One Coast Ambassador of the Year


This morning at the IP Casino in Biloxi, the One Coast for Jackson County Committee awarded John Hairston the second annual One Coast Ambassador of the Year Award.

Dozens of people gathered at the IP Casino early Tuesday morning to honor a Coast staple, John Hairston, and recognize his impact on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Mississippi Lt. Governor Tate Reeves said, “I have never known a better cheerleader for the Coast. He was born and raised here. He sees this as one Coast and he has done tremendous work.”

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Growing up, Hairston spent time in all three coastal counties so the Coast has always worked as one to him. He has spent years urging others to forget those borders as well. “You know, we are made up of a lot of communities and three counties, but at the end of the day, those are just jurisdictional niceties forced upon us by the Constitution of the State. At the end of the day, we are one people with one symbiotic mind that is to create a better place for our children and our grandchildren than the one that we have today and that’s an important mission.”

Hairston, the president and CEO of Hancock Whitney Bank, says all it takes to be an ambassador for South Mississippi is to have pride in where you come from. “When I saw a little girl on the beach picking up trash you know we had a lot of people here on the Coast this weekend. This is one little girl, maybe 10 or 12-years-old by herself walking by the seawall literally just picking up trash and putting it in a basket. She’s an ambassador for the Coast. You don’t have to be in a suit standing at a podium to be an ambassador you just have to be someone proud of the place we call home.”


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