Meet Chip

As a boy attending public schools in Desoto County, Chip worked nights and weekends for a carpet cleaning and restoration company. When he graduated, he went into the United States Navy. Upon graduation from bootcamp, he volunteered for submarine duty and after attending various training schools he was assigned to the USS Permit/SSN-594. He spent the next four years on this nuclear-powered, fast attack submarine doing patrols in the northern Pacific Ocean in support of the Cold War effort under Presidents Reagan and Bush. He was awarded numerous letters of commendation and medals during this tense time in our nation’s history. He left the navy in 1990 at the rank of Machinist Mate 1st Class(E-6).

Education & Experience

  • Education
    • University of Memphis, University College, Memphis, TN Bachelor of Professional Studies – Major in Professional Studies with a concentration in Organizational Leadership December 2015 (Magna Cum Laude)
    • John C. Stennis Institute of Government, Mississippi State University State Executive Development Institute of Mississippi 2007
    • Northwest Mississippi Community College, Southaven, MS
  • Professional Qualifications and Certifications
    • Certified Municipal Official "Professional Development Level", Mississippi Municipal League, 2007
    • Certified Municipal Official "Advanced Level" Mississippi Municipal League 2005
    • Certified Municipal Official "Basic Level" Mississippi Municipal League 2003
  • Community Involvement
    • Volunteer for Meals on Wheels of Hernando, 2020-present
    • Chairman, MS State Advocacy Committee for the American Heart Association, 2019-present
    • Member, Mississippi Secretary of State's Business Incentives Study Group, 2012
    • Conference Chairman-5th annual "Empowering Communities for a Healthy Mississippi", 2011
    • Member, Mississippi Secretary of State's Study Group to Review Election Laws, 2014-2015
    • Participant in the Community Health Data Initiative, Institute of Medicine at the National Academies, 2010
    • Active member of No Labels representing Mississippi as a "Problem Solver", 2013-2017
    • Co-Chairman, Municipal Leadership for Healthy Southern Cities, (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant administered through the Institute for Youth, Education, & Families) 2009-2011

Miscellaneous Accomplishments 2005-2017

  • Hernando designated as a Preserve America Community (2009)
  • Opened the first Community Center in Hernando (Gale Center 2008)
  • Built the city’s first animal shelter (2009)
  • Started the city’s first curbside recycling program (2010)
  • Obtained $24K grant to install storm warning sirens (2005)
  • The original city water tower was named as a state landmark by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History
  • Adopted a 20-year general development plan (2007)
  • Hosted 140 mayors and city officials from Mississippi to discuss preservation efforts and environmentally sustainable communities (2008)
  • Located the DeSoto Arts Council in the Historic Banks Mansion and then into the old City Hall building to foster a culture of art in Hernando
  • Led the effort to move the DeSoto County Jail off the Town Square to the Industrial Park
  • Hernando was featured in CNN’s “Best Small Town” series
  • Installed a 500,000-gallon water tank to increase the city’s drinking and firefighting water capacity
  • Received the Leadership for Healthy Communities award by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2013)
  • Baptist Industrial College named as a historical site by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and marker installed
  • Hernando Spring Hill Cemetery named to the National Register of Historic Places
  • Started the Hernando Mayor’s Youth Council
  • Display the MDEQ Air Quality Ozone Action Flags at two locations in the city for air quality and participated on the DeSoto County Ozone Action Committee to educate the public about air quality
  • First AARP Age-Friendly Community in Mississippi
  • Interstate I-69 opened
  • Hernando Mayor’s Youth Council received the Presidents Volunteer Award for their commitment to volunteerism (2017)
  • Hosted the International Conference of Shopping Centers Public-Private-Partnership (P3) state conference (2017)
  • Named one of the 100 Best Places to Live by Money Magazine (2011)
  • Recognized as a Healthy Community by American City & County Magazine (2012)
  • First Planning Department in DeSoto County to institute an online permitting process
  • Mississippi Municipal League Past President
  • Mississippi Municipal League Executive Board of Directors
  • Hernando increased police department personnel by 18% between 2015-2016
  • Created a business-friendly environment that inspired Kroger to open the first Marketplace in the entire State of Mississippi and the Memphis Metropolitan area.
  • Schultz Extruded Products made a 40-million-dollar investment in Hernando with no tax incentives when they opened their plant
  • Shamrock Plank Flooring repatriated 25 jobs from outside the US to Hernando where they now employ more than 50 people locally

