A picture of Representative Bennie G. Thompson
Bennie T.
Democrat MS 2

About Rep. Bennie
  • Honoring Sam Gleese

    by Representative Bennie G. Thompson

    Posted on 2014-01-15

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    THOMPSON of mississippi in the house of representatives Wednesday, January 15, 2014 Mr. THOMPSON of Mississippi. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor a remarkable public servant, Mr. Sam Gleese. Mr. Gleese is a lifelong resident of Jackson, Mississippi.

    Mr. Gleese graduated from high school in 1966 and enrolled that fall at Jackson State College, (which is now Jackson State University) where he majored in business administration. After graduation on 1970, Mr. Gleese joined a management training program conducted by K-Mart.

    In January of 1985 Mr. Gleese was assigned the worst vending in the state of Mississippi. Because of his degree in business [[Page E75]] administration, his phenomenal record in personal rehabilitation, and his work history in the grocery business, officials decided that he needed no more training, but could learn the program in his own location. He spent two years in that facility, mastering the business and improving his techniques. Then during the next several years he moved to better locations.

    In 1992 Mr. Gleese bid on an excellent facility for his business and was denied the bid, then he appealed the decision, which eventually came down, but did not give him personal redress. The incident did correct unfair practices that had plagued many vendors in Mississippi for years. In April of 1994 Mr. Gleese, with the help of his wife, Mrs. Vanessa Gleese, became the manager of one of the largest food service operations in the state-vending program.

    Mr. Gleese has always been active in the Missionary Baptist Church. From 1973 to 1990 he taught the adult Sunday school class in his own church, and in 1980 he became a deacon. He was ordained to the ministry in November of 1992 and is now senior associate minister at the College Hill Baptist Church.

    In 1992 Mr. Gleese was first elected to the board of directors of the National Federation of the Blind, where he continues to serve with distinction. He has dedicated his life to educating the public, blind and sighted alike, about the abilities of blind people.

    In August of 2001 Mr. Gleese accepted a position as an Independent Living Specialist with LIFE (Living Independence for Everyone) of central Mississippi. This position provided opportunities to work with adolescents with special health care needs in Mississippi between the ages of fourteen and twenty-one. In January of 2002 Mr. Gleese became the statewide project director for the Healthy Futures grants. This position enhances Mr. Gleese's opportunity to serve all adolescents with special health care needs, including blind people.

    Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in recognizing Mr. Sam Gleese for his dedication to serving others and giving back to the community he grew up in.


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