This is a press release from the University of Southern Mississippi.
HATTIESBURG, Miss - Longtime Sanderson Farms executive and former State College Board President Robin Robinson has been named the 2017 Boardman Alumna of the Year by The University of Southern Mississippi’s College of Business. She will be honored during a special ceremony set for Nov. 17 at 2 p.m. in Scianna Hall’s McDonnell Auditorium on the Hattiesburg campus.
The award, sponsored through an endowment by the late Joseph F. Boardman, is presented annually during the college’s Fall Honors ceremony.
“The students graduating in December who are earning awards in the college have the opportunity to hear from an alum who has a distinguished career and record of service to the community,” said Dr. Faye Gilbert, dean of the USM College of Business. “I am particularly pleased that this year we honor Robin Robinson. Her record of service to our state, to the people of Sanderson Farms, and to Southern Miss is simply exemplary.”
The daughter of a justice court judge and a USM accounting graduate, Robinson was born and reared in rural Mississippi, the same state where she would later serve as a community leader, education advocate and director for the only Fortune 1000 company headquartered within the state.
Throughout her nearly 40-year career at Sanderson Farms, Robinson has been proven leader, making history as the first female Cost Accountant, Chief Accountant, Chief Internal Auditor, Human Resources Manager and the first female member of the company’s Executive Committee.
A graduate of Jones County Junior College and the University of Southern Mississippi, Robinson earned an associate’s degree in business administration and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting.
Robinson, Director of Organization Development and Communication at Sanderson Farms, is quick to note that the importance of a good education can never be understated. And she emphasizes that students at Southern Miss are afforded the opportunity to receive a “great education.”
“An education at Southern Miss not only provides the basics of a good education, the college of business also facilitates both teamwork and innovation, and I believe these attributes, along with integrity, are indeed factors for a successful life and career,” said Robinson. “It means a great deal to me to receive the Alumna of the Year Award from the College of Business at Southern Miss. In so many ways I did benefit in my career from the opportunities provided to me. This award seems to bring that together in a full circle.”
Now the third largest poultry producer in the nation, Sanderson Farms has grown significantly since Robinson began her career with the company in 1978. With nearly $3 billion in sales, over 14,000 employees and operations spanning five states and 14 different communities, Sanderson Farms is a leader in the poultry industry.
Since being named Director of Organization Development and Corporate Communication for Sanderson Farms in 2000, Robinson and her team have been responsible for training more than 27,000 employees, recruiting and hiring more than 130 full-time employees and 130 interns, mentoring more than 60 employees and reporting feedback from more than 3,000 employees to company management annually.
She currently serves as Chairman of the Board for the Jones County Junior College Foundation and is a member of the Board of Directors for the USM Foundation, the Mississippi Center for Obesity Research and the University of Mississippi Medical Center, as well as serving on the External Advisory Committee for the University of Mississippi Medical Center Neuro Institute and on the Business Advisory Council for the College of Business. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts of Greater Mississippi and the Greater Pinebelt Community Foundation.
Robinson’s past appointments include serving on the USM Alumni Association’s International Board of Directors, as President of the Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees, as Chairman of Leadership Mississippi, and as Chair of the M.B. Swayze Educational Foundation. She was inducted into USM’s Alumni Hall of Fame and named a 2014 Honored Alumnus for Jones County Junior College.