Mardi Gras krewe announces 2014 royalty

Published 12:06 am Sunday, January 5, 2014


NATCHEZ — The Krewe of Phoenix will celebrate the 2014 Mardi Gras season with its annual call-out ball on Jan. 25, king and queen’s ball on Feb. 8 and grand ball on March 1.

The krewe’s parade will be Feb. 28 in downtown Natchez.

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The 2014 royalty are:

Rex XXXII — Robert Paradise

A ninth generation Natchezian, Robert Paradise will reign as Rex XXXII.

Since graduating from Louisiana Tech with a bachelor of science in business data processing, Paradise has been involved with Presbyterian churches in Jackson, Charlotte, N.C., and Natchez as a youth leader, a Sunday school teacher and as an elder. He also participated in a mission trip to the Yucatan.

As a father, Paradise parlayed his love of the outdoors and his desire to be involved with his son into Boy Scouts. For many years, he was a leader in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts where he was awarded the Order of the Arrow. He also coached his daughter’s softball team in Jackson.

Paradise has participated in the Historic Natchez Pageant, in which he took part in many scenes like The Hunt, the Showboat and the Wedding of Jefferson Davis and Varina Howell. Paradise, who had a band scholarship to Louisiana Tech, has renewed his love of music by becoming the drummer in the orchestra of the pageant.

Paradise has been a participant in various cystic fibrosis and Special Olympics events. He is currently the administrator at Paradise Companies LLC.

A seasoned traveler and an enthusiastic golfer, he is married to Ann Paradise.

His daughter, Jennifer Slover, her husband, Scott, and their daughter, Reene live in Natchez. His son Everett, Everett’s wife Emma, and their daughter, Olivia, reside in Wuhan, China.

Rosalie XXXII — Cheryl Foggo Rinehart

A native of Natchez, Rinehart has taught high school fine arts in Little Rock, Ark., Millington and Germantown, Tenn., and in Natchez for more than 22 years.

She was instrumental in developing the dance curriculum for the Little Rock Public School and taught and performed for the Little Rock Ballet Company for five years.

Rinehart developed and taught theater, dance, communications and television in the various high schools during her span of her educational career.

She moved back to Natchez to raise her family and to be close to her parents and grandparents while continuing to teach the fine arts in secondary education at Cathedral High School. She opened a dance school and developed The Natchez Junior Cotillion, a program in which young people are taught strong social development skills, ballroom dancing and dining etiquette.

During her 22 years as director of The Natchez Junior Cotillion Program, Rinehart has worked with hundreds of young adults who have come back year after year to the annual Holly Ball to represent what the program has stood for in their lives.

She has also taught — through her business, Apropos, Weddings & Events Coordination company — adult business etiquette classes covering acceptable behavior in the work place, telephone etiquette, social media etiquette, interview and proper dress attire.

This company is now more than 10 years old, and she’s still in the wedding consulting business.

Rinehart is publisher and owner of Bluffs & Bayous magazine.

She was Natchez Garden Club president for four years, is a former Junior Auxiliary member and presently serves on the City of Natchez Natchez Planning Commission.

She is married to Mike Rinehart and together they have five children and six grandchildren. They live with two special family members, a Scottish terrier named MacPherson and a yellow lab who they call Duke.

During their spare time together they love to sail, fish, hunt, hike, camp and cover social scenes for the magazine throughout the region.


Duke Great Sun — Walton Wilson

Wilson was born and raised in Natchez and is married to Lisa G. Wilson of Macon, Ga.

They have two children, Natalie Anderson, and her husband Chris, and William Wilson. They have two granddaughters, Abigail and Allison Anderson.

Wilson has been practicing respiratory care since 1981. He attended Co-Lin in Natchez prior to obtaining his bachelor’s degree at Georgia State University in Atlanta. He recently received a master’s degree in health services from the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Wilson is currently the program director at Co-Lin’s Respiratory Care Technology program, where he has worked since 1999.

He encourages his students to participate in community service, and he is involved with the Special Olympics and is chairperson for the Miss-Lou Cystic Fibrosis Great Strides Walk.


