About Us

HottyToddy.com is a next generation news source designed to connect the global family of those who love Ole Miss and Oxford.

HottyToddy.com LLC is a division of New Media Lab LLC and is not affiliated with the University of Mississippi, and the opinions expressed herein are not the opinions of the University of Mississippi. All profits of New Media Lab go to support the Meek School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi.

We welcome contributors and comments. Send yours to hottytoddynews@gmail.com.


New Media Lab Logo

HottyToddy.com is a part of New Media Lab LLC — a marketing and digital media think tank company with multiple ventures inspired by entrepreneurship and innovation. New Media Lab, LLC was founded by Dr. Ed Meek to support the Meek School of Journalism and New Media

HottyToddy.com provides support to faculty and additional opportunities for Ole Miss students to become involved in the rapidly changing world of new media through internships.

Click here for our Board of Advisors page.



Ed MeekEd Meek, Publisher

Dr. Ed Meek is former Assistant Vice Chancellor for Public Relations and Marketing at the University and CEO of Oxford Publishing, a national publishing and trade show group. He is the founder of the Tupelo Furniture Market, one of the largest exhibition centers in America, Fellow of the American Council on Education and was awarded the Mississippi Governor’s Distinguished Citizen Award. He is the author or co-author of several books and currently serves as publisher of HottyToddy.Com. He and his wife, Becky, are benefactors who established the Meek School of Journalism and New Media at The University of Mississippi. Email him at edmeek1@gmail.com


Anna Grace Usery, Editor-in-Chief
Anna Grace Usery is a native of Elkmont, Alabama and holds degrees in journalism and integrated marketing communications from the University of North Alabama and the University of Mississippi, respectively. She served as editor of The Flor-Ala, the campus newspaper at the University of North Alabama, SET Magazine in Muscle Shoals, Alabama and has contributed to Mississippi Today, Good Grit magazine, The ‘Sip magazine, the Meek School Alumni Magazine, and several community newspapers. Email Anna Grace at anna.grace.usery@hottytoddy.com.


Adam BrownAdam Brown, Sports Editor
Adam Brown is a native of Oxford, Mississippi. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Meek School of Journalism and New Media at Ole Miss. Email him at adam.brown@hottytoddy.com.




Hannah Vines, Creative Director
Hannah Vines is a Natchez, Mississippi native. She attended the University of Mississippi, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Art with an emphasis in Graphic Design. Email her at hannah.vines@hottytoddy.com




Babs Blair, Sales Manager
Babs received her degree from the University of Mississippi in business, management, marketing, and related support services. She is a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society as well as the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society. 
Babs can be reached at babs.blair@hottytoddy.com




Kaitlan Burkhalter, Sales Representative
Kaitlan is from Clinton, MS and graduated with a B.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications and a minor in business administration.
Email her at kaitlan.burkhalter@hottytoddy.com


William Alias III. Photo by Kevin Bain.

William Alias III

Secretary and member of the Board of Managers for Security Holdings, LLC


William Alias, III has held management and ownership positions with several companies in the debt collection industry, including Security Check, which he and a friend opened just after graduation from Ole Miss. Security Check was the fourth largest check collection company in the United States when it was sold to a private equity firm in June 2008. Alias was recognized as one of Mississippi’s “Top 40 under 40” by the Mississippi Business Journal in 2001 for starting a business when he was just 22 years old. Alias grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, attended the University of Mississippi, and now resides in Oxford.

Mark Burson. Photo by Brandon Hancock.

Mark Burson

Managing Director at Burson-Marsteller and Adjunct Instructor of at Meek School of Journalism & New Media


Mark Burson is a public relations professional, adjunct instructor with the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of Mississippi, and an avid cyclist. Burson made the move from Southern California to Oxford in 2014 after moving his daughter into the dorms at Ole Miss. Throughout a long career in public relations, Burson has directed branding and communications efforts for clients in a variety of industries, including technology, financial services and consumer products.


R. Barry Cannada

Attorney and Chairman, Business Department, Butler|Snow


R. Barry Canada has extensive experience in transactional advisory services, regularly representing numerous public and private companies in connection with mergers, acquisitions, capital formation, public offerings and private placements. He also handles joint ventures and various forms of financing (from tax incentive bonds to high yield rates). Cannada is a member of the American Bar Association, Mississippi Bar Association, and co-owns Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina along with J.C. Clark.


