2016 Delta Hot Tamale King and Queen
Betty Jo Brent Boyd
Betty Jo Boyd graduated from Greenville High School. She attended Louisiana State University and the University of Texas. She graduated from Delta State University in 1973.
After several years living away, she returned to Greenville in 1966 and became active in community affairs and politics. She worked to help elect Sarah H. Johnson, the first African American to serve on the Greenville City Council. She was actively involved in the Congressional campaigns of Robert Clark and the successful campaign of former Congressman Mike Espy. She served as his staff assistant in Washington for four years. She is a past chair of the Washington County Democratic Executive Committee and a former member of the State Executive Committee.
She served in Gov. William Winter’s successful 1979 campaign. She has worked in every Democratic presidential campaign since volunteering for Adlai Stevenson in 1952. She campaigned for President Obama in North Carolina in 2008 and in Nevada in 2012.
Betty is an active member of Church Women United, a national ecumenical movement that celebrates unity in diversity and works for a world of peace and justice. She has served as local President and as state President. She is active in Mission Mississippi, a state organization with similar goals.
She has a strong interest in mental health, and has worked with the Washington County Mental Health Association to provide support for local services, including the annual Christmas drive to provide gifts for Whitfield patients. She served on the Advisory Council to the District Mental Health Commission.
She has been an active volunteer for Greater Greenville Habitat for Humanity since 1991. She is an active member of Greenville’s Church of the Redeemer, Episcopal.
She worked for Washington County Opportunities, Inc., Headstart and later served on the WCOI Board of Directors. She also worked for Mississippi Action for Community Education in several capacities. She worked for the United States Census in 1980 (Texas) and again in 2010 (Mississippi) and now works part time on a special Census survey.
She is married to Bob Boyd. Her children are Ashley Hines, Alison McGee, Randall Hines, Gary Hines and Kenneth Hines. They are her pride and joy and represent her life’s best work. She also has step children, grands and great grands who enrich her life.
Howard Brent, like his sister, has been involved in the community, too, since graduating from Greenville High School in 1955.
He went to Texas A&M for one year before moving back to the Delta to help his father with Brent Towing Company.
Since then, he’s been active in the American Waterways Operators board in Washington, D.C., and the chairman of the Southern region, Guaranty Bank and the Hodding Carter Memorial YMCA board, where he served as president in 1977.
Now, he’s retired and enjoying a lot of things, including spending time with his four children, eating hot tamales and being dubbed the festival’s 2016 king.