BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - More than 600 people piled in the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino on Tuesday afternoon to watch John M. Hairston receive the 2016 Spirit of the Gulf Coast award.
The award is presented by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce and is considered a high honor. Hairston received the award at the chamber's annual meeting.
"It's a humbling experience. So many people that have really been lines in the community for a long time have been the receivers of this award. I can't imagine having been honored in that way. Just so humbled, so proud to be among them," said Hairston.
Hairston is the president and chief executive officer at Hancock Holding Company, Hancock Bank and Whitney Bank. He's also the former chairman of the Mississippi Gaming Commission.
The Spirit of the Coast award is named in memory of the late Pat Santucci. The purpose of the award is to recognize an individual who has made contributions of significance in the field of business for the past year.