Chip presenting smoke-free city award

Healthy City Accomplishments

  • Started the first ever Parks and Recreation Department in Hernando (2006)
  • Opened the Hernando Sports and Fitness Park (2005)
  • Parks and Recreation received Class 1 Special Event Award of Merit and Class 1 Arts and Humanities Award of Merit (2010)
  • Became 7th Comprehensively Smoke-Free City in Mississippi (2007)
  • Named as Mississippi’s Healthiest Hometown by BCBS Foundation and awarded $50,000(2010)
  • Honored by acting Surgeon General Kenneth Moritsugu for health initiatives (2007)
  • Received first ever “Health Tourism “grant from the Mississippi Development Authority for Water Tower 10k (2010)
  • The Hernando Sports and Fitness Park was upgraded with rubberized track and outside fitness equipment
  • The League of American Bicyclists gave Hernando an honorable mention as a Bicycle Friendly Community
  • Ride of Silence bicycle ride to draw awareness of those who have been injured or killed while riding and remember the “Rules of the Road”
  • Adopted “Complete Streets” policy (2010)
  • Hernando Parks Department awarded the Arts and Humanities Award of Merit by the Mississippi Recreation and Park Association (2009)
  • Awarded $150K grant from Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to start construction of Lee’s Summit Park
  • Extended the walking trails at Conger Park and connected them to the nearby neighborhood
  • Worked closely with the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association (SCAA) to install AED’s in multiple public spaces and all city buildings
  • Started Young at Heart senior group for physical, mental and social health of seniors
  • Started the Healthy Eating Active Living (H.E.A.L.) program (2009)
  • Started the award-winning Hernando Farmers Market (2008). The largest farmers market in the state; Ranked No. 5 nationally as a favorite large market by the American Farmland Trust (AFT) (2012); Top 100 favorite market in the U.S. by the AFT (2016)
  • Celebrated National Bike to Work day (2010-present)
  • Installed the first miles of bicycle lanes in Hernando
  • Hernando Middle School was the statewide winner of the “Fuel Up to Play 60” anti-obesity competition (2010)
  • Started the Hernando Community Garden with a Balancing Intake and Expenditure (BITE) grant (2010)
  • ZDF, the German Television Network produced a documentary on health and obesity featuring Hernando
  • The first Mississippi community to be recognized as a Playful City USA by Kaboom! Has continued the recognition each year (2006)
  • Installed a “Wonder Trail” at Lee’s Summit Park funded by a United Way grant.
  • Instituted Bicycle Safety Fairs in (2010)
  • Received a grant from the Optimist Club of Hernando for a Bicycle Safety Village to teach young children about the” Rules of the Road”
  • Hernando received the first ever Health Champion award from the Desoto County Health Council (2006)
  • Hernando received enHance Award by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality for its efforts in environmental sustainability
  • Opened Bicycle/Pedestrian connection under interstate (2013)
  • Built the first Skate Park in Hernando
  • Built the first Soccer Complex in Hernando (2015)
  • First certified Excel By 5, child friendly community in North Mississippi and only community in DeSoto County (2012)
  • Started the Annual Children’s Health Fair
  • Received two EPA Brownfield Assessment grants totaling $800k to assess and clean-up contaminated properties (2012 & 2016)
  • Received $46K grant by the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC) to provide transportation to seniors to improve physical, mental and social health (2017)
  • Received $42K Healthy Heroes grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi for police officers to promote healthy eating and exercise to elementary school students, and to build a fitness center at the police department for city employees to get fit.
  • The city of Hernando’s master park plan received an engineering excellence award from the American Council of Engineering Companies (2013)
  • Hernando named one of the Top 10 Best Towns for Families by Family Circle Magazine (2015)

