SPOTLIGHT——–SECURITY MANAGER—-KEN WHEELER www.privateofficer.com
SPOTLIGHT——–SECURITY MANAGER—-KEN WHEELER http://www.privateofficer.com
But watching over six community hospitals, as well as outpatient centers, offices and medical clinics with the security staff, doesn’t keep him from a long list of volunteer commitments with CrimeStoppers, Association for Excellence in Education, Tupelo Schools and the Jim Ingram Leadership Institute.Wheeler says he’s just one of a legion of volunteers who make Tupelo function.
“In the Tupelo area, it seems like everybody you meet serves on some board,” said Wheeler, who said he’s been inspired by the Tupelo story and leaders like the late Felix Black. “The spirit of community service is already prevalent here.”
He’s recently joined the board of the Boys & Girls Club and is helping organize an alumni chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, which covers Holly Springs, Oxford and Tupelo.So much more”He does more than work at the hospital,” said Tupelo Police Chief Harold Chaffin. “We need more like him.”Wheeler was a founding charter member of CrimeStoppers of Northeast Mississippi and helped organize the Police Athletic League. “These programs you start as a leap of faith,” Chaffin said. “If you don’t have people like Ken, these community-based organizations don’t happen.” The Memphis native has been in Tupelo since 1983, when he joined the NMMC staff. He’s served as the director of security services at the hospital since 1989.
Through the years, the hospital has encouraged and supported its employees’ volunteer efforts. Wheeler said his strengths don’t lie in drumming up a lot of money. “My strength is strategy,” Wheeler said. “I’m not the kind of person who can go out and raise a lot of funds.”
But he enjoys working with others to go from brainstorming to a completed project, which he did with CrimeStoppers and has continued to do so as a volunteer for 15 years.”I just can’t let it go,” Wheeler said. “It’s a great opportunity to have an impact on the personal security of the community.”Several of Wheeler’s commitments revolve around children. Wheeler and his wife, Cheryl, have two children, Tiffany, a senior at the University of Mississippi, and Brandon, a Tupelo High School ninth-grader. “You want to leave a legacy,” Wheeler said.
“What greater way to leave it than through kids.” Working with other AEE members to support Tupelo High Schools’ senior projects has been really rewarding. The organization provides mentors and resources for the seniors and hosts a culmination day where the students present their projects. “They’ll never forget their senior project,” said Wheeler, who was amazed by the detail and dedication the students put into their work. “
As adults, we can put that work in a proper venue.”
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