Mar 31

TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD---DAY 2...KRISTI FAULKNER, EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TO THE MAYOR

Posted on March 31, 2020 at 6:17 PM by Melitta Duncan

As I evaluate and communicate new information for many hours daily, some of which is not good, I know how important a positive attitude is for all of us during this challenging time.  I choose to keep my head right and know that God is in control of this situation.  Please join me with a positive attitude and as I “tell you something good”, please also forward some positivity to another person today.

Let me introduce you to our talented team with the City of Southaven who helps me and serves our citizens in a tremendous way daily.

Today’s introduction is Kristi Faulkner, Executive Assistant to the Mayor, who started her career with the City of Southaven on May 6, 2002.  She served as a Receptionist at City Hall until October, 2002 when she was promoted to Public Services Manager, a position she held until being promoted to her current position in March, 2007.  Prior to working with the City, she worked in the banking and transportation industries from December, 1985-May, 2002.  Kristi’s current responsibilities are extremely broad.  She manages an incredible volume of calls and calendar requests to the Mayor’s Office daily; media press releases; scheduling and compiling Board Meeting Agendas; assisting the Board of Aldermen, in general; communications, in general, from the Mayor’s Office; and countless other general supervisory and public relations tasks.   In addition to her day-to-day responsibilities, she also handles the monumental task for the City each year as the Director of Springfest, one of the City’s most-beloved traditions that has grown tremendously under her leadership over many years.

Kristi attended the Baptist Hospital School of Radiologic Technology in 1984-1985 and is a 1984 graduate of Southaven High School.

When asked “Why I do what I do?” Kristi, who was once named “Woman of the Year” by the Southaven Chamber of Commerce, responded, “I love my job!  It’s an honor to work for the Mayor, helping and serving people.  I grew up in Southaven and know so many people here.  It’s always nice to speak to those I have known forever and just as nice meeting new people!  I also have the pleasure of working closely with the Board of Aldermen and our Department Heads.  It’s just a blessing to work and make a difference when I can.  Feels good, that’s why I do what I do!  I’m grateful!”

Kristi has been married to Steve Faulkner for 32 ½ years.  Together, they have two daughters, Hannah and Emma; son-in-law, Lee; future son-in-law, Garrett; and three granddaughters, Avalyn, Lyla Ruth, and Braylee.   When she’s not working, she loves spending time with her granddaughters as well as all of her family, cooking, and going to the beach.

When I was elected Mayor in 2013, I fielded many calls about who I was bringing with me to be my Assistant, to which I simply responded, “She’s already there”.   Kristi’s skill-set is immeasurable, but what I appreciate the most about her is her ability to solve problems and tie-up every loose end.  When she gets the “green light”, you can just get out of her way and count it as “done”.  Her work ethic is unparalleled and the City is incredibly fortunate to have her serving our citizens.  #tellmesomethinggood  
Kristi Faulkner


Mar 31

TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD---DAY 1…CHRIS WILSON, CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER

Posted on March 31, 2020 at 10:21 AM by Darren Musselwhite

As I evaluate and communicate new information for many hours daily, some of which is not good, I know how important a positive attitude is for all of us during this challenging time.  I choose to keep my head right and know that God is in control of this situation.  Please join me with a positive attitude and as I “tell you something good”, please also forward some positivity to another person today.

Let me introduce you to our talented team with the City of Southaven who helps me and serves our citizens in a tremendous way daily.

Today’s introduction is Chris Wilson, our Chief Administrative Officer.  Chris has served our city since December, 1997 with most of his years of service in his current position.  His responsibilities include supervision of the entire Human Resources and Finance/Administration Departments.  Prior to joining the City, he worked for North Delta Planning and Development, Inc. in Batesville, Mississippi as Economic Development Planner from 1995-1997, and worked as a Program Manager for the National Association of Development Organizations in Washington, D.C. briefly in 1997.

Chris received his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Memphis in 2002 and Bachelor of Science Degree from Delta State University in 1995.

Professionally, Chris is the only International City Management Association (IMCA) credentialed manager (CM) in Mississippi; was accepted into and completed the Senior Executive Program for State and Local Governments at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government; and has led the City’s team that received 4 consecutive Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) awards for excellence in financial reporting, a prestigious award given to only about 5% of cities/counties nationwide for going beyond typical accounting procedures to improve governmental financial transparency.

Chris is married with two children and enjoys reading historical non-fiction books, baseball, and spending time with his family when not working.

When asked “why do you do what you do?” Chris replied, “I work each day to try and improve the overall efficiency of local governmental services both for our residents and co-workers”.

My assessment of Chris is that he is perfect for his job.  He guards the City’s financial budget like his own wallet.  When I see his fellow department heads preparing to discuss a potential budget amendment request with him, it reminds me of the clock and candle characters in the movie, “Beauty and the Beast”, with their teeth chattering as they tip-toe up to knock on the Beast’s door! J  Seriously, again, Chris is a brilliant guy and a problem-solver that works tirelessly to provide solutions to help us meet all objectives.  #tellmesomethinggood

Chris Wilson.jpeg
Mar 30

I'll Fight! Will You?

Posted on March 30, 2020 at 6:08 PM by Darren Musselwhite

It’s difficult for all of us to keep a positive outlook with all the negativity that surrounds us with the current crisis, however, I do think it is time that we all do what I learned from many of my coaches in the past:

“Get your head right!”

At the risk of being called Al Bundy, I won’t hesitate to share lessons that I learned on athletic fields as well as the general field of life that have helped me overcome adversity.  Although none of us have faced what we are now facing, we’ve all had to overcome adversity in our lives.  I’ve said something similar to the following to myself many times as well as many players that I coached in the past:

You are in a tough situation and have a crucial decision to make.  You can be paralyzed by your fear and quit right now, or you can stand up, face it, and do something about it!

As for me, although I’m assessing this situation with facts and adhering to the advice of experts, I will not live my life in fear!  How about you?

Let’s fight, but let’s fight in a smart way.  Fighting smart means you respect the threat of your opponent.  Just as a pitcher in baseball does not throw a 2-0 fastball down the middle of the plate, waist-high, to a power hitter, or a defensive football team strategically determines the right play to blitz a great quarterback, or a military general determines the precise time to attack the enemy, you have to play smart and respect your opponent.  Fighting doesn’t always mean throwing caution to the wind in aggressive pursuit.  Sometimes, it means waiting patiently for your next move.  Muhammad Ali possessed some of the quickest and most powerful hands of any boxer in the history of the sport, but during his prime he adopted a strategy never used before where he would lean back on the ropes and cover himself with his gloves while his opponent attacked him.  His opponent would eventually tire himself while Ali stayed fresh.  Then, at the right time, Ali would go on the attack for the knockout.

I know we’re all ready for this to be over, but we must be patient and fight smart!

Get your head right!

I’m not living in fear!  I’m going to stand up, face it, and do something about it.

I’ll fight!  Will you?