MSU Foundation appoints 2019 leaders, incoming members

Contact: Amy Cagle

STARKVILLE, Miss.—The Mississippi State University Foundation is announcing 2019 leaders and incoming members for the 48-seat board of directors that guides the fundraising arm of the almost 141-year-old land-grant institution. 

Incoming officers with one-year terms that began Jan. 1 include three alumni: D. Hines Brannan of Atlanta, Georgia, as board chair; Anthony L. Wilson of Gulfport as vice chair; and Mike M. McDaniel of Houston, Texas, as treasurer.

D. Hines Brannan
Anthony L. Wilson
Mike M. McDaniel

A Mississippi native of Woodville, Brannan has loyally been a member of the MSU Foundation board for more than a decade, earlier serving as vice president for three terms and as treasurer for three terms. At MSU, he also was a founding member of the advisory board for the James Worth Bagley College of Engineering and an executive-in-residence for the college. He earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering in 1970 and an MBA the following year, both from MSU. He is a retired managing director of Accenture, one of the world’s largest management consulting firms.

Fellow Mississippi native Wilson hails from D’Iberville. He earned his electrical engineering degree in 1987 from MSU and later an MBA from the University of Southern Mississippi. He currently serves as chairman, president and CEO of Mississippi Power Company. Earlier he was executive vice president of customer service and operations for Georgia Power.

McDaniel, who holds a 1979 bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from MSU, is a Cleveland native. He is currently the president of Saber Power Services LLC, having earlier been CEO of M3Resources LLC. McDaniel also has previously served as a board member.

Rounding out the remaining board officers are MSU personnel. John P. Rush, vice president for development and alumni, is the board’s president and CEO; David Easley, executive director of finance, is chief financial officer; and Jack McCarty, executive director of development, serves as board secretary. All are MSU graduates.

Members beginning inaugural three-year terms are:

—Helen M. Currie of Houston, Texas.  A native of Utica, Currie earned a Doctor of Philosophy in business administration with a concentration in finance from Mississippi State in 2000. She earlier graduated from Millsaps College and the University of Washington, where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics, respectively. Currie serves as chief economist for ConocoPhillips, having earlier led the Americas Market Fundamentals research team for BG Group.

—Janice I. Nicholson of Florence, Alabama. A Booneville native, Nicholson earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in elementary education from Mississippi State in 1967 and 1977, respectively. Nicholson also holds an education specialist degree from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education. For 37 years, she was with the University of North Alabama in teaching and administrative positions and is a professor emerita of the institution. She also is retired as executive vice president for Student Affairs and Graduate and Special Programs from Blue Mountain College, where she earned an undergraduate degree. From 2015-2017, she was interim head of the Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education at Mississippi State.

—George D. Pillow Jr. of Killen, Alabama. Pillow earned his bachelor’s degree in general business administration from Mississippi State in 1969. He is chairman of Senators Coaches Inc. in Florence, Alabama.

Eight alumni who have previously served are returning to the board in new three-year terms. They are:  

—William B. “Bill” Berry of Katy, Texas. He received two MSU petroleum engineering degrees—a bachelor’s of science in 1974 and a master’s of science in 1976. He is the retired executive vice president of ConocoPhillips.

—John D. Davis IV of Flowood. He is a 1988 biological engineering and pre-medicine graduate of Mississippi State, who later received an M.D. from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1992. He is a founding partner and neurosurgeon for NewSouth NeuroSpine.

—Rodger L. Johnson of Atlanta, Georgia. He holds a 1971 bachelor’s in civil engineering degree from Mississippi State and a 1982 MBA from Georgia State University. He serves as president and CEO of JKC Holdings Inc.

—Rusty Linton of Columbus. He is a 1980 bachelor’s in biochemistry and pre-medicine graduate of Mississippi State who earned an M.D. in 1984 from the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He is an orthopaedic surgeon with Columbus Orthopaedic Clinic P.A.

—John R. Lundy of Ridgeland. A native of Leland, he is a 1983 bachelor’s in agricultural economics graduate and a partner at Capitol Resources LLC.

—Wallace L. Seal of Bay St. Louis. He is a 2000 bachelor’s in geosciences graduate of Mississippi State and president of North Beach Investments LLC.

—Allen K. Sills Jr. of Franklin, Tennessee. He is a 1986 biological engineering graduate of Mississippi State who received an M.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1990. He serves as the inaugural chief medical officer for the National Football League and is a professor of neurosurgery, orthopaedic surgery and rehabilitation in the Department of Neurological Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

—Turner A. Wingo of Collierville, Tennessee. He is a 1967 general business graduate of Mississippi State and a retired real estate developer and former owner of Sherry’s Hallmark. 

Chartered in 1962, the MSU Foundation administers most of the campus-based fundraising activities and endowment funds. Record years of private support are part of “Infinite Impact: The Mississippi State University Campaign,” the largest fundraising endeavor in the state of Mississippi. To date, the campaign has reached nearly $916 million in commitments toward its $1 billion goal.

The MSU Foundation is available at and @MSU_Foundation.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

William B. “Bill” Berry
Helen M. Currie
John D. Davis IV
Rodger L. Johnson
Rusty Linton
John R. Lundy
Janice I. Nicholson
George D. Pillow Jr.
Wallace L. Seal
Allen K. Sills Jr.
Turner A. Wingo

Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - 1:48 pm