FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 15, 2005

GOVERNOR BARBOUR APPOINTS HAIRSTON TO
MISSISSIPPI GAMING COMMISSION

(Jackson, Miss.)—Governor Haley Barbour today announced the appointment of Coast banker John M. Hairston of Gulfport to the Mississippi Gaming Commission for a term ending on September 30, 2009.

“I am very pleased that John has accepted this position, especially at this crucial time when so much must be done to help our state rebuild after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina,” Governor Barbour said. “One of the most important elements in our rebuilding and renewal strategy is the role of gaming in providing jobs and economic development. John’s years of leadership in the community and experience in the financial services sector will be very beneficial to the commission’s important work.”

The three-member commission enforces the Gaming Control Act and Charitable Gaming Laws of the State of Mississippi; works to maintain public confidence in both the charitable gaming and casino gaming industries; partners with international, national, state, county, and local regulatory and law enforcement agencies to establish a safe and crime free environment; and promotes economic development that is in both the best interests of the citizens and the State.

Hairston is executive vice president and chief operations officer of Mississippi Coast-based Hancock Bank. He is a graduate of Mississippi State University with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and completed graduate studies at the Louisiana State University Graduate School of Banking.

“Mississippi continues to be a model state in hosting a gaming industry that provides jobs for Mississippians while maintaining integrity and public confidence,” Hairston said. “It is an honor to serve my home state on a commission with such an exemplary fifteen-year record of prudent, balanced decision-making.”

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A native Mississippian, Hairston is married to the former Ann Jue of Hollandale, and they have two daughters, Taylor and Reagan.

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Governor Haley Barbour
P.O. Box 139 Jackson, MS 39205
Phone: 601.359.3150 Fax: 601.359.3741
         

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