Renaissance man to be roasted

Greg Burks

Greg Burks’ biography reads like a modern-day Indiana Jones epic. Burks, 56 and president of private client services for northeast Mississippi for Renasant Bank, is the subject of this year’s Antone Tannehill Good Samaritan Free Clinic’s Virtual Roast to be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, October 27. The annual fundraising event includes an online auction that will be open from 8 a.m. Sunday, October 18, until 8 p.m. Monday, October 26. To bid on auction items, view the live event or give online, visit www.tupelofreeclinic.org. Antone Tannehill Good Samaritan Free Clinic provides high quality health care to the working uninsured citizens of Lee County. Since 1992, volunteers have provided high quality medical, dental and pharmaceutical care at no cost to those eligible. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only added financial hardship to many residents, it also forced the cancellation of the Free Clinic’s only fundraiser, the Tommie and Dr. Walter Bourland Annual Roast and Auction. Undeterred from their mission, organizers have changed to a virtual format and are encouraging even wider participation because tickets are not required. Some of the auction items range from jewelry and pottery to hunting trips and a hot air balloon ride. Burks admitted he didn’t know much about the clinic before a friend who sits of the clinic’s board nominated him for the roast honor: “I’m not involved with the clinic but would like to volunteer in the future now that I know,” said Burks. Burks’ biography provides plenty of ammunition for roasters. Here it is, taken from a news release about the event: “A 1982 graduate of Tupelo High School, Burks earned his bachelor’s degree in managerial finance from the University of Mississippi in 1986 with minors in accounting and mathematics. After graduation he worked for two years with Ford Motor Credit Co. in Nashville. He returned to Tupelo to work for the family business, Lucky Star Industries, as plant manager for 10 years. In 1999 he helped launch Genesis Furniture in Pontotoc, serving as vice president of finance for two years. He then started Advantage Furniture and served as president for 11 years before selling the business and joining Frankel Co. of Monroe, Louisiana, as national sales manager. In 2007 Burks began his banking career with Renasant Bank as a corporate banker before entering private banking in 2009. Burks volunteers with the Yocona Area Council of Boy Scouts, which he has served as executive board member, vice president of fund development, treasurer and vice president of marketing. He is a member and past board member of Kiwanis International and serves as a board member of the Elvis Presley Memorial Foundation. He volunteers with the Health Care Foundation of North Mississippi’s Take a Swing at Cancer golf benefit and is a 2017 graduate of Leadership Mississippi. He is an active member of First Presbyterian Church, where he is a past elder and has participated in mission work in Mexico, Guatemala and Cuba through the years. In his free time, Burks enjoys a variety of unusual, adrenaline-laden, off-the-grid hobbies and interests. From white water rafting most of the southeastern states’ rivers, including the infamous Gauley River in West Virginia nine times to skydiving, hang gliding and catfish grabbling. Add to this list snake grabbling—his team, the Fangsters, most recently earned third place in the 11th annual Grabuone Snake Grabbing Rodeo competition at Lake Washington this spring. He enjoys all hunting and fishing opportunities and has hunted alligator in several states. Burks has hiked the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim and in 2017 summited Mt. Whitney in California, the highest peak in the lower 48 states. He has completed the Baja 1000 off-road motorsport race twice from California to Cabo, Mexico. Currently he is choreographing a canoeing venture on the Mighty Mississippi River from Memphis to New Orleans; six trips into this voyage, he and his Tupelo Quapaw Canoe brothers are already 142 miles downstream of the total 426 miles.” To relax, Burks rides his Harley Davidson 1999 Fatboy motorcycle cross country with his many cycling friends and family. He has twice been awarded Iron Butt Association Awards for riding 1,000 miles in under 24 hours. He also enjoys hunting wild turkeys, as well as adventures with the Bushy Tail Rat Pack squirrel hunting club. He and his wife, Leslie, have two children—Taylor (Mary Morgan) Burks and Haley (Louis) Holbrook and three grandchildren—Gravlee Burks, 2; James Holbrook, 10 months; and Lucy Burks, 6 months).

For more information about the auction and roast, visit the clinic’s website: tupelofreeclinic.org.

C. Richard Cotton

Freelance writer/photographer/editor/author

243 County Road 783

Saltillo MS 38866

rcotton5@att.net

662-231-6222

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