Board of Trustees

As a publicly owned organization, Singing River Health System is governed by a seven member Board of Trustees appointed by the Jackson County Board of Supervisors for five year terms. The system’s Chief of Staff and Chief of Staff-Elect serve as advisors to the board, which meets regularly each month.

Steve Ates


Steve is Managing Director of SBA-CCI, Inc. focusing on the group’s global polyester raw material and polyester polymer models. SBA-CCI, Inc. is a consulting firm specializing in the global polyester value stream from aromatic feedstocks through rigid PET packaging. The company also provides custom single client work in the areas of cost modeling, polyester recycling, M&A activity and specialty polymers.

Steve has been involved with the polyester industry for more than 25 years and was the former Chief Operating Officer at Wellman, Inc. from 2008–2011. His experience includes technical service, sales and management experience in the polyester fiber industry, the PET resin industry and the PET recycling industry. He has traveled extensively throughout his career and conducted business in Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

Don Barron

Vice President

A 1964 graduate of Pascagoula High School, Don attended the University of Mississippi on a baseball scholarship until an early injury cut short his playing and was a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity.

Vietnam interrupted his education, and he served in the USAF as a SERE (survival) Instructor and was honorably discharged. Upon returning home, he enrolled at The University of Southern Mississippi and received a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and marketing in August 1973.

Don has served in various executive leadership positions while living in Mobile, AL and Fairhope, AL. He was Commercial Lending Officer at First National Bank of Mobile, Vice President at Mobile Infirmary Medical Center, Gulf Coast Regional Manager for Baxter Health Care, Regional Marketing Manager for Coca Cola Bottling Company, and President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau.

During his professional and civic career, Don also served on many local, state and national boards and organizations. His areas of expertise are start-ups and reorganizations, lobbying, public affairs, strategic planning and marketing. Before retiring in 2000, he was Owner/Operator of a Quiznos Restaurant. In 2003 he moved to Pascagoula and has been employed as a Substitute Teacher with the Pascagoula-Gautier School District since 2004.

Don lives in Pascagoula with his wife, Debbie. Together they have three sons, one daughter and ten grandchildren. He is a member of First Baptist Church of Pascagoula where he has served as a Deacon, Usher, Sunday School teacher, choir member, and interpreter for the deaf.

Bonnie Granger


Bonnie is a Certified Public Accountant licensed to practice in Mississippi and an attorney licensed to practice in Mississippi and Louisiana. She is a member of the Mississippi Society of Certified Public Accountants, Mississippi Bar Association, and Louisiana Bar Association.

Bonnie is currently working as a Mississippi Department of Education-appointed Financial Consultant for the Tunica County School District and assists various other school districts with financial issues across the state. Additionally, she is employed with Young Law Group, PLLC as an attorney specializing primarily in school law including ad valorem tax issues, debt issues, contract law, and various employment issues. She also teaches Advanced Business Law for The University of Southern Mississippi.

Prior to her current positions, Bonnie served for five years as Managing Auditing Accountant for the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor, thirteen years as School Business Administrator for the Ocean Springs School District, and two years for the Biloxi Public School District. Prior to serving as a School Business Administrator, she served as a Senior Auditing Accountant auditing various school districts for the Office of the State Auditor.

Bonnie graduated from The University of Southern Mississippi in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in business administration in accounting/data Processing. She also obtained her Master of Professional Accountancy in 1987 from The University of Southern Mississippi. She earned her Juris Doctorate at Loyola University – New Orleans School of Law in 2000.

Bonnie is actively involved in statewide school finance issues and presents many professional development sessions for various school district administrators across the state. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Council of School Board Attorneys.

Bonnie is originally from Angie, LA and currently resides in Ocean Springs, MS, with her husband, Tim, and their daughter. She is actively involved in Belle Fountain Baptist Church where she serves on the Personnel Committee.

Auwilda Polk, Ph.D.

