CONTACT: Office of the Governor
Pete Smith (601) 359-3150 or (601) 720-8733
Kathryn Stewart (601) 359-3150

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 21, 2005

Governor Barbour Makes Appointments to Real Estate Commission

(Jackson, Miss.)—Governor Haley Barbour announced the appointment of Alvin Gilless, of Southaven; Gary C. Murphree, of Houston; John M. Dean, Jr., of Leland; Larry Edwards, of Jackson; and Mark Cumbest, of Moss Point, to the Real Estate Commission. The Mississippi Real Estate Commission administers control over the commercial real estate industry in the State of Mississippi, licensing all real estate brokers and salespersons.

“These appointees are well-qualified,” said Governor Barbour. “Each has extensive real estate experience, and I feel confident they will serve the people of Mississippi well.”

Alvin Gilless attended Memphis State University, majoring in business administration, and Northwest Community College, specializing in real estate courses. He is a self-employed land developer, working for Al Gilless Development. A member of the Southaven Rotary Club, Gilless is also a member of the Southaven Jaycees and the Southaven Chamber of Commerce. Gilless has been a member of the DeSoto County Board of Realtors, and served in the United States Air National Guard, earning the rank of Sergeant.

Gary C. Murphree attended Northeast Mississippi Community College, taking courses in general agriculture, and earned his Bachelor’s degree in general agriculture from Mississippi State University. Murphree serves as the owner and President of U.S. South, Incorporated, and has worked for his own farm, Gary C. Murphree Farms. Murphree is a member of the Houston Exchange Club, the Houston Rotary Club, and the Finance Committee of the Houston Main Street Program. In addition, he serves on the Mississippi State University Alumni Association and on the Board of Directors of the Crimestoppers of Northeast Mississippi. A member of the Chickasaw Farm Bureau and the Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association, Murphree also serves on the State Executive Board for the Mississippi Association of Realtors. He is Vice President of the Mississippi Realtors Land Institute Chapter 31 and a member of the Soil Conservation State Advisory Council.

John M. Dean, Jr., has been the President and Principal Broker and Owner of LANDMART, Inc., and of Dean Land & Realty Company since 1982. Dean is an agri-business graduate from Mississippi State University and is certified by the National Association of Realtors as an International Property Specialist. He is real estate brokerage licensed in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Dean is the past President of the Mississippi Association of Realtors and past National President of the Realtors Land Institute. A member of the Board of Directors of the International Real Estate Federation, Dean is a past recipient of the Mississippi “Realtor of the Year” and “Land Realtor of the Year” awards. Dean is a member of the Mississippi Economic Council, the Delta Council, and the Mississippi World Trade Center Advisory Board. He is a past President of the Leland Chamber of Commerce and past Chairman of the Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission.

Larry Edwards received his Real Estate Brokers license in 1973. Edwards attended the University of Mississippi, where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration in banking and finance. He has worked as the President of The Smith-Edwards Company since 1985 and of Edwards Homes, Inc., since 1971. Edwards is the Secretary for Baily Lumber and Supply Company, and is the President of LWE Properties, Inc. A member of the Board of Trustees of the Reformed Theological Seminary, Edwards is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Mississippi Children’s Home and the Palmer Home for Children. He is a member of the Jackson Association of Realtors, the Mississippi Association of Realtors, and the National Association of Realtors.

Mark Cumbest is Broker-owner of Cumbest Realty, Inc., in Jackson County. He founded the company in 1975 upon his graduation from the University of Southern Mississippi where he majored in Real Estate and Insurance. Cumbest was named “Land Realtor of America” in 1991 and was elected National President of the Realtors Land Institute in 1995. He was named Mississippi Realtor of the Year in 1997, and the same year was named “Today’s Realtor” in the Commercial/Investment Category of the national Realtor publication Today’s Realtor Magazine. In 1999, he became the youngest person ever to be inducted into the Mississippi Realtor Hall of Fame. He holds the Accredited Land Consultant Designation of the Realtors Land Institute and has been named Realtor of the Year five times by the East Gulf Coast Board of Realtors and four times by the Mississippi Chapter of the Realtors Land Institute. In 2002, he was selected by the Sun Herald newspaper as one of the Top Ten South Mississippi Community Leaders and was inducted into the Roland Weeks Leadership Hall of Fame. In 2005, he was named to “Who’s Who in Mississippi Business” by the Mississippi Business Journal. He is a member of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Economic Development Council, Coast 21 Steering Committee, and the Real Estate Council of the University of Southern Mississippi Foundation. He and his wife, Pamela, have two sons: Grant and Reid.

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