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Our Instructors

The Office of Training and Development has assembled an outstanding faculty with real-world experience in many areas. These faculty members represent a diverse mix of experience and include outside subject matter experts as well as internal specialists in various areas of state government.

Sharon Bridges, CPM

Sharon Bridges retired from state service after a 30-year career. During that time, she worked designing and presenting training on subjects related to employee development and mission critical issues. She graduated from Mississippi College with a degree in business. She is also a graduate of MSPB’s CPM program. She is qualified to administer and interpret the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and is a Certified Training Professional through the University of Southern Mississippi Training and Development Certificate Program. She is a past president of the Mississippi Chapter of the American Society of Training and Development. 

Dr. Pam Confer

Pam Confer, Ph.D., is an international, award-winning, bilingual professional speaker, jazz singer, business consultant, public relations guru, and sports clay enthusiast! With a certificate in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion from Cornell University, Dr. Confer is a TEDx Women presenter, corporate humorist, and master soft-skills trainer. She is published in the area of cross-cultural literacy and globalization and is highly sought after for her on-point perspective on how "good differences" can be activated to restore harmony.”  She is the author of the theory of "Circle-Shifting", influencing the movement of personal and professional circles from within. She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management and the Association of Talent Development. She has served as a lead instructor and curriculum developer for the Mississippi State Personnel Board for approximately 17 years. Dr. Confer also travels in person or virtually across the world, offering specialized keynotes, trainings, and comedic self-help talks for governmental entities, educational institutions, public and private sectors. A singer/songwriter, Dr. Confer is recognized for her signature, interactive performances. She is an artist on the Mississippi Arts Commission's roster and travels throughout the Southeast with her band, Jazz Beautiful. In December of 2017, Dr. Confer debuted “Mississippi Beautiful”, a song she wrote, produced, and recorded in tribute to the state’s bicentennial and the opening of the Two Mississippi Museums. The anthem plays each day in the “Where Do We Go From Here” Gallery of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. She regularly performs the song across the state. In 2019, former Governor Phil Bryant issued a proclamation declaring May 10 as “Mississippi Beautiful Day” statewide. On June 19, 2020, Dr. Confer debuted her single, “Stand! “, a foot-stomping anthem that provides a cadence for the injustices in communities of color. Dr. Confer is a strong advocate for community partnerships. Where there are possibilities for progress, you’ll find Dr. Pam Confer. 

Joseph A. Goff, J.D.

Joseph A. Goff served as the Deputy Director for the Mississippi State Personnel Board, and he retired in April 2022 as the General Counsel for the Mississippi Department of Education. He graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, and he received his law degree from Mississippi College in 1991. He was in private practice for several years before going to work for the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office. For 25 years, he represented state agencies as a Special Assistant Attorney General, Staff Attorney and General Counsel in personnel matters and litigation. He has represented the state of Mississippi in over 700 administrative appeals of employee grievances and disciplinary matters. Joe has also represented state agencies in several hundred EEOC charges and in state and federal court trials. Since 2000, Joe has been an instructor for the Mississippi State Personnel Board’s Workforce Development Division. He has taught over 1000 classes to city, county and state employees concerning their rights and responsibilities as public employees and supervisors. His training is intended to give supervisors and human resource professionals practical advice in handling difficult personnel matters. Joe also provides training for public employees concerning state government and ethics laws and regulations. 

David L. Hayes

David Hayes does extensive training for state agencies in Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas and is one of the contributing authors of the business anthology, Getting Things Done; Keys to Communication, Sales and Service. David has served clients in twenty-two states and is certified to facilitate 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, Crucial Conversations and Crucial Accountability for State of Mississippi agencies. David provides training for the Mississippi State Personnel Board in the Basic Supervisory Course (BSC), Administrative Support Certification Program (ASCP) and the Certified Public Manager Program (CPM). He has also developed numerous electives for SPB, including Interpersonal Conflict, Stress Management, Customer Service, Cultural Diversity and Strategic Planning. David is a former member of the Board of Directors of CONTACT: The Crisis Line, The Board of Directors of the Leadership Jackson Alumni Association, and is a former Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson. He has also been active in other professional organizations, including International Speakers Network, American Seminar Leaders Association, Toastmasters International, and the Jackson Chamber of Commerce. David holds B.S. degrees in both Finance and Marketing from Purdue University. 

