Co-Lin Foundation Hall of Fame inducts seven
The Co-Lin Foundation inducted seven new members into its Hall of Fame at a banquet held March 28 at the Thames Center on the college’s Wesson Campus. Those inducted were Bettye Lusk Boutwell of Wesson, Katrina Falvey of Meadville, Troy C. Greer of Mendenhall, Barbara Ann Richardson of Metairie, Louisiana (originally of Strong Hope), the Nathan Steele Foundation, Puckett Machinery Company, and the Southwest Mississippi Resource Conservation and Development Council.
Bettye Lusk Boutwell
Bettye Lusk Boutwell of Wesson is a 1957 graduate of Co-Lin High School and a 1959 graduate of Copiah-Lincoln Community College. While at Co-Lin, she was in the band and a Colette and served as head Colette her sophomore year.
Boutwell holds a bachelor’s degree from Delta State University and a master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi. She retired after nearly 38 years in the field of education. During her career, Boutwell was a teacher, supervisor, principal, and assistant superintendent.
Boutwell established the Lauri Alison Boutwell Mathis Memorial Scholarship in memory of her daughter, Alison Mathis, last year. Mathis was a 1996 graduate of the Associate Degree Nursing program at Co-Lin where she was also an honor student. The scholarship is awarded to a deserving second-year Associate Degree Nursing student.
Boutwell is a member of Beauregard United Methodist Church, where she served as pianist/organist for 64 years. She is married to William E. Boutwell and they are the parents of Lauri Alison Boutwell Mathis (deceased) and William Kelly Boutwell. They have five grandchildren: Garrett, Brett, Blair, Ty, and Kendall.
Katrina Falvey is being recognized for her contribution to the Arthur Boyte, Jr. Family Scholarship. A native of Meadville, she graduated from Franklin High School in 2000 with honors and received an associate’s degree, with honors, in health from Co-Lin in 2002. While at Co-Lin, she was a student council representative, dorm council representative, member of the Blue Wave Color Guard and jazz band, and head student athletic trainer for Wolf Pack Athletics. Following graduation, Falvey attended the University of Southern Mississippi and earned a bachelor’s of science in athletic training in 2004.
Falvey worked at Camp Shelby Youth ChalleNGe Academy after marrying Curtis Cameron and the couple had one son. After a motor vehicle accident took the life of her husband and left her in a coma, Falvey ended her time at Camp Shelby.
Following the accident, Falvey decided to change careers and attended Pearl River Community College - Forrest County Campus. She graduated with honors with an associate’s degree in Medical Radiological Technology. She is currently employed at the Family Practice After Hours Clinic as a radiographer and has been cross-trained in phlebotomy.
She remarried Loyd Star native, Nolon Falvey, in 2012 and has two more children.
Troy C. Greer
Troy C. Greer of Mendenhall graduated from Mendenhall High School in 1954. He was a member of the United States Marines from 1954-1956. In 1956, he enrolled at Co-Lin and was a member of the Co-Lin Wolves football team, serving as captain in 1957. Greer transferred to Delta State University in 1958, where he played football for two years and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1960. He received a master’s degree from Mississippi College in 1965.
Greer served as head football coach and athletic director at Mendenhall and Magee High Schools and led the Magee Trojans to win the Little Dixie Conference in 1971. He served as president of the Dixie Conference while at Mendenhall and coached in the Mississippi High School All-Star Game in 1972. Greer served as Simpson County Superintendent of Education from 1976-1980 and 1992-1996. He was an alderman for the City of Mendenhall for 11 years and on the Co-Lin Board of Trustees for eight years before his retirement in 1996.
Greer has been an active member of First Baptist Church in Mendenhall where he served as a deacon. He currently is a deacon emeritus. Greer was inducted into the Co-Lin Sports Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Mississippi Community and Junior College Sports Hall of Fame in 2016. He and his wife, Mildred, are parents to Kelly, Leslie Sue (deceased), and Troy Kyle (deceased). They have one daughter-in-law, Lisa, and two granddaughters, Macy Kate, and Maggy Kyle.
Barbara Ann Richardson
Barbara Ann Richardson of Metairie, Louisiana (originally of Strong Hope), attended Hazlehurst High School in 1952 before transferring to Co-Lin High School in 1954. She took summer classes and graduated from high school in only three years. She was a Colette, lettered in basketball, participated in Y-Team, was a library clerk and an honors student. Richardson attended Louisiana State University during the summer before returning to Copiah-Lincoln Junior College in 1955, where she was a Colette and honors student.
Richardson moved to New Orleans in 1955 and took a job as a secretary with the Naval Architects and Marine Engineers Firm of Friede & Goldman. However, she was soon recruited away from F&G by The California Company (now known as Chevron). Richardson was promoted to the position of Secretary to the Vice President, Exploration at the age of 19.
Over the course of her career, Richardson also served as office manager to the president, J.C. Trahan, Drilling Contractor; Joseph W. Jackson, Investor and McLain Forman, Geologist. Richardson and her partner, Roy Bandy owned Boom Automobile, Truck and Equipment Leasing (to the oil field); Boom Rental Tools; and Boom Auto Sales & Body Shop, with offices in New Orleans, Houston, and Lafayette.
