Month: October 2012


Hello Again!

The Coast is alive with all kinds of fun and exciting things going on to kick off the holiday season. It’s a beautiful time of year, with Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner!
GTP has the inside scoop on the premiere edition of Sun and Sand, Mississippi’s Film and Music Festival. We take you behind the scenes of this 5 day, MEGA event. All the information you need is right here so you can plan your extraordinary journey into the filmmaking and entertainment industry. You can also enjoy outdoor concerts at Jones Park for two full nights with your favorite stars!
Meet Ron Meyers, a name synonymous with wonderful shows and one-of-a-kind events for the past 30 years. Most of you know him best for Christmas City, the holiday shopping extravaganza at the Mississippi Coast Convention Center every November!
And please stand with us as we honor our Gulf Coast veterans on Saturday, November 10th during the annual Veteran’s Day Parade. (Ret) Colonel Henry Cook III, who served his country for 43 years, most of which as a Green Beret, is Grand Marshal. Don’t miss this opportunity to show these brave men and women how much you care and how grateful you are for their service and sacrifice.
And remember…Please vote on Tuesday, November 6th because every vote counts.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Go To Places Monthly!
Nancy Marchbanks
Executive Editor


The man behind one of the region’s best loved seasonal extravaganza’s, Christmas City, is Ron Meyers. He has a long list of very successful events and shows to his credit, over one hundred and counting! However, he is most recognized for developing Christmas City which takes place like clockwork every Nov. at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center in Biloxi. He is a leader in the field of entertainment promotions with over thirty years of experience. Ron Meyers is a man of faith, who radiates good will and a positive vibe. Born and raised in Iowa, he is one of seven children. He learned very early on the value of a dollar and the importance of hard work. He and his wife Karen have recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. They have four children and two grandchildren. (more…)

How to Tip Your Server at a Restaurant

Whereas many restaurants in the world add a set service charge to your bill, the tipping system puts discretionary power in the hands of the customer. Do you know how to use that power wisely? Ideally, good service is rewarded with good tips, and bad service is punished with bad tips. In practice, however, that’s not how it usually plays out. If you want to tip fairly, follow these guidelines. (more…)

Sun & Sand The Mississippi Film & Music Festival 2012

Wes and Bobby Benton, owners of Red Planet Entertainment, have partnered with Beau Rivage Resort and Casino, IP Casino Resort & Spav, and Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Biloxi, to bring the state of Mississippi and the Gulf Coast an unprecedented event, the inaugural Sun and Sand Mississippi Film and Music Festival. Five full days and nights of non stop excitement and fun for aspiring film makers and music lovers. The stage is set for a totally off the charts experience centered around all facets of the entertainment industry. Beautiful indoor and outdoor venues throughout the Coast will offer film screenings, educational sessions and technology demonstrations, and outstanding concerts. Beginning Nov. 7 through Nov. 11, you can immerse yourself in the fascinating world of filmmaking. It will be an extraordinary journey that you won’t want to miss, so get your tickets now! (more…)

How to Take a Volunteer Vacation

Voluntourism is not about martyrdom. It’s about making a difference, even if you’re staying at a luxury hotel. With a growing number of hotels and tour operators offering trips that give back, the experience is more accessible than ever—from stints building houses with Hands On New Orleans and four-week HIV awareness programs in Thailand with the Global Services Corps to helping orphaned children in Kenya with Micato Safaris. But the key to a successful volunteer vacation involves a few basic considerations: What kind of an impact are you looking to have? How will the project you choose benefit the local community? (The latter is of particular concern, since less reputable charities and companies that overstate responsible-travel claims are all too common.) The most efficient and reputable organizations are those whose ultimate goal is to help communities work independently, Travelers who would prefer a relatively simple, low-key project, such as conducting a wildlife survey in Costa Rica, can opt for a hotel program. For a longer trip that involves daily contact with locals, a tour operator or nonprofit may be your best bet. To help you decide where to start, we’ve outlined what to watch for, and how to continue to make an impact after you return home. (more…)

2012 Gulf Coast Veterans Parade

Biloxi, MS. – The Gulf Coast Veterans Parade will be held on Saturday, November 10, 2012 beginning at 11:00 a.m. in downtown Gulfport. This is the 12th anniversary of the Gulf Coast parade. It has been recognized by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for the past four consecutive years as a Veterans Day Regional Site. The 2012 Parade will pay special tribute to the Vietnam Veterans. (more…)

Women of Achievement – And the Winners are…

In October 17th, more than 250 local business community members attended the 2012 Women of Achievement Awards Luncheon at the new Biloxi Civic Center.Each year, Lighthouse Business & Professional Women (BPW) solicits nominations for the prestigious awards.This year, 24 nominees were honored.There was one winner in each industry category.Among them, one woman won the 2012 Woman of the Year Award.This year’s winners were:Tania Shanti Bayne of Shanti Yoga & Counseling in the Corporate Category; Diane Easley of Community Care Network for the Nonprofit Category; Debbie Anglin with the Pascagoula School District for the Education Category; Kathleen Cecelia (KC) Arnold of the Diabetes Center for the Medical Category, and; Mayor Connie Moran of Ocean Springs in the Government/Military Category.The 2012 Woman of the Year was awarded to Diane Easley.All winners were selected by an independent panel of judges.
Keynte Speaker at the event was AP Award-Winning Public Radio News Broadcaster, Leigh Tapley. Leigh made her national debut as the winner of Miss Mississippi in 1977. From then, she has been show host and reporter for several TV shows, both regional and national, performed with thespian groups including the Oxford Players, Black Rise Theatre and the Brick Street Players.Her message to the luncheon attendees was about the many transitions career women go through.Unlike their male counterparts, women who plan to succeed must remain flexible and accepting of change. (more…)