Amy Felder Ketchings, Wilkins Patterson PA

Amy Felder Ketchings is of Counsel at Wilkins Patterson Smith Pumphrey & Doty in Jackson, Mississippi, and heads the firm’s Employment Law Practice Area. Amy received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Millsaps College in 1993, and she earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1997. With twenty years of experience specializing in labor and employment defense, Amy focuses on achieving favorable, cost-effective results for her clients. Amy is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell, and is a member of the Mississippi Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section; the Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit; the American Bar Association; the Mississippi Defense Lawyer’s Association, the Society of Human Resources Management; and the Defense Research Institute, among other professional activities. 

Dr. Janea McDonald

Janea McDonald is the owner of Edge Consulting, LLC, a human capital consulting firm. The firm provides human capital management and development services to organizations. Janea feels at home in the training environment and has conducted training on such topics as customer service, DiSC personality assessment, interviewing, sexual harassment, supervisory skills, leadership skills, diversity, succession planning, performance appraisals, communication skills, and talent management. She has worked with clients such as Chevron, Mississippi Power, Southern Company, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, University of West Florida and Phi Theta Kappa. Janea has facilitated strategic planning workshops with such clients as United Way of South Mississippi, Coast Episcopal School, and the University of Southern Mississippi. Janea graduated from the University of South Alabama with a degree in human resources management. Upon graduation, she became a recruiter with Pilot Catastrophe Services, a national insurance adjusting firm, in Mobile, Alabama. In 1998, she moved to Oxford, Mississippi and took a job as a compensation analyst with the University of Mississippi. Throughout her seven years at Ole Miss, Janea was human resources generalist for training, manager of employment, and finally, manager of employment and training. After moving to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, she became the human resources manager for the University of Southern Mississippi - Gulf Coast before joining Lindmark Outdoor Advertising, LLC, where she was director of human resources. Janea then became the director of HR and technology divisions of Aspire, Inc. where she dealt with human resources consulting issues as well as developed e-learning. In addition to her work with Edge Consulting, Janea recently served as director of human capital for Lindmark Outdoor Media. She received her master’s degree in Workforce Training and Development (2008) and Ph.D. in Human Capital Development (2015) from the University of Southern Mississippi. Janea has also served as an adjunct instructor at William Carey University, the University of South Alabama, the University of Southern Mississippi, and the University of Mississippi. Janea has held the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification since December 1999 and obtained her SHRM-CP (Society of Human Resource Management- Certified Professional) certification in 2015. She maintains these certifications through continuing education. She is also a Certified Training and Development Professional through the Jack and Patti Phillips Workplace Learning and Performance Institute. Janea served as President/Treasurer for her local ATD (Association of Talent Development) group for 10 years as well as being a certified FourSight assessment facilitator. Janea also received her certificate in Effective Teaching Practices from the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) as well as her certificate in Conscious Capitalism through EdX.

Joann Mickens

Joann Mickens currently serves as the Executive Director of Parents for Public Schools (PPS) Inc., a national public education advocacy organization with chapters in nine states. She has been involved in some aspects of education throughout much of her professional career. She began as a teacher right out of college and has taught civics and history at the junior high and high school levels and remedial English and English as a second language at a community college. In between stints in education, Joann was a manager for Bellsouth Telecommunications for 20 years and later established a consulting business that focused on management training and strategic planning. Joann holds an undergraduate degree from Notre Dame College of Ohio and an MBA degree from Millsaps College in Jackson, MS. 