Chip receiving the national leadership award

Chip signing leaders against litter


Awards and Grants


  • Winner of the Desoto Times/Tribune Community Role Model award 2018
  • Leadership for Healthy Communities’ Childhood Obesity Prevention Award, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2013
  • Recipient of the Mississippi Governor’s Initiative for Volunteer Excellence (GIVE Award) for Outstanding Service by a Public Servant, 2013
  • Health Champion award from the North Mississippi Regional Health Council, December 2009
  • Community Foundation of North Mississippi’s “Man of the Year”, 2009
  • Franchisee of the Year, Rainbow International of North America, 2004
  • United States Navy Good Conduct Medal, two Sea Service Deployment ribbons, Navy Expeditionary Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and various letters of commendation, 1984-1990
  • The President’s Volunteer Service Award from the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, 2009

City of Hernando Awards

  • Family Circle Magazine Ten Best Cities to Raise a Family, 2015
  • Featured in ABC’s Everyday Health 2011
  • Mississippi’s Healthiest Hometown by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation, 2010
  • Playful City, USA (First city in Mississippi to obtain the designation) 2007-current
  • Certified as an ENHANCE City by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, 2012 & 2015
  • CNN/Money Magazine’s 100 Best Places to Live (ranked 79th) 2011

Grants Received

  • McIngvale Road Re-alignment MPO grant $8,000,000
  • McIngvale Road Re-Alignment Desoto County funding $1,000,000
  • New Traffic signals/lane improvements Hwy51/Nesbit Rd & Hwy 51/Robinson MPO Grant $1,300,000
  • McIngvale Road Paving from Commerce to Byhalia from MPO grant $1,235,000
  • Commerce Street paving from Town Square west to city limits MPO grant $1,220,000
  • Mt. Pleasant Rd/Byhalia Rd paving from Parkway to McIngvale-MPO grant $846,000
  • Hernando Town Square pedestrian improvements grant from MPO $286,000
  • McIngvale Road exit ramps at I-269 funded my MDOT and Federal Highways $7,000,000
  • Fiber-Linked synchronization of traffic signals on Commerce Street MDOT grant $300,000
  • WalMart grant for playground at Lee’s Summit Park $25,000
  • Recreational Trails Grant for Lee’s Summit Park first trail, parking lot and gazebo $150,000
  • Healthy Hometown grant from BCBS foundation used as partial money for track $50,000
  • 2nd Recreational Trails grant for Lee’s Summit Park-west parking lot, restrooms, 2nd trail $100,000
  • HVAC Energy Grant for city hall AC and light upgrades $70,000
  • Brownsfield Assessment Grant $400,000
  • MDOT grant for linear park $610,000
  • Byhalia McIngvale traffic signal MPO grant $300,000
  • Stimulus Grant money to overlay Commerce $240,000
  • Housing Down Payment Assistance grants $30,000
  • Renasant Park land donation from Renasant Bank approximate value $800,000
  • Skate Park Grant $100,000
  • Recreational Trails grant -used with Healthy Hometown grant to refurbish rubber track $100,000
  • Bike Lane Striping grant from Community Foundation $5,000
  • Safe Routes to School Sidewalk grant $200,000
  • Green Reserve Loan Forgiveness-used as partial money on reclaiming north lagoons $300,000
  • Flouridation Equipment grant $6,000
  • Healthy Heroes Grant $42,000
  • NADTC grant for senior transportation $46,000

Get Involved

From joining some of our neighborhood meet and greet walks, to placing a yard sign in your yard, we would love to have your help!

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