Sunday, July 14, 2024

NSU College of Business and Technology honors Hall of Distinction inductees

by BIZ Magazine

NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University’s College of Business and Technology honored six individuals with induction into the School of Business Hall of Distinction during a brunch and program that took place as part of Homecoming festivities on Oct. 19. 

Honorees were Louie Bernard, Trey Hill, the late Dr. John L. Hix, Adrian Howard, Logan Morris and Robert Turner. 

For 24 years, Bernard served the citizens of Natchitoches Parish as Clerk of Court. In that role, he sought NSU students to hire them in positions at the court and became a friend of the School of Business by volunteering his time for Future Business Leaders of America district meeting annually hosted at NSU.  Bernard diligently works with the collegiate sponsor of Phi Beta Lambda, the collegiate version of FBLA, to ensure that the students that come from all over the state are successful at NSU.  Bernard was recently elected state senator for District 31 which includes all or parts of Natchitoches, Sabine, Red River, Winn, Grant and Rapides parishes.

Bernard is a life-long member of First United Methodist Church in Natchitoches and a 1973 graduate of NSU. He has been married for the past 44 years to Gayle Haworth Bernard. They have three children and four grandchildren.

Hill is vice president of Rates and Regulatory Affairs with Atmos Energy.  His responsibilities include working with industry peers, elected officials and governmental agencies to ensure compliance and in achieving successful regulatory outcomes.  He has been involved in the governmental arena in Louisiana for over 20 years.   He received his degree in business administration from NSU in 1985.  Hill began his career with Atmos Energy and its predecessor companies upon graduation following a successful interview set up by NSU’s Career Planning and Placement Center.  He has been with Atmos Energy for over 34 years.  During his career, he and his family have lived in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Pineville and Lubbock, Texas. 

Hill and his wife of 34 year, Jackie, have three grown children, Andrew, 27; Brennan, 25, and Rachael, 22.  He is currently a member of the Association of Louisiana Lobbyists and serves as a board member for the NSU Alumni Association and the Public Affairs Research Council, a non-partisan governmental policy research organization.  He is a past board member and past president of both the Louisiana Gas Association and Kiwanis, past board member of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry and One Acadiana, the regional chamber in Lafayette. He has been engaged in many leadership roles for the United Way, school organizations and numerous charitable, professional and civic groups.

Hill plans to retire from Atmos Energy at the end of the year and will remain engaged in many of his current activities while providing governmental consulting services to a small group of clients.

            Dr. John Hix was born on April 25, 1937, in Batesville, Arkansas, the only child of John A. and Monnie Hix. The family moved to Port Arthur, Texas, where Hix attended high school. He went on to attain his Bachelor of Science degree from Lamar State University in Beaumont, Texas, where he met and married Jo Condray.  Upon graduating from Lamar, Hix earned a master’s degree in business administration from Louisiana State University and a Doctor of Philosophy in marketing from the University of Arkansas in 1972.  A life-long educator, he held teaching positions at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette), Northwestern State, McMurry University, Louisiana College and overseas graduate programs for the University of Arkansas, Troy State University and Boston University. Hix died on November 24, 2018. 

            Accepting the honor on behalf of Dr. Hix was his son Kenneth Hix, along with several family members including his wife of 58 years Jo Condray Hix, Kenneth’s wife Missy Toups Hix of Lafayette, daughter Karen Hix Cherico and husband Tony Cherico of Rogers, Arkansas, and other family

Howard is originally from Tyler, Texas. Upon graduating from high school, he attended and graduated from Northwestern State University with a degree in business administration and a minor in marketing.  After graduation, Howard held several jobs in sales and marketing before joining State Farm Insurance company as a claim representative. After 10 years in State Farm operations, he opened his own State Farm Insurance and Financial Services Agency. Howard has owned his own company for the last 20 years. Since the inception of his business, Howard has received numerous honors and awards throughout his career with the highlight being the prestigious Presidents Club Award on three occasions and the Chairman’s Circle award.

Howard is very active in his community. He is currently the fundraising chairperson for the local YMCA. He is a member of the 100 Black Men of America organization that provides mentorship to young men and serves on the NSU Foundation board of directors at NSU. He is a Life Member of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity incorporated.  He was joined for the induction by his wife Carol, also a graduate of Northwestern State. They have two children, Brandon and Kennedy Howard.

Morris is a 2002 graduate of Leesville High School and son of Malcolm (NSU 1970) and Shirley Morris.  He earned a degree in business administration at NSU in 2006 and is a successful licensed insurance agent and realtor at Morris Insurance Agency and Morris Team Realty. He is a member of First United Methodist Church of Leesville and is a fourth-generation president of the Leesville Lions Club and current treasurer.  He is a board member and finance chairman of the Louisiana Lions Camp, Progressive Melvin Jones Fellow of Lions International, 2012 president of the Greater Fort Polk Area Realtors, 2019 President of Louisiana Realtors, celebrating its centennial this year, and 2020 President of the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce.  He was joined by his husband Dr. Jeremy Draper.

Turner is an assistant professor in the College of Business.  Previously, he served as vice president for business affairs at McNeese State University and at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.  Turner’s broad experience includes teaching accounting and other business subjects at the high school and college levels. In addition, he co-authored an accounting textbook that has been adopted by multiple schools.  He is a frequent speaker at educational conferences, seminars and workshops around the country.  Turner is a 1961 NSU School of Business graduate.

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