Mark Morgan, CPA, CFE, PhD

Dr. Mark Morgan is a full-time Associate Professor of Accounting at Mississippi College, a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Fraud Examiner, a former President of the Central Mississippi Chapter of Certified Fraud Examiners, and a former Senior Criminal Investigator for the Mississippi Department of Revenue. For three summers he also served as a Visiting Professor of Accounting for the School of Business and Public Administration at the University of Guam. He has organized and taught much accounting and fraud continuing professional education for CPA firms and professional accounting associations in addition to academic courses. He teaches the subject of fraud and deception for the MS State Personnel Board’s Professional Development Program and as an instructor for the Human Resource Manager’s Certification Program. Mark holds a PhD in accounting from Jackson State University, an MBA and Certificate of Accounting from Mississippi College and a Bachelor of Arts in Management and Finance from Southeastern Louisiana University. He is most recently published in Journal of Business Education Innovation (2017, 2018), Accounting Educators Journal (2020), and Journal of Government Financial Management (2022). 

Billy Morehead, Ph.D., CGFM, CPA

Billy is a Professor of Accountancy and Director of the Graduate Accounting programs at Mississippi College since 2011. Billy repurposed his career in 2011 following 27-years of service with the Mississippi Auditor’s Office, Department of Finance and Administration, Department of Mental Health, and Delta State University where he served as Chair of Accountancy, CIS and Finance, Interim Dean for the College of Business, and Vice President for Finance and Administration. Billy has served AGA in numerous roles in the Jackson Chapter and at AGA national including Chair of the Journal Board and Higher Education Committee, National Treasurer, and National President. 

Kay H. Mortimer

Kay H. Mortimer has over 30 years of experience in marketing, human resources, and management. A former assistant dean and instructor at the Else School of Management at Millsaps College, Kay is president of Mortimer & Associates, a human resource consulting firm serving a diverse array of clients across the South. Her areas of expertise include organizational and leadership development, communication, team building, conflict resolution, customer service, management coaching and strategic planning. A published author and authorized Everything DiSC partner, Kay brings a lively, participant-driven approach to her seminars and classes. 

Brenda Redfern , JD, CPA, CPM

Dr. Kevin Russell presently serves as vice president for Enrollment and Marketing at Belhaven University in Jackson. In this role, he oversees traditional, adult, graduate and online admissions, communications, publications, web and social media. Kevin is also the principal of Alexander and Associates, a leadership and organizational development group based in Ridgeland. In his role as a consultant, Kevin has worked with a variety of clients ranging from education, public service, technology, government, and manufacturing. During his tenure in Mississippi education, Kevin has also worked with Jackson Preparatory School and Millsaps College. Kevin served as assistant head of school for institutional advancement at Jackson Prep where he helped launch the largest fundraising effort in the school’s history. While at Millsaps, Kevin served in various positions, including assistant vice president for institutional advancement and assistant to the president. Prior to returning to Mississippi, Kevin was an account executive with Leo Burnett in Chicago where he provided strategic management and marketing services for Black and Decker, Kraft/General Foods, and Dewar’s Scotch. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Millsaps College and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin. 

Dr. Kevin Russell

Neal Howard Robinson is the managing general partner of CMR LLC, a project and contract managing firm. His experience encompasses more than 30 years of instruction in medical education, public relations, and volunteer recruitment, including the Mississippi Department of Health, the Mississippi Department of Education, the Mississippi Department of Transportation, the U.S. Census Bureau, the American Cancer Society, and Parents for Public Schools where he has served as both a national and local board member. He has been an owner of a domestic package delivery service as well as a consultant and trainer for the transportation operations of a non-profit organization. He also is the founder of an entrepreneurial education project for middle and high school students and was a sales representative for 9 years with Warner Lambert, a fortune 500 company. He is a graduate of Jackson State University.

Renee’ Scales, CPM

Reneé has over 25 years of providing training to the state of Mississippi’s employees. During her 11-year tenure as a state employee, Reneé was employed by the Mississippi State Personnel Board and the Department of Rehabilitation Services where she designed and presented numerous training sessions. Reneé received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Millsaps College and has completed graduate work at Mississippi State University. She is also a graduate of the Certified Public Manager® Program. In addition, she is a Certified Writing Advantage Instructor and is qualified to administer and interpret the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Reneé conducts training for the Certified Public Manager® Program as well as other state agencies. She has developed writing and grammar workshops that focus on clear, concise, and correct writing that results in providing quality customer service for Mississippi’s stakeholders. 

