

isn’t so bad. I like this book<br />

because it relates to people<br />

like me who have glasses.<br />

Darsh Malhotra<br />

4TH GRADE<br />

”Percy Jackson: The Sea of Monsters."<br />

The reason I chose this book is<br />

because you never know what’s<br />

coming next. Another reason is<br />

because it’s filled with Greek myths,<br />

magic, monsters, and so much more.<br />

Lastly, at the peak of the story<br />

when they were fighting with the<br />

cyclops, I literally had goosebumps<br />

and my heart was beating so fast<br />

that I almost got a headache,<br />

but I kept on reading!

Gurman Thind<br />

3RD GRADE<br />

Do you know about the eerie<br />

elementary book called<br />

“The Locker?” It is about three<br />

kids going to a haunted school that<br />

is alive. There three kids are saving<br />

other children that are in the school.<br />

madison tankersly<br />

3RD GRADE<br />

My favorite book series is<br />

Junie B. Jones because she is so funny.<br />

She reminds me of my little sister<br />

when she does silly things. I picture my<br />

sister in my head when I am reading.<br />

Kate Putman<br />

3RD GRADE<br />

My favorite books series<br />

“The Owl Diaries” is about Eva<br />

the owl and her adventure with<br />

her best friend, Lucy. When I read<br />

this book series, I feel like I’m in<br />

the book and part of the action.<br />

Eva always helps others and<br />

makes people happy.<br />


4TH GRADE<br />

My favorite book is “Spiderman.”<br />

I like Spiderman because he fights<br />

villains. Spiderman is my superhero.<br />


3RD GRADE<br />

If you love adventure and survival,<br />

the best books are the<br />

“I Survived Series.”<br />

When I read them, I get to go<br />

back in time to see what happened<br />

in the past. I stay up all night just to<br />

finish the books I am reading.<br />

Evie Gandy<br />

5TH GRADE<br />

I think my all time<br />

favorite books is<br />

“The Day the Crayons Quit.”<br />

They show you to fight<br />

for your rights and to<br />

never give up.<br />

Hadley McClure<br />

4TH GRADE<br />

My all time favorite book is<br />

“Best Friends” by Shannon Hale.<br />

I love this book because it’s a graphic<br />

novel and the pictures make the story<br />

more enjoyable. Being in the fourth<br />

grade, its sometimes hard to know<br />

who your real friends are, and the<br />

main character reminds me<br />

of how I feel at times.<br />

Hometown MADISON • 69



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70 • MARCH 2024

Hometown MADISON • 71

SALUTE<br />

to First Responders<br />

What made you decide to work as a first responder?<br />

When you are going through high school, the toughest question<br />

you might be asked is, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”<br />