Duchess La Glorieuse — Jennifer Lessley

Lessley was raised in Natchez and married a Natchez native, Joel Lessley. They have been married 15 years. They have two daughters Taylor, 12, and Meredith, 9.

Lessley attended the University of Mississippi and Alcorn State University. She has a Master of Science in nursing.

She works as a nurse practitioner for the Natchez Pediatric Clinic. She is a member of the American Nurses Association and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

Lessley is a member of Jefferson Street United Methodist Church and enjoys running and painting.


Duke of Versailles — Van Phillips

Born in Dallas, Phillips attended Christ the King school before moving to Vidalia in the late 1960s.

He graduated from Cathedral High School in 1974, then received an Associate of Business degree from Florida State University.

He opened and operated the Pizza Hut franchise in Natchez and Vidalia as operating partner from 1972 until 1993. Phillips is a member of St. Mary Catholic Church and currently sits on the advisory board at Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

He is currently the manager of Elliott Electric in Vidalia. He has two sons, Trey and Van Jr.


Duchess Marie Therese — Kaye Harris

Harris served as associate dean of career & technical education at Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Natchez for nine years. She recently retired after 34 years in education.

She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the Mississippi University for Women and her master’s in educational leadership from Mississippi State University.

She is from Smithdale and she and her husband Ronnie currently live in Vidalia.

She is a former member of ESA, an international philanthropic organization, where she was awarded the Woman of the Year Award for the southern district.

She is a member of the Vidalia Women’s Club, serving on the board for several years; the Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce, where she once served on the board and currently serves as an ambassador; and the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society.

She is also a member of Auburn Antebellum Home where she serves on the board and volunteers each week as a tour guide.

She and her husband Ronnie have one son, Michael Harris, and one daughter, Jill Couvillion, and together have five grandchildren.

Duke Monfort Browne — Jordan Farmer

Farmer was born and raised in Natchez and attended Cathedral High School.

Upon graduation he played collegiate golf at Delta State University and went on to Louisiana State University where he finished with a degree in business administration. He is the son of Henry and Marla Farmer and has one sister Madison Farmer.

Farmer served as Natchez Garden Club king in 2009.

He is an avid sportsman and enjoys hunting, fishing, LSU tailgating and playing golf.


Duchess of Panmure — Jennifer Jones Smith

A native of Natchez, Smith is a 1993 graduate of Cathedral High School and attended the University of Southern Mississippi.

She is the daughter of Carol Jones and Louis and Becky Jones of Natchez. She is married to Bobby Smith, and together they have three children, six grandchildren and two special nieces, Molly and Kimble Devening.

Smith works as a petroleum landman and is a member of Assumption Catholic Church where she serves on the pastoral council.

She also serves on the Cathedral School Advisory Council and is a member of the Natchez Garden Club.


Duke Manuel Gayosa de Limos — Chris McGivaren phoenix_web

McGivaren was born and reared in Natchez, graduating from South Natchez High School and attending Co-Lin Community College and Our Lady of the Lake College.

He has been an executive in health care revenue cycles at various hospitals in south Louisiana and Texas. He currently co-owns two health care revenue cycle consulting and operations companies with his wife of 28 years, Dana Seyfarth McGivaren.

They have two children, Peyton and Rachel, both born in Natchez.

He holds a certified health care financial professional designation and has served six years on the board of the Louisiana Chapter of Healthcare Financial Managers Association, including positions of treasurer and president.

He was a two-year president of the Bengal Tiger Aquatic Club in Baton Rouge.

Currently, he is a committee member of the Coastal Conservation Association’s Ascension Chapter.

He has also served as a volunteer and fundraiser for Relay for Life, the Epilepsy Foundation, the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society.


Duchess Marguerite Theresa de Limos — Lyn Fortenbery

Fortenbery is a graduate of Trinity Episcopal Day School and Mississippi State University, where she was a magna cum laude recipient of a Bachelor of Science degree.

After graduation, Fortenbery lived in Houston, Texas, before returning to Natchez in 2002.

She is the assistant general manager at Dunleith Historic Inn.

