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Vassallo Interviews: On the Go with Quentin Whitwell

Quentin Whitwell has a most interesting past which includes serving on the Jackson city council and holding office of Student Body Presidency at Ole Miss. Filled with many previous accomplishments, his future prospects look equally as bright! Here’s his story.
HottyToddy.com: Quentin, for those who do not know you, tell us about your background.

Whitwell and his wife, Ginger

Quentin Whitwell: Originally from Southaven, my father was a partner at Perry Taylor and Whitwell law firm on Stateline Road, but he moved our family to Oxford when I was 13 as he was appointed U.S. Attorney by President Ronald Reagan. My family’s roots in Lafayette County go all the way back to the early 1800s when a great grandfather was commissioned by the Federal government to lay out the roads and be the first law enforcement officer.
HottyToddy.com: Your background (in sports, business and politics) is most impressive.
Quentin Whitwell: I was the quarterback for Oxford High School in 1990 when we won the district title. In 94-95 I was Student Body President at Ole Miss having been coached in the election by Senator Trent Lott. I also achieved Hall of Fame status at Ole Miss.
HottyToddy.com: What followed your student life at Ole Miss?
Quentin Whitwell: I left for D.C. to intern for Roger Wicker. This steered me into the presidential campaign for Lamar Alexander where I headed up his logistics in the State of Iowa in the summer of 1995. However, I decided to enter Ole Miss Law School which I did that fall, graduating in 1998. I had met my wife, Ginger at Ole Miss and we married in December 1997. We have two incredible children, our 14-year-old, musically inclined daughter Davis and our 11-year-old son Gordon, a tournament tennis player.
HottyToddy.com: Shortly thereafter, your law career took off.
Whitwell’s son Gordon

Quentin Whitwell: Like many young lawyers, I had to cut my teeth in litigation as an associate, but I got a nice break when I was asked to serve as the legal counsel for the Mississippi Association of Realtors and Lobbyists for the organization. That transitioned me into government affairs and a commercial law practice. Chip Reno and I formed The Talon Group, a lobbying firm, which currently has four partners. Then in 2011 I helped form GibbsWhitwell, PLLC with Robert Gibbs, a former Circuit Judge (now Gibbs Whitwell & Travis PLLC).
HottyToddy.com: What happened to politics? Was this aspect of your life now extinguished?
Quentin Whitwell: Not really, being connected is the essence of politics but serving in an elected capacity was always a goal of mine. So, in 2011 I took part in a special election for City Council Ward 1 representing northeast Jackson where I received 89.5% of the vote and was subsequently re-elected without opposition.
Whitwell and his daughter, Davis

HottyToddy.com: Wow! Another close election! Before we get too far down the road, I understand your business history is equally impressive.
Quentin Whitwell: This past year I purchased a Christian publishing company with Barry Sneed called Life Bible Study which provides content and curriculum to churches all over the world. The business is doing quite well with many exciting things on the horizon. And this year I accepted another major responsibility (in Holly Springs) when I became COO for Progressive Medical Management company, which controls a hospital, a clinic, and more. Actually this takes me 2-3 days a week to Holly Springs.
HottyToddy.com: Apparently your clock has more than the traditional 24 hours in a day?
Quentin Whitwell: I always say, it is amazing what you can accomplish with a 80 hour work week! Ginger is the CEO of the Whitwell family which allows me the ability to pursue a great number of outside interests. But ultimately, I did resign from the Jackson City Council as my other interests began to impede my ability to give proper focus to the Council. As far as a future in politics? When the time is right to make another run, I will know.
HottyToddy.com: As we’re close to entering 2015, what are you anticipating in the new year?
image2Quentin Whitwell: Earlier this year I retained a life coach in order to place my life in its proper perspective. I felt as though I was taking 3 steps forward and 2 steps backward. We spent a weekend analyzing all components of my life. A number of guiding principles surfaced from this exercise including those to direct my future business interests and more importantly several that will enhance my family’s quality of life. But primarily, I felt the overall result led me to a call to action. I learned through this process that life is greater than self and you must not get distracted outside of your heart’s desire.
HottyToddy.com: Let’s focus on our state for a moment as you are certainly an individual who can offer some great advice based upon your background. What can all of us do collectively who live in Mississippi presently to enhance the quality of life here?
Quentin Whitwell: Communities that wish to excel must offer good, clean fun for extracurricular activities. The development of the entrepreneurial class is critically important in order to provide the jobs and incomes to attract the most creative citizens. This will ultimately lead to the emerging growth of leading companies in technology. As to our great state, food, music and our heritage define who we are to a good extent. We are a state that has embraced “change” which intrigues individuals from across the nation in describing “the way we were” and how we have changed by not hiding from it.
HottyToddy.com: In closing, because you are a Republican, I wanted to inquire as to your views regarding the Tea Party.
Quentin Whitwell: The principles of the Tea Party have tremendous merit. One has to answer yes honestly to these 3 questions: A. Is our debt load out of control? B. Has government crippled the ingenuity of entrepreneurs? and C. Is our moral fiber decaying? From a personal standpoint, I don’t really get into labels. The primary issue is to ask “how do we make progress?” My view of politics is one of a “uniter” and getting to yes being guided by strong, Christian principles.
This was a difficult interview to make concise as Quentin’s accomplishments are far too many to have included as this is another chapter all to itself. This young man is definitely on a mission and watching his career unfold from this point forward will be most interesting. Had I met Bill Clinton at a young age or Haley Barbour, I bet there would be many similarities. Quentin gets you excited listening to his positive outlooks. Possibly Washington could recreate itself by adopting some of his logic and common sense approach!

Steve-Vassallo-Photo-Oct-20131-150x150Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. In addition, he is a certified economic and community developer and currently, a highly successful leader in the real estate business with Premier Properties of Oxford.You can contact Steve at sovassallo@gmail.com or call him at 985-852-7745.

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