February 19, 2018  

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Southern Miss Alumni Association Announces Executive Committee

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Dale Shearer

The University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association recently announced the members of its executive committee.

President of The University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association Dale Shearer returned to the Association’s volunteer leadership as vice president in 2010 following a stint on the Association’s Board of Directors from 2002-05.

A 1987 graduate of Southern Miss (BA, English), Dale was brought up a Southerner and Golden Eagle. A member of the Eagle Club and fan of any team wearing the Black and Gold, he is the son of Carolyn and Kenneth B. Shearer ’60, who served as president of the Alumni Association in 1970-71.

While a student, Dale was a member of the Honors College and Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and was active in student government. As an alumnus, he has also served as a member of the USM Foundation’s Board of Directors, on the Alumni Association's Presidential Transition Team in 2006, and as a delegate to the IHL Inter-Alumni Council. Dale has provided legal counsel to various Association groups, and he and his wife, the former Janet Denise Saul ’90, are members of The University of Southern Mississippi Foundation Honor Club.

Dale is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School, and was admitted to the Mississippi Bar in 1991. He is a member of the law firm Copeland, Cook, Taylor & Bush, P.A., with offices in Ridgeland, Biloxi and Hattiesburg. Dale represents individuals and legal entities in oil and gas, construction, insurance, software development, manufacturing, transportation and other industries doing business in Mississippi. In his community, he attends Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church with his family, and he has served on the Board of Directors for the City of Ridgeland Chamber of Commerce. He has also provided legal services to nonprofit religious and educational organizations, and consulted with local leadership of the Boy Scouts of America undertaking high-adventure trips.

Dale resides in Ridgeland with Janet, daughter Mary Kate and son Sam.

Biographical information for the other executive committee members follows:

Benny Waddle '82, President-Elect

Hattiesburg resident and Life Member of the Southern Miss Alumni Association, Benny Waddle received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Southern Miss. A certified public accountant, he graduated from the Louisiana State University Graduate School of Banking. Recently Benny accepted a position as senior vice president, Commercial Lending for Bancorp South.

An active member of his community, Benny is a board member of D.R.E.A.M. and the Kiwanis Club of Hattiesburg, where he holds the position of treasurer. Previously, he was the finance chairman for Parkway Heights United Methodist Church, assistant scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts of America, and served on the board for the Salvation Army, Area Development Partnership, YMCA and the Greater Pine Belt Community Foundation.

Benny also devotes time to his alma mater, having served as a board member for the Eagle Club, the USM Foundation and the Alumni Association from 2003-06. The Alumni Association has honored him with the Outstanding Service Award in 1997 and the Continuous Outstanding Service Award in 2004.

Benny is married to the former Pam Gillespie ’83, ‘96. The couple has two children, Amanda, a current student at Southern Miss, and Benjamin. 

Angie Collins ’92, ‘94, Vice President

Angie Collins is the manager of the Southeast MS Regional Office in Hattiesburg, Miss., for the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA). She has worked at MDA since 1995. Her primary duties and responsibilities include working with existing industries and promoting and delivering agency economic development activities for the 16-county area of Southeast Mississippi on behalf of the State of Mississippi.

Angie attended The University of Southern Mississippi, where she received her Master of Science degree in economic development and her Bachelor of Science degree in paralegal studies. She is a certified public manager for the State of Mississippi.

Angie is a past Board member of the Mississippi Economic Development Council. She is the immediate past chairman of the Southern Economic Development Council, a 17-state regional economic development organization, and has been the recipient of several SEDC Chairman’s Awards. She serves as the secretary for MS South Inc., a regional developers’ organization representing nine counties in Southeast Mississippi.

Angie has served on the Southern Miss Alumni Association Board, as well as director for the Southern Miss Eagle Club.  She is married to Thomas Wayne Collins. She has a son, Chad Cognevich, and stepson, Christopher Collins. Angie and Tom reside in Ellisville.

 Dr. Alvin J. Williams ’74, Past President

 Dr. Alvin Williams’ distinguished record of service to The University of Southern Mississippi spans three decades and continues today. While the majority of his efforts on behalf of Southern Miss have been as a professor and administrator, Williams currently serves as past president of the Alumni Association. In his role with the Alumni Association, Williams, a member of the Alumni Hall of Fame, is part of an executive committee that provides guidance for the Association’s operations.

In preparation of the Centennial celebration, Williams was co-chair of the University’s Centennial Celebration Steering Committee. As co-chair of this committee, Williams was responsible for guiding a group of 50 volunteers as they ensured that the 100th anniversary of the institution’s founding captured both the University’s treasured past and its golden future.

While his volunteer service is impressive, Williams is perhaps best known for his work in academia. Williams earned a bachelor’s degree from Southern Miss in 1974, master’s degree from the University of Alabama, and his Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas. He was interim dean of the College of Business and professor of marketing at Southern Miss, where he worked from 1980 to 2008. Williams also served as a department chair from 1988 to 2005. He is past president of the Society for Marketing Advances and past editor of the Journal of Supply Chain Management.

Williams has conducted more than 350 presentations and seminars for supply management and marketing professionals in the U.S., Europe, South Africa and China. He has published in various academic and professional journals in marketing and supply management, including Industrial Marketing Management, the Journal of Supply Chain Management, Supply Chain Management Review and the Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management. Williams is currently a distinguished professor of marketing at the University of South Alabama’s Mitchell College of Business.

His civic and community activities have included, at various times, Boy Scouts of America, which honored him with the Silver Beaver Award, Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club Board, United Way of Southeast Mississippi, Area Development Partnership Board and the USM Foundation Board. He is married to Lourinda Williams ’75, ’77, and the Life Members of the Alumni Association have two daughters, Adria and Aprille ‘10.

Ron Russell ‘84, Finance Committee Chair

Ron Russell, a 1984 accounting graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi, is a certified public accountant and has been in private practice for the last 22 years. This is his third term as finance committee chair.  

Ron is active in the local Jackson Metro Alumni Chapter and Eagle Club and has served as both organizations’ treasurer for five years. In addition, he has served on the USM Foundation Board, Southern Miss Alumni Association Board and was one of the founding members of the Southern Miss College of Business Advisory Council. He and his wife Monica ’83 have established an accounting scholarship at Southern Miss. Ron has also served on the Board of Governors for the Mississippi Society of CPA’s and is a former president of the Central Chapter of the MSCPA. He served as treasurer and on the Board of Directors for the Jackson Touchdown Club and the Jackson Jaycee’s. Ron and Monica are active in Broadmoor Baptist Church, where Ron has served as secretary and on numerous committees and taken on multiple roles, including finance committee chairman.   

A Madison native, he and his wife are the proud parents of three girls, Audra, a current student at Southern Miss, and Avery and Adele, both future Golden Eagles. Ron loves Southern Miss and has missed only one home football game in the last 30 years, when his daughter Avery was born.