Dr. Auwilda Mason Polk is a native of Pace, MS, and resides in Moss Point. She graduated from Jackson State University with a bachelor’s degree in French and Spanish and from The University of Southern Mississippi with master’s and doctoral degrees in educational leadership. She also did coursework at Mississippi State University and the University of South Alabama.

She has an accomplished educational career, which began as a teacher in Harrison County, continued in Moss Point as teacher, principal and assistant superintendent, and carried on to the Indianola School District, where she retired as Superintendent of Schools. She is a recipient of several tributes and awards.

An active member of St. Paul United Methodist Church and the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., she is married to Norris Polk, and they are the parents of two children and five grandchildren.

Pam Lindsey


Pamela J. Watson Lindsey, a 45-year veteran of banking on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, has enjoyed service with Hancock Bank, Charter Bank, and The Citizens Bank of Philadelphia through the years. She has lived in Jackson County throughout her lifetime and has spent her working career on the Coast. Lindsey is a graduate of the College of Financial Planning, Colorado, University of Mississippi School of Banking, and Cannon Financial Institute’s Wealth Management for Private Bankers and Personal Trust. She also holds all 9 diplomas from the American Institute of Banking.

Lindsey recently served as Board Chair for United Way of Jackson and George Counties and is currently on the Executive Board. She also served as a Commissioner for the Port of Pascagoula. Lindsey attends Liberty Church and continues to be involved in various activities. She loves oil painting, cooking, Christian speaking engagements, and being with family.

Brian Fulton


W. Brian Fulton currently serves as the County Administrator for Jackson County, Mississippi. Appointed by the Board of Supervisors in 2012, Brian manages over 400 employees within 15 diverse departments including: Maintenance, Recreation, Solid Waste, Animal Shelter, Purchasing, Grants, Inventory Control, etc. He is also responsible for capital projects related building construction, recreational facilities, dredging and drainage, and various other projects associated with grant funding. Brian actively works with state and federal officials on behalf of Jackson County to help leverage tax dollars for local projects, as well as advocating for policy that is beneficial to Jackson County residents.

Prior to service with Jackson County, Mr. Fulton worked as a civil engineering consultant for 16 years where he worked on a number of large-scale public infrastructure projects. He holds a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Mississippi State University. Brian maintains his license as a registered professional engineer, as well as a professional traffic operations engineer. Due to his love of the profession, Brian still enjoys getting involved with county engineering projects at the conceptual level and helping with funding opportunities.

Mr. Fulton is a resident of Ocean Springs and has consistently given of his time to serve on many boards and commissions over the past 20 years. Most notably, he has served on the Ocean Springs Planning Commission, the Gulf Regional Planning Commission, the Young Men’s Christian Association, the Jackson County Airport Authority, the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, and the Southern Rail Commission. Brian has been recognized with several awards for his work with professional organization and was most recently presented with the One Coast Community Leader Award in 2020 by the Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Fulton is blessed with two children and two grandchildren who all live in the Ocean Springs area.

Ijlal Babar, MD

Chief of Staff

Dr. Ijlal Babar received his medical degree from Aga Kahn University and completed his training at the University of Arizona. He came to Ocean Springs from the University of Arizona in 2003 where he held an academic position as Assistant Professor of Medicine.

Dr. Babar is board certified in Pulmonology, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine. He is the Medical Director of Singing River Pulmonary Critical Care and the Regional Pulmonary Hypertension Center. Dr. Babar has been crucial in Singing River’s expansion of clinical trials and research initiatives and a key player in our fight against COVID-19.

Amber Colville, MD

Chief of Staff-Elect

Dr. Amber Colville is a primary care physician providing care in her own clinic, New Wave Internal Medicine, which opened in April 2013 and is affiliated with Ocean Springs Hospital.

Dr. Colville was born in Pascagoula, MS and attended school in Moss Point. She obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Southern Mississippi. She went on to receive her medical degree from Ross University and completed her internship and residency at University Hospital-NY.

Dr. Colville is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. In her spare time, Dr. Colville performs vocals–solo and ensemble and enjoys international travel. She is married and has three children.