Southern Miss Gulf Park College of Business Presents Executives On: The Media Lecture

March 29, 2016

Article | | By Arlicia Jordan


The University of Southern Mississippi’s College of Business is preparing for its second installment of the Executives On: Lecture Series on the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach.

Sponsored by Gulf Coast businessman Joseph F. Boardman, the lecture series will continue with “Executives On: The Media” Tuesday, March 29, from noon – 1:15 p.m. in the Fleming Education Center, Room 104. The panel discussion will include guest speakers: Roland Weeks, retired publisher of the Sun Herald, John McFarland, retired marketing and interactive media director of the Sun Herald, and Brad Kessie, news director of WLOX News Now.


“The goal of this panel discussion is for these media executives to share their experiences and views on the past, present and future of the media business with our students and faculty members,” said Dr. Beth LaFleur, associate dean for the Southern Miss College of Business at Gulf Park and director of the University’s MBA program.

The Executive On: Lecture Series serves as a learning opportunity for faculty, students and MBAs to learn from business leaders on the coast. Students have the chance to interact with local business leaders, which serves to further student engagement and success.


Retired news publisher Ronald Weeks moved to the Gulf Coast in 1968 where he acquired leadership as publisher of both local newspapers, The Daily Herald and the Sun Herald, respectively.  He has also served as chairman of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association and as a member of the Associated Press board of directors.

Weeks is noted for being awarded the John S. Knight Gold Medal, an award given to journalists for their outstanding performance and ability to inspire excellence in others, and the Alvah Chapman Award for best performing newspaper in Knight Ridder.


Retired from the Sun Herald in September 2014, John McFarland served 42 years with the 2006 Pulitzer Prize award-winning newspaper as the marketing and interactive media director. He also functioned as a publisher for The Journal of South Mississippi Business and other specialty publications and was a member of the newspaper’s editorial board.

WLOX News Now Director Brad Kessie first began his career as a news reporter for the local broadcasting company that covers the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Best known for his reporting on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Kessie is remembered as one reporter that many South Mississippi hurricane victims relied on as they rebuilt their lives.

Leading the newsroom for more than six years, Kessie still carries the tradition of excellence at WLOX News Now.


The series concludes on Tuesday, April 19 with “Executive On: Entrepreneurship,” from noon – 1:15 p.m. in the Hardy Hall University Club. Dave Dennis and Frank Wilem will serve as guest speakers.


For more information about the lecture series, contact the College of Business on the Gulf Park campus at 228.214.3447. All events are open to the campus community and general public.