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MPA Staff

Beth Boone, Foundation Coordinator

Beth joined MPA-MPS in 1996 as an advertising clerk. After serving many years as member services coordinator, Beth became the coordinator of Foundation programs in 2009. She handles administration of the workshops, scholarships for student journalists, grants for services to colleges and universities and the annual O.C. McDavid Journalism Conference. She also assists with events and conferences and special projects for MPA-MPS.


Layne Bruce, Executive Director

A career newspaper professional, Layne was a reporter, editor and publisher before joining MPA in 2006 as director of marketing. In 2007, he was named executive director and now oversees management of the Association, Mississippi Press Services and the MPA Education Foundation. He serves as chief executive of the three organizations and reports to the Board of Directors, plans conferences, and handles communications.


David Gillis, Director of Sales

David was an advertising sales representative and sales manager for newspapers in Dallas and Vicksburg before joining Mississippi Press Services in 2007 as director of sales. He oversees the advertising services for MPA's 120 member papers and administers the Mississippi Classified Advertising Network (MCAN), Mississippi Display Advertising Network (MDAN), and Quarter Page Network (QtrPage). He also assists with marketing for all three organizations.


Monica Gilmer, Member Services Manager

Monica joined Mississippi Press Services in August 2005 as an advertising coordinator. She now is member services manager for MPA, planning the annual convention, Mid-Winter Conference and MPAEF Benefit Roast, coordinating the annual advertising and editorial contests, processing advertising tearsheets, and administering the MPA public notice website,


Sue Hicks, Business Development Manager

After serving as network advertising coordinator and later senior marketing representative from 2001-2007, Sue rejoined MPA-MPS in early 2014 as Business Development Manager. She is responsible for marketing MPS products and member newspapers as the medium of first choice for advertisers in state and nationwide. She previously served as advertising manager for The Carthaginian and as classified sales manager for The Natchez Democrat.


Andrea Ross, Chief Media Buyer

Andrea joined Mississippi Press Services in 1999 as an advertising coordinator and is now the chief media buyer, handling ad placements for newspapers in-state and nationwide. Andrea provides advertising estimates to clients and is responsible for coordinating insertion orders with member newspapers and other press association advertising departments. She also assists with customer service and marketing of MPS.




John Henegan, General Counsel & Libel Hotline

John Henegan is a member of the law firm of Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens & Cannada, PLLC. He and his firm represent various broadcast and print media groups, including the Mississippi Press Association. A graduate of the University of Mississippi where he earned his B.A. in English and Philosophy in 1972, and his J.D., with honors, Henegan has been listed in the Mississippi First Amendment section of every edition of The Best Lawyers in America.


Donna Jacobs, General Counsel & Libel Hotline

Donna Brown Jacobs is an attorney with the firm of Butler Snow based in Jackson. She was admitted to the Mississippi Bar in 1989 after earning her law degree from the University of Mississippi. She earned her B.P.A from Ole Miss after graduating summa cum laude. Her areas of emphasis include media defense and appellate litigation. She regularly assists MPA members with matters pertaining to libel and right-to-privacy matters.


Leonard Van Slyke, Freedom of Information Hotline Attorney

Leonard Van Slyke is an attorney  with the Brunini firm in Jackson. He is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, the University of Mississippi School of Law and Georgetown University Law Center. He is a member and former president of the Hinds County Bar, The Mississippi Bar and a Fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation. Van Slyke concentrates his practice on media law, including First Amendment Law, libel and slander litigation, reporters’ privilege issues arising from subpoenas of news organizations, and story review.

Hayes Dent, Lobbyist and Legislative Liaison

Hayes Dent is President of Hayes Dent Public Strategies, LLC, a lobbying and governmental consulting firm. Headquartered in Jackson, Hayes Dent Public Strategies, LLC represents clients before state executive and legislative bodies as well as federal decision-makers on a wide range of issues. Prior to founding HDPS, he served as Executive Director of the Delta Regional Authority and worked in the administration of Gov. Kirk Fordice. A veteran of Operation Desert Storm, he received the Bronze Star Medal from President George H.W. Bush.

Steve Browning, Lobbyist and Legislative Liaison

Steve Browning is a lobbyist for MPA and is part of the team at Hayes Dent Public Strategies in Jackson. Previously, he served as Executive Director to Mississippians for Economic Progress, a non-profit coalition of more than 50 professional, trade, and medical associations promoting court room fairness. He is a 1995 graduate of Mississippi State University where he earned his degree in political science. He later earned his masters from MSU in public policy and administration.

Certified Public Accountants
Butchart, Ellzey & Associates
Buddy Ellzey, CPA
Kelley Thompson

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