Catfish, Wings & Things

When Catfish, Wings & Things opened in 2009 those involved prayed for the restaurant to help as many people as God saw fit to bring to their doors. The charity restaurant was started through the ministries of Faith Tabernacle of Praise in Biloxi. The church membership vowed to make the restaurant a place where 100% of the profits would go toward another ministry they had begun, the Women’s Resource and Empowerment Center. (more…)


The Coast is getting it’s first kiss of cooler temperatures and the days are getting shorter. Fall is here!
GTP once again delves into the fastest growing sport in America, MMA! Thanks to Glenn Mattina, Jr. and Atlas Fights, the city of Gulfport will host the largest MMA indoor and outdoor event in the South to date, “War on the Shore.” Check it out in Attractions and Family Fun.
Meet the Women of Achievement who do our Coast proud in our Cover story. They are dynamic, intelligent and savvy business women who are paving the way for others to succeed in South Mississippi.
Billy Hewes, Jr. is our Mover and Shaker for October, and he may be the next Mayor of Gulfport! Get to know this long-established, deeply rooted, Coast businessman.
All This…And So Much More
Nancy Marchbanks
Executive Editor


Billy Hewes has roots that trace back to the founding of the city of Gulfport. After finishing college, his parents left Mississippi to find work. They lived out of state for a few years, but were anxious to return home, and did so at the first opportunity. Billy’s father started his own business upon returning to Gulfport, and the couple now had a family to support. Weeks before hurricane Camille hit in August, 1969, Billy’s father and his uncle opened Hewes Brothers department store. It was located downtown on 25th Avenue. Billy and his brothers spent many a day in the store, learning the retail trade and developing a solid work ethic. They worked very hard, and were taught early on that regardless of the task, it was to be done correctly and to the best of their ability. “Our parents instilled in us to always do more than what was expected and always do a job right the first time,” Hewes said. The boys performed every job from janitorial services to receiving clerks, stock, and sales. (more…)

The Hook Up Bar & Restaurant

Are you ready to be “Hooked up”? It’s the local Biloxi restaurant that everybody’s talking about! The Hook Up Restaurant is opening October 1st with ‘Old Biloxi Cuisine and a New Biloxi View’. Located at 200 8th Street in Biloxi, the freshest new idea in restaurants is on the Biloxi Boardwalk overlooking the marina on Point Cadets’ Back Bay.
The views are overwhelming and the food is like being at yo’ mamas on Sunday after church. Chef “D”, Demetrio Marquez, has made sure that the recipes are uniquely “Biloxi” by talking with local families that have been native to “The Point” for generations. For instance, the menu sports dishes created by old Biloxi families like the Desportes and Rosetti’s. They will serve Barq’s Root beer, dark roux gumbo, pusharates and even fried soft shell po-boys!
General Manager, John McCusker, an Irishman by birth and a Biloxian by choice, loves the Caribbean feel to the restaurant but admits that it is true Biloxi at its finest. “When the restaurant opens, we are frustrated actors on a stage and we want the locals and visitors to be here for the show and the great food. Many of the employees have worked with me before and this team of professionals is top notch. You won’t get better service anywhere on the coast!” McCusker said. (more…)

MS Gulf Coast Women of Achievement Awards

On October 17th, Lighthouse Business & Professional Women (BPW) will hold its annual Women of Achievement Awards at the Biloxi Civic Center. The formal luncheon and ceremony will be attended by more than 300 movers and shakers from every industry represented on the Coast.
Each year, Lighthouse BPW recognizes an outstanding woman in each of the following categories: Education, Medical, Nonprofit, Corporate and Government/Military. To be eligible, a candidate must have at least 10 years of work experience in her most recent career field. An overall winner is selected from the top category winners to receive Lighthouse Business & Professional Women’s 2012 Woman of the Year Award.
This year, Lighthouse BPW will also be honoring a young woman with the Young Careerist Award. A Young Careerist must be between the ages of 18 to 35, and has demonstrated excellence and leadership in her career field. The candidate must live and/or work along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. (more…)

Atlas Fights, LLC Presents, WAR on the SHORE

Owner of Atlas Fights, Glenn Mattina Jr., put the wheels in motion for War on the Shore almost a year ago. He couldn’t be more excited that his very special event will break new ground in outdoor entertainment on the Coast. War on the Shore is the largest indoor and outdoor MMA event ever held in the South…and this is just the beginning. “This is the ultimate MMA event for the MMA fan, and it’s all going to happen right here in the city of Gulfport on Saturday, October 20th, at the brand new Jones Park Pavillion,” Mattina said. War on the Shore will provide a fun and exciting time for the entire family, unlike anything ever before.
For the first time since it’s inception in 2009, Atlas Fights proudly presents an “All Ages” event. For the past four years, Mattina has held his MMA cage fight bouts at local casinos, specifically the IP Casino Resort Spa and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The fight cards were spectacular but they were for adults only. Anyone 20 years old or younger was granted admission if they attended with someone who was no younger than 30 years old. Mattina went to work to change the age restrictions, and gained sponsorship in the process. It is now possible for a younger audience to enjoy the fights. South Misssissippi is home to many aspiring MMA athletes, who train locally at MMA gyms. The youngest trainees thoroughly enjoy all aspects of the sport and are eager to be active participants. Mattina is offering two kids from the each gym the opportunity to take part in exhibition matches with their trainer as referee. (more…)

MMA History and Style Guide

Modern mixed martial arts competition or MMA has only a short history, as the first Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event took place on November 12, 1993. However, martial artists of different backgrounds have been fighting for years leading up to the burgeoning modern day interest in full contact combat athletic endeavors. In accordance, this full contact combat sport is growing in popularity at an amazing rate. (more…)