I never had a true answer to that question. The one thing I did know<br />

is that I wanted a career that would keep me interested, grow my<br />

interpersonal skills, and encourage ongoing education. Working as a<br />

first responder has allowed me to face challenging situations, stay<br />

calm in stressful situations, and lead those around me in order to<br />

achieve a positive outcome.<br />

How long have you been with the Pafford EMS?<br />

I have worked at Pafford EMS for three years. I graduated from<br />

Holmes Community College as an EMT in 2021, and I furthered my<br />

EMS career graduating as a paramedic in 2022.<br />

Tell us about your family.<br />

My parents both come from traditional Sikh families in India. They<br />

came to America to seek a better opportunity for their children and<br />

themselves. Through their hard work and support, my siblings and<br />

I were able to focus on our studies. My sister is currently a nurse<br />

practitioner, and my brother was able to start his own DJ entertainment<br />

business. We travel to India often, so we are able to have a close<br />

relationship with our extended family and are extremely connected to<br />

the culture. Even though my parents have lived in America for the last<br />

thirty years, they have continued to instill the importance of cultural<br />

values in our day-to-day lives. The primary language in our home is<br />

Punjabi, we are members of the Sikh Gurdwara, and we eat authentic<br />

Indian food for every meal.<br />

Paramedic<br />

Sandeep<br />



What is the toughest thing you have experienced<br />

in your job?<br />

One of the more challenging things I have experienced has been<br />

learning to balance work life and home life. Healthcare is a job that<br />

requires great passion, dedication, and ongoing learning, which can<br />

sometimes leave little time for your loved ones.<br />


72 • MARCH 2024

Share some things you enjoy doing in your<br />

spare time.<br />

EMS, at times, can be stressful. It is very important to have<br />

healthy ways to cope with stress. A few of my favorite pastimes<br />

are family game nights, catching up with friends, and playing<br />

billiards.<br />

What are three things on your bucket list?<br />

As many people do, I have a great love for traveling. I enjoy<br />

outdoor adventure, and I would love to experience snorkeling<br />

in the Great Barrier Reef, doing a helicopter tour of the Grand<br />

Canyon, and visiting Greece and enjoying the crystal-clear<br />

waters.<br />

Who is someone you admire and why?<br />

Someone who I have great admiration towards is my grandmother.<br />

Bibi Swaran Kaur grew up in the small villages of<br />

Lamba Pind, Jalandhar, India. She faced many hardships, but<br />

she was always able to maintain a positive outlook on life. Even<br />

though she was never able to attend primary school, she was<br />

still able to teach me the importance of education. She would<br />

always say, “Education is the one thing that no one can take<br />

away from you.” Bibi Swaran passed away July 2021, but she<br />

continues to inspire and encourage me.<br />

If you could give one piece of advice to a young<br />

person, what would it be?<br />

Life is not as linear as you think when you are young, and as<br />

you grow, you realize that there are many curves and turns<br />

that you must learn to navigate. Sometimes you may get<br />

comfortable, but facing change allows you to grow. You must<br />

remember that everything happens for a reason, and you are<br />

right where you need to be!<br />

What is your favorite thing about Madison County?<br />

The comradery that all of the hospitals, EMS, police, and fire<br />

departments maintain with one another. Due to the exceptional<br />

teamwork between crews on-scene, we are able to achieve<br />

better patient outcomes. Our relationships with the hospitals<br />

allows for a smooth transition between prehospital and<br />

long-term care. Throughout my time here in Canton, I have<br />

been fortunate to have become a part of the local healthcare<br />

family, and I have made many lifelong relationships.<br />

Hometown MADISON • 73

74 • MARCH 2024

A Shopping Destination<br />

2119 HIGHWAY 471, flowood, MS<br />

Minutes from Dogwood and Reservoir • One-half mile off Lakeland Drive<br />

601-487-8802<br />

Hometown MADISON • 75

Thank you for nominating us<br />

TOP 5 Best Medical Clinic<br />

Township Urgent Care | 1051 Highland Colony Pkwy. Suite E, Ridgeland, MS<br />

Township Primary Care | 1067 Highland Colony Pkwy. Suite G, Ridgeland, MS<br />

TrustCare Kids Gluckstadt | 101 Lexington Dr., Suite A, Madison, MS<br />

TrustCareHealth.com<br />

APR. 12 & 19<br />


is a special event each spring<br />

designed to assist high school<br />

seniors with registration for summer<br />

and/or fall classes. This day provides<br />

opportunities for students to meet<br />

other incoming freshmen and get<br />

some Holmes CC swag. We can’t<br />

wait to see you on campus!<br />

Save the Dates!<br />



1 (800) Holmes-4 | holmescc.edu<br />


Scan the QR code to reserve your spot & skip the crowds!<br />

Holmes Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination<br />

policies:Title IX Coordinator: Vice President for Compliance and Institutional Research, Henry B. McClellan Administration Building, Post Office Box 369, Goodman, MS 39079, Phone: 662-472-9429, compliance@holmescc.edu.<br />

76 • MARCH 2024

Hometown MADISON • 77

ms egg marketing board<br />

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<br />

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LIKEUS<br />

78 • MARCH 2024


Madison Ridgeland<br />

Academy<br />

Students from involved in MRA’s Student Leadership Institute<br />

dedicate a morning to actively expressing their love for the<br />

community. Several SLI members filled stockings<br />

for the Boys and Girls Club.<br />

L-R: Britton Dickerson, Charles Simpson, Molly McPherson<br />

80 • MARCH 2024

Hometown MADISON • 81

TheTime COIN<br />

Camille Anding<br />

There is a verse in Matthew that says, “When you enter into your closet and shut the<br />

door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward<br />

you openly.” I realize that the word “closet” could mean any secluded, private place, but it was<br />

my closet that brought the conviction.<br />

Recently, I was frustrated over the size of our bedroom closet and the way my clothes suffered<br />

from suffocation with the crowded space. My closet housed more shoes than I really needed,<br />

and the overhead shelves just gave room for more articles of clothing.<br />

The solution was obvious. I could give a lot away and make a neat, welcoming closet.<br />

Instead, I wished for a room-to-run-in closet that would hold four seasons of<br />

clothing. A closet the size of a small bedroom would be perfect.<br />

It was in the midst of my closet dreaming when I thought about the missionary<br />

from Honduras. He told about the poor families in his home country, living happily<br />

in single room dwellings with leaky roofs and outdoor water hoses for showers.<br />

I did not recall his mentioning closets. Perhaps, it was because a single pair<br />

of shoes and a couple of T-shirts do not require a room of their own.<br />

It was a piercing conviction. I realized I could never refer to our closet as a<br />

prayer closet until I made some changes. I would need to do some cleaning<br />

out and giving away.<br />

My own closet evaluation, I regret to say, is like a lot of other American closets.<br />

Greed, excess, and hoardings are the culprits that infiltrate our closets. “Staying in style”<br />

not only crowds our closets but can also drain our incomes.<br />

God is not an outdated figure, galaxies away, and unconcerned with our lives. He desires to<br />

wean us away from our self-centered lives. The world continually asks, “What’s in your wallet?”<br />

I believe God asks, “What’s in your closet?”<br />

82 • MARCH 2024

Hometown MADISON • 83

1 of 13 MS Certified<br />

Retirement Cities<br />

#1<br />

Best Place to Live in<br />

Mississippi<br />

Best Place to Raise a<br />

Family in Mississippi<br />

Mississippi’s<br />

Safest City<br />

Thank you so much for<br />

nominating Madison the CIty<br />

as a Top 5 Best Place to Work in<br />

Madison County!<br />

Upcoming Events!<br />

Join Our Newsletter!<br />

Paucek & Lage Tour Agent<br />

123 Anywhere St., Any<br />

City, ST 12345<br />

madisonthecity.com/newsletter<br />

Tractors, Trucks, & Big Stuff<br />

March 2nd | 8:00-12:00 | Liberty Park<br />

Easter in the Park<br />

March 23rd | 9:00-11:00 | Liberty Park<br />

Hazardous Waste Day<br />

March 23rd | 8:00-12:00 | Madison Central<br />

Contact Us<br />

601-856-7060 www.madisonthecity.com pr@madisonthecity.com

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