Simultaneously, Richardson owned multiple bars in New Orleans and Metairie, including Barbara’s King’s Room in the French Quarter, Club Macombo, Boomin’ Sports Bar, Boom Boom’s Bar, and others. Richardson retired in 2016.
Richardson said she always felt she had received a solid education at Co-Lin and feels fortunate to be in a position to give back.
Nathan Steele Foundation
The Nathan Steele Foundation was founded by Nathan’s father, David Steele of Meadville and Tyler Blalock with Rural Rapid Response Ambulance Service in Meadville, in memory of Nathan Steele. The foundation was created to carry on Nathan’s dream of providing rural Emergency Medical Services to Southwest Mississippi.
Nathan Steele was born in 1980 in Brookhaven. He graduated from Franklin County High School and attended Co-Lin from the fall of 1999 to the spring of 2001 to become a machinist. Starting in 1998, Steele served as a volunteer firefighter in Franklin County’s District Five Fire Department. During this time, he became a first responder and developed an interest in EMS that continued to grow.
In 2003, he transitioned from volunteer to a full-time career in EMS, in which he strove to improve and facilitate the training of EMS professionals. In 2010, Nathan collaborated to create Rural Rapid Response, an ambulance company specializing in rural EMS. He accomplished this feat while battling colon cancer, which he was diagnosed with in 2009. Despite his struggles, Steele never lost sight of the importance of EMS to the patients and professionals until his death in 2014. The Nathan Steele Foundation continues to provide scholarships to students working towards their EMT/Paramedic certification, which was Nathan’s passion and career.
Puckett Machinery Company
Puckett Machinery Company is a Mississippi born and bred family business with deep roots in the Caterpillar heavy equipment brand and a rich legacy of dedication to the customers and the local communities they serve. They are the authorized Caterpillar dealer for central and southern Mississippi. Puckett operates six heavy equipment branch locations and five Puckett Rents rental services stores. A dedicated power systems division serves the marine, petroleum, industrial engine, and electric power generation markets.
Although Puckett Machinery is one of the smallest Caterpillar dealerships in North America, it consistently ranks in the top quartile of all North American dealers for market share performance, customer satisfaction and loyalty, safety, and employee engagement. Today, Puckett employs nearly 450 full-time employees including 170 diesel service technicians who represent a foundational reason for the company’s ability to successfully service their customers and local communities.
Puckett’s partnership with Co-Lin’s diesel technology program dates back to the early 1990’s. Throughout the years, the company has lent support to the program through the donation of training aids and technology, sponsoring specialized Caterpillar training for Co-Lin’s diesel instructor, and hosting facility tours for diesel students. In partnership with Caterpillar’s Dealer Excellence Scholarship Program, Puckett Machinery has funded merit scholarships to rising sophomore students in diesel technology. Puckett is especially proud of the long list of talented Co-Lin alums that have provided distinguished service to the company.
Southwest Mississippi Resource Conservation and Development Council
The Southwest Mississippi Resource Conservation and Development Council (SWRC&D) was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in September, 1991 for the purpose of accelerating the conservation, development and utilization of the natural resources of the area, to improve the general level of economic activity, and to enhance the environment and standard of living in the area.
The objectives are to: improve the economic opportunities for farmers through new and expanded products and markets, improve woodland management and utilization, accelerate soil and water conservation, improve the quality of the environment through reduced water pollution and increased emphasis on erosion control, provide adequate recreation, wildlife and tourism opportunities, and to improve educational and training opportunities.
SWRC&D is in its 27th year of sponsoring a National Timber Bridge Design Competition, which promotes the interest of wood, a renewable resource, as a competitive bridge construction material. It challenges students to generate innovative and cost-effective timber bridge design techniques. SWRC&D began working in the agriculture arena in 2009, with catfish, poultry, hog and horse farms, tobacco growers, saw mills and other agriculture related energy users. SWRC&D provides energy audits and assistance with grants that enable farmers to update their infrastructure to reduce energy costs.
The SWRC&D Council established a scholarship in 2018 to be awarded to a student at Co-Lin majoring in a field relative to SWRC&D, such as conservation or economic development.
The Foundation Hall of Fame includes individuals and businesses who have donated in excess of $10,000 to the efforts of the Foundation. Contributions can be made to Co-Lin Foundation, P.O. Box 649, Wesson, MS 39191, by calling (601) 643-8313, or online at www.colin.edu/alumni-foundation.
CUTLINE: The Copiah-Lincoln Community College Foundation inducted seven new members into its Hall of Fame at a banquet held March 28 at the Thames Center on the college’s Wesson Campus. Those inducted were Barbara Ann Richardson of Metairie, Louisiana (originally of Strong Hope), the Nathan Steele Foundation represented by Tyler Blalock and David Steele, the Southwest Mississippi Resource Conservation and Development Council represented by Martha Watts, Co-Lin President Dr. Jane Hulon, Troy C. Greer of Mendenhall, Bettye Lusk Boutwell of Wesson, Katrina Falvey of Meadville, and Puckett Machinery Company represented by Teresa Odom and Jerry Evans.