Wednesday, January 18, 2006


(Jackson, Miss.)—Governor Haley Barbour today announced the appointments of Derek Arrington, of Hattiesburg; Portia Ballard Espy, of Jackson; Greg Waggoner, of Carthage; Bruce Nourse, of Biloxi; and Dr. Susan Rucker, of Brandon, to the Volunteer Services Commission. The mission of the MVSC is to engage and support Mississippians of all ages and backgrounds in service to their communities.

“These individuals have a true commitment to serving others,” Governor Barbour said. “Each has extensive experience in community service, and I am confident these men and women will continue to serve the people of Mississippi well.”

Arrington is assistant district attorney at the Forrest and Perry County District Attorney’s Office. He worked for Heidelberg Law Firm, PLLC as an associate and the Mississippi Supreme Court and Court of Appeals as a judicial law clerk. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Millsaps College and law degree from the University of Mississippi Law School. Active in his community, Arrington is a member of the American Red Cross-South Central Mississippi chapter, Hattiesburg Kiwanis Club, and Area Development Partnership. He is a member of the Mississippi Economic Council, the Mississippi Scholars Program/Public Education Forum of Mississippi, and the Salvation Army and Boys & Girls Club. Arrington is a member of the American and Mississippi Bar Association and the Hattiesburg Area Young Lawyers Association, where he served as president in 2003.

Epsy is manager of External Affairs for Entergy Mississippi, Inc. Prior to this position, Epsy worked as head of Human Resources where she was responsible for providing management support and counsel on all labor-related matters. Additionally, Epsy has worked for companies such as Shell Oil, Shell Offshore, Inc., and Raytheon Aerospace. She is a member of the American Association of Blacks in Energy, board of trustees for the Mississippi Museum of Art, Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Mississippi, and the Barksdale Reading Institute’s mentor program. Epsy is also involved with the Mississippi Head Start Association and is treasurer of the New Hope Christian School Parent Support Organization.

Waggoner is sheriff of Leake County. An officer with Mississippi Wildlife and Fisheries for 23 years, Waggoner received a bachelor’s degree from Mississippi College. He is married to the former Lana Thaggard. Together, they have one son, Seth.

Nourse is director of public affairs for the Beau Rivage and Gold Strike casinos. Additionally, he worked as vice president of operations and senior vice president of government affairs at the Casino Magic Corporation and as deputy director and acting executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission. Nourse is the 2005 recipient of the Mississippi Economic Development Council’s “Volunteer of the Year” award. He is the past chairman of the Coast 21 steering committee, past president and commissioner of the Harrison County Development Commission, and director of the Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce. Nourse has served as director of the Mississippi Council on Compulsive and Problem Gambling, Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum, Main Street Biloxi and Salvation Army of Biloxi. He attended the University of Mississippi, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in banking and finance.

Rucker has worked for the Department of Education since 2000 and is currently executive to the state superintendent of Instructional Programs and Services. At MDE, she has served as associate state superintendent for Innovation and School Improvement and bureau director of the Office of Instructional Development. Before working for the state, Rucker was an elementary and middle school principal and teacher. She earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Mississippi State University and certification in educational administration and supervision from Mississippi College. In 1991, Rucker received a doctoral degree from the University of Southern Mississippi.




Press Releases
Executive Orders

State of the State
Other Speeches

Photo Gallery

Upcoming Events
Request the Governor
Request the First Lady

Constituent Services

State Agencies

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