The Mississippi Historical Society announced its local award recipients for 2016. Charles Gray of Bay St. Louis, executive director of the Hancock County Historical Society, received the Dunbar Rowland Award for his lifelong contributions to the preservation, study and interpretation of Mississippi history. Lamenda Hase, history and geography teacher at Ocean Springs High School, received the John K. Bettersworth Award for her outstanding performance as an educator.

JoAn Nicely, founder of the Pink Heart Funds nonprofit organization, received the Dave Carraway Hope Award from the Domino's Franchisee Forum during the annual Dave Carraway Downhill Memorial Ski Race & Hope Award presentation in Big Sky, Mont. Nicely was honored for her significant contributions toward the comfort and dignity of those fighting cancer or hair-loss disorders.

Robert Byrd, attorney with Byrd & Wiser in Biloxi, received the 2016 Michelle Mendez Serviam Award from the Center for American and International Law for his exceptional contributions to others in the bankruptcy profession and community.

Goodwill Industries of South Mississippi and its sister corporation Mississippi Goodworks Inc. announced their annual honorees and award recipients: Elizabeth Ayer was named Goodwill's Employee of the Year for 2015; Marcus May was named Goodworks' Employee of the Year for 2015; Brian Truesdell, member of the Gulfport Goodwill, was named the Vocational Rehabilitation Graduate of the Year for 2015; Briana Lahoz, member of the Ocean Springs Goodwill, was honored as the award's runner-up; and Jim Collins of Bay St. Louis, recently retired chief executive officer and marketing manager of Goodwill, was named the Goodwill Ambassador for the remainder of 2016.

Letecia Lewis, member of the accounting department, was named IP Casino Resort's Employee of the Year for 2015. Lewis was honored for her excellent customer service skills and positivity, and she will receive cash, prizes and a vacation for two as part of her award package.

Walter Blessey IV was re-appointed to his position as Mississippi Coast Coliseum commissioner by the mayors of Harrison County. Blessey began his gubernational appointment in 2002 and his additional four-year appointment will begin in April.

Anthony Herbert, principal of Pascagoula High School, and Alex Plowman, president and chief executive officer of Remote Dosimetry Services, were appointed to Singing River Federal Credit Union's advisory board, and George Herring, owner and operator of Mugshots Grill & Bar in Mobile, was appointed to SRFCU's supervisory committee.

William Anderson was named Police Officer of the Quarter by the Ocean Springs Police Department and the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce -- Main Street -- Tourism Bureau, which sponsored a free dinner for two as part of Anderson's prize.

The Silver Slipper Casino announced its employees and supervisor of the month for February 2016: Chuma N'Denu, security, and James Cochran, security, were named Employees of the Month, and Greg Hamilton, table games supervisor, was named Supervisor of the Month. Each honoree received gifts and prizes.