Thursday, May 20, 2004


(Jackson, Miss.) – Governor Haley Barbour today announced his two appointees to the Gaming Commission, the governing body that enforces the Gaming Control Act and Charitable Gaming Laws of the State of Mississippi. The two new additions to the three-member commission are Jerry St. Pe¢, of Pascagoula, and Nolen Canon, of Tunica.

“I am very proud of these appointments,” said Governor Barbour. “They are familiar with the gaming industry. Most importantly, they are proven leaders who have had incredible careers. Their impeccable qualifications, coupled with their integrity and high standards, will benefit Mississippians.”

Mr. Jerry St. Pe is former President of Northrop Grumman Ship Systems and retired Executive Vice President of the shipyard’s former parent company, Litton Industries. He is one of the founders of the Jackson County Economic Development Foundation and the Mississippi Partnership for Economic Development. He serves on the boards of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, Southern Company, and Merchants and Marine Bank. St. Pe¢ was inducted into the Mississippi Business Hall of Fame in 1996 and awarded the Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz Award for service to America’s navel shipbuilding. He resides in Pascagoula with his wife Joann, and they have two adult children.

Mr. Nolen Canon is the owner and operator of Canon Farms. This 7000-acre farm grows rice, soybeans, cotton, grain, sorghum and wheat. A graduate of Mississippi State University, he has served as President of the Tunica County Farm Bureau, and Chairman of the Mississippi Rice Promotion Board. He serves on the board of directors of the Citizens Bank and Trust and Delta F.A.R.M. Canon was named Rice Farming Magazine’s 1994 Farmer of the Year and Mississippi Ag Network’s 2001 Farmer of the Year. He and his wife Toni have two adult children and live in Tunica.

In October, St. Pe¢ will replace Mr. Leonard “Len” Blackwell, II, of Gulfport, who will have fulfilled his four-year term as Chairman. Canon will immediately begin serving out Laurel native Ms. Robin Robinson’s term. She recently stepped down from her Gaming Commission post to serve as one of Governor Barbour’s appointments to the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning.

“I am very proud of Len and Robin’s positive contributions to the commission. They have done an outstanding job and are great representatives of Mississippi,” said Governor Barbour.

Gaming Commission candidates appointed by the Governor require the advice and consent of the Senate. Statute requirements include ensuring that at least one member of the Commission is a resident of a gaming county for at least five years prior to their appointment, and Mr. Canon fulfills this requirement. The Commission works with agencies to establish a safe and crime-free gaming environment and to promote economic development progress that is in the best interest and safety of our citizens. The commissioners oversee the Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director of the Gaming Commission as well as its 12 division directors.

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