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For Immediate Release
Monday, November 3, 2008


Kevin Upchurch to replace Col. J.K. ‘Hoopy’ Stringer

JACKSON, Mississippi – Governor Haley Barbour announced today that Kevin Upchurch, a 24-year veteran of Mississippi state government, will become executive director of the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration in mid-November.


Upchurch, who currently serves as Secretary of the Mississippi Senate and is a former DFA deputy director, will replace Col. J.K. “Hoopy” Stringer, who is retiring after serving as executive director of DFA and the state’s fiscal officer since the beginning of the Barbour administration in 2004.


“Over more than 46 years in state and federal government, including 30 years on active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps, Hoopy Stringer has served admirably with strong leadership and a deep commitment to public service. I regret his decision to retire, but he has certainly earned it. I want to thank him for his excellent management of our state’s finances and long record of service to Mississippi,” Governor Barbour said.


“Kevin Upchurch was an excellent deputy director at DFA and has excelled in his other positions. With his leadership skills and in-depth knowledge of the state’s fiscal affairs, he is the natural successor as executive director, and I know he will do an outstanding job,” Governor Barbour said.


The Department of Finance and Administration is responsible for fiscal management of the state’s $11 billion annual budget. The Executive Director also serves as State Fiscal Officer and works closely with the State Treasurer to advise the Governor and Legislature on financial decisions ranging from budget recommendations to the issuance of bonds.


Governor Barbour appointed Stringer to lead DFA in 2004. Prior to his appointment to DFA, Col. Stringer served as Executive Director of the Mississippi State Personnel Board. For over 10 years, he was Senior Human Resource executive for the State of Mississippi.


Upchurch, 47, is currently Secretary of the Senate, a Mississippi constitutionally-mandated position to which he was recommended by Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant and elected on a unanimous vote of the Senate on the first day of the 2008 Legislative Session.


As DFA Deputy Executive Director, Upchurch managed five offices, including the Office of Budget & Accounting, Office of the Budget & Fund Management, Bureau of Building, Grounds, & Real Property Management, Office of Fiscal Management and the Office of Purchasing, Travel and Fleet Management.


Prior to joining DFA, Upchurch served as the Deputy Executive Director of Administration for the Mississippi Department of Transportation where he provided direction and oversight for the financial management, budget, procurement, project programming, human resources and other support service needs of the agency.


Upchurch has served in various capacities during his tenure in state government. He began his career in state government in 1984 with the Mississippi Department of Health, where he worked as a payroll accountant. Later, he transferred to the Department of Agriculture and Commerce, where he served as the director of the state’s lime plants. Following his tenure with the Department of Agriculture, he served as Senior Auditor for the State Auditor’s Office. In 1988, Upchurch moved to the Legislative Branch of Mississippi government, where he served as a Legislative Budget Analyst for the Legislative Budget Office. In 1992, he was assigned to serve as the Budget Officer for the Mississippi State Senate until 2003 when he went back to the Executive Branch of Mississippi government to work at MDOT.


Kevin holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and management from Anderson University in Indiana. He and his wife, Margie, have been married for 24 years and have three children, Jared, Kyle, and Erin.

Stringer, a veteran of two combat tours in Vietnam, is a native of Pike County and holds an Associate of Arts degree from Southwest Mississippi Junior College of Summit, Mississippi, a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Southern Mississippi of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and a Master of Science degree in Management from the Naval Postgraduate School of Monterey, California. He is also a graduate of Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington, D.C. He is married and the father of four children.