Mississippi Gaming Commission | 620 North Street, Suite 200 | Jackson, MS 39202 | 601.576.3800 • Fax: 918.683.4811 | info@mgc.state.ms.us


John M. Hairston                                                                
Chairman John M. Hairston is CEO and Chief Operating Officer of Hancock Holding Company, Hancock Bank, and Whitney Bank.  Hancock Holding was recently named one of America’s Top-20 Best Banks and among the Top 100 of America’s Most Trustworthy Companies.  He joined the 112-year-old financial services company in 1994.  Earlier in his career, he specialized in financial services consulting with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture).

Active in business, community, economic development, and educational initiatives throughout his native Mississippi, he is a past commissioner of the Mississippi Access to Justice Commission, appointed by former Mississippi Chief Justice Jim Smith.  He was appointed by Governor Barbour in 2004 and 2009 as Director of the Board of Mississippi Information Technology Services, where he currently serves as immediate past Chairman.  He was similarly appointed in 2005 and 2010 to the Mississippi Gaming Commission as one of the three-member body who regulate the industry.

He serves as Co-Chair of the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum Capital Campaign, Co-Chair of the Gulf Coast Business Council’s Premier Destination Initiative, is Co-Chair of the American Bankers Association Dodd-Frank Task Force, past chairman of the Mississippi Bankers Association Legislative Committee, Chairman of the 2012 Gulf Coast United Way Campaign, served on Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant’s transition leadership team, and is a member of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Recovery and Revitalization Commission.

Active with his alma mater, he serves on the Bulldog Foundation Board and is immediate past chair of Mississippi State University’s College of Business Executive Advisory Board.  He serves on the faculty of the LSU Graduate School of Banking in Baton Rouge.

He serves as a director or member on numerous charitable and civic organizations on the Mississippi coast and in banking-related organizations based in Washington.

Hairston — one of The Sun-Herald’s Top 10 Business Leaders under 40, Top 10 Community Leaders and Mississippi Business Journal’s Top 40 under 40 Business Leaders — is a product of Gulfport High School and graduated magna cum laude from Mississippi State University with a B.S. in chemical engineering.
Chairman Hairston's term expires September 30, 2015.

Commissioner Nolen Canon
Commissioner Nolen Canon was born in Morton, Mississippi. He is a graduate of Mississippi State University. Mr. Canon is the owner and operator of Canon Farms, a 7000-acre farm that grows rice, soybeans, cotton, grain, sorghum and wheat in Tunica County.
Commissioner Canon has served as Chairman of the Board of the U.S. Rice Producers and has testified before Congress on their behalf. He has also served as Chairman of the Mississippi Rice Promotion Board and President of the Tunica County Farm Bureau. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Citizens Bank and Trust and Delta F.A.R.M. Mr. Canon was named Rice Farming Magazine’s 1994 Farmer of the Year and Mississippi Ag Network’s 2001 Farmer of the Year.
Commissioner Canon is married to the former Toni Bassie. They have two children and reside in Tunica.
Commissioner Canon’s term expires September 30, 2015.

Wally Carter       
Mr. Carter is a businessman from Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  He was born in Greenville, Mississippi in 1963 and grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  Mr. Carter is a 1981 graduate from Long Beach High School.  He went on to graduate from Missouri Southern State University where in 1986 he was awarded a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Business. After working for several Fortune 500 solid waste and recycling companies, Mr. Carter went out on his own in 1991 to make a difference in the solid waste industry with an emphasis on recycling rather than merely landfilling of solid waste. Mr. Carter cultivated his business, Delta Sanitation, through hard work and dedication into the 65th largest solid waste/recycling company in the United States which he subsequently merged into privately held Waste Pro USA, thus becoming a part owner and Corporate Senior Vice President. The combined companies service two million customers in seven states with over 2,000 employees and generating 400 million dollars in annual revenue. Mr. Carter is a member of both the University of Southern Mississippi Circle of Champions and the Presidents Circle as well as a Board Member for the University of Southern Mississippi Children’s Center for Communications. Mr. Carter was the 2012 recipient of the Distinguished American Award presented by the MS Gulf Coast Chapter of National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. Mr. Carter is a past member of the Advisory Board of Directors for Hancock Bank.  Mr. Carter and his family are members of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ocean Springs.  He is married to the former Paige Bainum of Tampa Bay, Florida and has four children and one grandchild.
Commissioner Carter's term expires September 30, 2016.