By RICK HAYES firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — MT. VERNON — A senior human resource generalist from St. Louis will be the featured speaker at the 15th annual Jefferson County African-American Heritage Committee annual gala.
The event will be held 6 p.m. June 15 at the Mt. Vernon Holiday Inn.
Tina Moss, employed by Express Scripts, Inc., will be the featured speaker. The Hazelwood, Mo., resident is the daughter of Brenda and Elbert Cain and Charles Brannon of Mt. Vernon and the granddaughter of the late Mable Grace Young.
Moss received her post secondary education at SIU-Carbondale, starting with a bachelor's degree in speech communication and business administration before finishing with a master's degree in speech communication in May 2000. She has spent her entire career in every realm of human resources in institutions of higher education, the service industry, information technology and healthcare.
In addition to being a certified human resource professional, she is active at her church in Berkley, Mo. She serves as the vice chairwoman of the Trustee Ministry, and as the Church Human Resource professional, as well as other ministries.
In addition to the keynote address, the Committee will present Heritage Awards to Kenneth E. Warden, Oscar Brown, Julian Burns Sr. and Tineka Doggan.
Warden, 90, of Mt. Vernon, grew up singing with his brother and sisters in a group known as the Warden Quartet. They sang at state fairs, churches, prisons and many all-white social events. In 1944 he met and married Florence C. Warden and in 1952 moved to Decatur. He had begun his self-employment two years prior and needed a larger city to expand his business interests. He was nicknamed "Shorty." In the years to follow he owned Shorty's Barbecue, Shorty's Auto Parts, Shorty's Diner, Shorty's Furniture, other automotive businesses, and a construction and demolition company. He has owned and operated his own businesses since the age of 19.
Warden has changed "countless lives as a Civil rights advocate, black history teacher, and youth advocate, changing policies and practices from unjust to justice in the schools and entire city," information states.
Brown is a graduate of Mt. Vernon High School and obtained an associate's degree in psychology from Rend Lake College. He is currently seeking a bachelor's degree in psychology and counseling from Mid-Continental University.
He owns and operates Sun Loan and Tax Services. He has been a mental health specialist, outreach worker for Rural Gang Initiative Program for Kids Hope United, a youth care worker at Hoyleton Youth and Family Services, an an instruction facilitating Anger Regression Training, known as A.R.T. funded by the Second Circuit Court, and a mentor for Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
He has been a foster parent for the last 20 years. He recently adopted his nephew and niece, Sharod and Ajurney.
Brown is a member of Lively Stone Apostolic Church.
Burns is a Centralia native. He was a CHS Hall of Famer in cross country. He worked in Decatur and then moved to Mt. Vernon. He worked for Joy Mining Machinery for 31 years. Later in his career he finished truck driving training school at Rend Lake College. He is now employed at Continental Tire, working for Mitch Murch's Maintenance Management Team as a supervisor/centrafuge specialist.
Burns has been preaching for 27 years. He is currently ministering at Salvation Clinic Pentecostal in Mt. Vernon; and is the founder of Souls For Christ street ministry.
Doggan serves as an intercessor, worship leader and youth pastor at Antioch International Assembly in Mt. Vernon. The youth ministry serves 80 to 100 children. Additionally, she is a developmental therapist, doing contractural business with the State of Illinois Bureau of Early Intervention. She and her husband Brian are also real estate investors.
Doggan is a graduate of Rend Lake College and SIU-Carbondale. She recently released a book, "From His Woman..To His Wife."
Special recognition awards will be presented to Hilary Brown, Sonja LaRue Ligon, Bryce Woods and David E. Keen.
Brown, the daughter of Robert and Veronica Brown of Mt. Vernon, graduated from MVTHS in 2004. In 2011, she graduated with a doctorate of pharmacy degree from the College of Pharmacy at Butler University.
She is currently a pharmacist and manager of the pharmacy at Walgreens in Marion. She is a member of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church where she leads a weekly workout group.
LaRue-Ligon is an assistant state's attorney in the Jefferson County State's Attorney's office. She is assigned to the juvenile division which includes abuse, neglect, dependency, delinquency and truancy. She is a graduate of Washington University School of Law in St. Louis with a Juris Doctoris degree. She received her bachelor's degree from Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, and is a 1992 graduate of MVTHS.
Woods has been a coach at Southtown Youth for six years and is head coach of the JC Jets, an adult special olympics team based in Mt. Vernon.
Keen, former city councilman and mayor, is human resource/public relations director for SKC Enterprises Inc./Rent One. He has received numerous awards and citations as a rimer Illinois Army National Guard recruiter. Keen is involved in the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, the Senior Saints Hall of Fame, Mt. Vernon Veterans Memorial and co-founder of Jefferson County Iraqi Freedom, and involved in Mentors for Kids.
Tickets for the gala are $25 for adults, $15 for youth 12 and under and table seats for 10 are available for $250.
The Grisby Family Singers, based in Carbondale, will be the featured entertainment.