She is currently serving as president of the Mississippi Tourism Association.

She is co-chair of the Natchez Food and Wine Festival, chair of the tourism council, serves on the Tourism Advisory Marketing Committee for the Natchez CVB, is a board member for the Natchez Chamber of Commerce, a committee member for the Natchez Tricentennial, a member of the Natchez Garden Club, a member of Trinity Episcopal Church and a member of MSAE, LSAE and ASAE for Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas.

She helps organize many local fundraisers for the humane society as well as St. Jude Children’s Hospital. She enjoys spending time traveling and with her friends and family.


Duke of Monmouth — Mark Carter Jr.

Carter was raised in Vidalia and currently resides in his hometown with his wife, Jessica and their daughter, Macy.

He is a 2003 graduate of Cathedral High School and 2007 graduate of Louisiana State University.

He currently works as an estimator and project manager for his parent’s company, Wilmar Construction Company Inc.

He attends St. Mary Basilica and serves as vice president of the parish’s pastoral council.

He is a member of the Homebuilders Association of Natchez and currently serves as the organization’s vice president.


Duchess Eliza Lowe Little — Amanda Stricklin Wingfield

Wingfield was born and raised in Vidalia, where she attended high school.

She played collegiate softball at Meridian Community College and finished her mathematics, secondary education degree at The University of Southern Mississippi.

She is married to Ryan Wingfield who is a certified public accountant at Silas Simmons. They have one son, John Zachary.

Wingfield is a mathematics teacher at Vidalia High School, where she is also Key Club sponsor and homecoming sponsor.

She has volunteered her time with many organizations including the Natchez Little Theatre and Habitat for Humanity.

She enjoys reading, playing tennis, traveling and chasing her toddler around.


Duke Jefferson Davis — Matthew Hall

Hall is a native of Natchez, graduating from Cathedral High School in 2006.

He graduated from the University of Mississippi with his bachelor’s in business administration in 2010. He was recognized as a member of the university’s 2010 class of Who’s Who among American Colleges and Universities.

In 2012, he graduated summa cum Laude with his master’s in business administration from Alcorn State University.

Hall is employed with United Mississippi Bank as a lending officer.

He is a member of Jefferson Street United Methodist Church, Beau Pré Country Club, the Natchez Trace Kiwanis Club and the Natchez Young Professionals of the Natchez Chamber of Commerce.

He served as president of the Leadership Natchez Class of 2013 and is currently serving as secretary for the Southwest Mississippi Ole Miss Club.

He spends his free time golfing, tailgating in The Grove and cheering on the Ole Miss Rebels.

Hall is married to Elizabeth Ratliff Hall, formerly of Mt. Sterling, Ky.

Serving as duke for the Krewe of Phoenix is the continuation of a family tradition for Hall. His late father, Dr. David G. Hall, served as Duke Jefferson Davis in 1997; his mother, Christina W. Hall served as Rosalie XXII in 2004; his grandmother, Joyce C. Hall served as Duchess Varina Howell Davis in 2006 and his sister, Holly H. Aldredge served as Duchess Varina Howell Davis in 2011.


Duchess Varina Howell Davis — Shannon Barlow Doughty

Doughty is the daughter of the late Don Barlow and Cynthia and James Smith.

She attended South Natchez High School and graduated from Hattiesburg High School in 1989. She attended the University of Southern Mississippi and received a Bachelor of Science in elementary education in 1995.

She then received Master of Science in secondary science and technology through a NASA fellowship at Alcorn State University in 2001 and National Board Certification for Professional Teaching standards in 2001, which was renewed in 2011.

She received her specialist’s degree in educational leadership and administration from the University of Southern Mississippi in May 2012, and is currently pursuing her doctorate In educational leadership and administration from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Doughty is a life member of Junior Auxiliary, teaches fitness classes at Natchez Total Fitness, in an adjunct faculty member at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Natchez and attends Parkway Baptist Church.

She is married to Darin Doughty and has a daughter Mollie and son Eric.

She is the assistant principal at Natchez High School, and this is her 18th year working in Natchez-Adams School District.