by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher/Owner – thegazebogazette@gmail.com or hdawkins@supertalk.fm

Pass Christian native, Joseph Piernas, was named 2023 Pass Christian Outstanding Citizen of the Year on Wednesday, January 31, 2024 at the Pass Christian Yacht Club. Pass Christian native, Joe has been married to Wanda for 32 years, he has 12 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.

He is retired from Dupont and currently is the Broker/Owner of Exit Extra Mile Realty. Joe has spent many years in service to the Pass Christian Community.

Here are some of his accomplishments:

*Piernas assumed leadership of the Christian Concern Food Pantry, Pass Christian’s weekly food distribution service, taking over for a previous Outstanding Citizen, Otis Gates.

*Joe has continued to lead that ministry grow the number of individuals that it serves and chairs Jazz in the Pass, reviving and expanding it over the past few years. Served as Alderman for Ward 2 and was Mayor Pro-Temp after Katrina.

*Additionally, Piernas serves on the unit board for the Pass Christian Boys and Girls Club.

*An active member of Our Mother of Mercy Church in Pass Christian, he serves as Vice President of the Parish Council and District Director of the Knights of Peter Claver, a Catholic men’s service organization where his acting as the Chair of the KPC Sickle Cell Golf Tournament.

*Joe is the official “fish fryer” for events in the city that raise money in support of various charities. He also does a Turkey Fry for families at Thanksgiving that are in need.

Joe is quick to reach out to help someone.  According to his wife, Wanda, “Joe is always doing benefits for families in need. He does quite a bit of that, it’s hard to know what he’s doing until it happens.”

Piernas’ body of work in the Pass Christian community is well documented and he continues to contribute on a daily basis.

Pass Christian School District Superintendent Dr. Carla Evers presented the 2023 Teacher of the Year for the Pass Christian Rotary Club to Coach Connie Skrmetta.

Finally, Pass Christian Mayor presented the City Employee of the Year to City Clerk Ron Duckworth.  Duckworth has overcome quite a few adversities with family health issues while achieving budget demands, assisting in grants and handing accouning concerns in the city.

(Photos submitted by the Pass Christian Rotary Club)