Jan Sims

Jan Sims retired from Mississippi’s public sector after 28 years, working at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi, the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA), and the Mississippi State Personnel Board (MSPB). Jan has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Delta State University, a Master's in Business Administration from Mississippi College, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Human Capital Development at the University of Southern Mississippi. Following Hurricane Katrina, Jan led MDA’s efforts in business continuity and emergency communications planning for 250+ staff in 20 locations. She customized a leadership development program for MDA leaders around the public sector’s role in economic development. At MSPB, Jan served as Training and Development Director, directing curriculum updates for the nationally accredited Mississippi Certified Public Manager® (MCPM) program, the Human Resources Certification Program, and the Executive Services Certification Program. She earned the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) credential from the ATD Certification Institute in 2010, a credential held by 1,200 learning professionals worldwide and shares her expertise in managing learning programs. 

Terri Torrence, CPM

Terri Torrence attended Mississippi State University and received a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi. Following a short stint in the insurance industry, Terri quickly found her passion for State Government. She began her career as a public servant with the Public Employees’ Retirement System and later transferred to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality in the Department of Human Resources. She eventually became the Director of Human Resources and then the Chief Administrative Officer for MDEQ. In 2012, she was honored with the Excellence in State Government Award. Terri retired from MDEQ in June 2022 after 36 fulfilling years of serving the State of Mississippi.During her time at MDEQ, she was instrumental in developing and implementing various programs, including ATLAS (Accelerated Training for Leadership and Succession), a leadership and succession training program; an Onboarding Orientation Program focused on acclimating new hires to the MDEQ culture, and a 3G training program focused on educating new employees about MDEQ and State Government. Terri is a graduate of the Mississippi Certified Public Manager® Program and the SPB Human Resources Certification Program. 

Shelton Vance, CPA, CPM

Shelton is a graduate of the University of Southern, Mississippi. He is currently Director of Accounting for Trilogy Communications in Pearl – a manufacturer of specialty communication cabling. Shelton has facilitated classes in the State Personnel Board’s Certified Public Manager Program for more than 15 years. He also serves as a professional development coach for participants in the program. Shelton retired from Madison County, after serving as County Administrator for more than five years. He also served as County Comptroller and was employed by the MS Department of Revenue for over 21 years. He served the agency as an auditor and progressed to the role as the agency’s director of Audit & Compliance, with responsibility for the agency’s enforcement and audit effort to identify and collect delinquent and un-reported taxes. Shelton teaches Governmental and Not-for-Profit Accounting at Millsaps College as an adjunct professor. Shelton was a Medicaid Auditor for Blue Cross & Blue Shield. 

Steve Wagner

Steve Wagner retired from the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory as Chief of Staff. In that capacity he was responsible for numerous programs, actions, and activities of that office as well as special projects for the organization. As part of his regular duties he served as an organizational training officer and planned/conducted training for 19 years. This training was primarily directed toward leadership development and performance management. After completing training at the Center for Army Leadership, US Army Command and General Staff College, he became an instructor for the Army’s 40-hour Leadership Education and Development Course (LEAD). He was also a Performance Management instructor as part of the ERDC Human Capital Initiative and a certified coach in both Strengths Performance and Flippen. In addition, Steve was a coordinator and instructor for the ERDC Leadership Development Program (LDP), developing and teaching seminars on leadership topics. He also served on numerous project development teams in the areas of strategic communications, organizational development, human capital, and training. Steve has been an instructor with the Mississippi State Personnel Board since 2015. 

Terrance Yarbrough, CPM

Terrance Yarbrough is currently the Deputy Administrator of Human Resources for the MS Department of Transportation. Terrance has over 15 years of management experience in the public sector arena. Terrance is also an instructor at multiple colleges and teaches subjects in both the Psychology and Business Management disciplines. In addition, he is the principal consultant for Strategic Resource Solutions, LLC a management consulting firm that specializes in emotional intelligence, unconscious bias, wellness and social emotional learning. Terrance’s academic focus has been in the fields of Management, General Psychology, Marketing and Industrial Organizational Psychology. He’s a graduate of the Stennis Executive Leadership Institute, Certified Public Manager’s Program, Leadership Greater Jackson and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Executive leadership institute.