Lewis Dvorkin

Digital Futurist


Lewis DVorkin is the chief product officer at Forbes Media and has worked in the media since the 1970s, starting as a student editor of a daily newspaper. He was Page One editor of The Wall Street Journal, a senior editor at Newsweek, and an editor at The New York Times. DVorkin was senior vice president for programming at AOL, where he was responsible for news, sports, and network programming, and helped launch TMZ.com. He was also executive editor at Forbes magazine and founder and CEO of True/Slant.


Rocky Miskelly

Executive Vice President & Director of Wealth Management, Renasant Bank


Rocky Miskelly is the EVP and Director of Wealth Management for the Renasant Bank locations in Tupelo, Memphis, Nashville, Birmingham, Atlanta, and Montgomery, where he provides vision, direction and leadership to Renasant Wealth Management. He is a former senior pastor of United Methodist Church and former senior executive vice president of Cargill Associations. Miskelly earned his Master of Divinity from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University.

Charlie Mitchell mugshot 2014

Charles “Charlie” Mitchell

Associate Dean and Associate Professor, Meek School of Journalism & New Media


Charlie Mitchell has won awards for his reporting from Iraq and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Mississippi State University and a juris doctorate from The University of Mississippi. He went on to work for the Vicksburg Post as a reporter, photographer, managing editor and finally executive editor until 2010. He is the former president of the Mississippi Press Association as well as the Mississippi-Louisiana Associated Press Managing Editors Association. His weekly column, Conversation, garnered him several state and regional awards and appears in more than 20 newspapers statewide.

Will Norton

Will Norton, Jr.

Dean, Meek School of Journalism & New Media


Will Norton, Jr. was born in the Belgian Congo to parents who were missionaries. At age 8, the family moved to Chicago, and during his first six years of school, Norton moved between six different schools, helping him learn to adapt to different situations. Norton has been a visiting lecturer at Addis Ababa University in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He is a partner in ownership of The South Reporter, Inc. in Holly Springs, Mississippi, and was publisher of The Daily Iowan. He was previously on the staff of the Chicago Tribune and was sports editor of The Daily Journal in Wheaton, Illinois.


Randall Pinkston

Journalist/Educator, Previously Correspondent/Anchor, Al Jazeera America; Correspondent, CBS News


After attending the Michele Clark Fellowship Program for Minority Journalists at Columbia University, Pinkston became the first African American to anchor a 6 p.m. newscast at the local NBC affiliate. Within a year, he graduated to a CBS affiliate in Jacksonville, Florida. In 1976, Pinkston transferred to Post-Newsweek’s WFSB-TV in Hartford, Connecticut, where he held posts as anchor, reporter and producer of public affairs programs. Meanwhile, he earned a law degree from The University of Connecticut School of Law and joined CBS as a White House correspondent, where he covered the presidency of George H.W. Bush. He remained with the network until 2013, reporting for CBS Evening News. In August 2013 he joined Al Jazeera America as a freelance journalist. Pinkston has won four national Emmy awards and an RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award. He lives with his wife, Patricia McLain, in Teaneck, New Jersey, and returns to Oxford periodically as an adjunct instructor of Journalism at Ole Miss.


Bill Rayburn

Chairman and CEO of Mortgage Trade


Armed with a Ph.D. in Finance, Bill Rayburn helped take the mortgage technology firm FNC, Inc. from a startup in the 90s to one that sold for $475 million to CoreLogic, Inc. in 2015. A former University of Mississippi finance professor for 12 years and a successful entrepreneur, Rayburn is now CEO of Mortgage Trade, located just across the street from his former FNC headquarters.


Kate Wallace

 Coordinator of Membership, Communications and Events, University Museums


A former HottyToddy.com managing editor and University of Mississippi Journalism graduate, Kate Wallace has handled client communications for the Mabus Agency; been a marketing manager for the Oxford Park Commission; and interned for Fox News.


Neil White

Creative Director & Publisher, The Nautilus Publishing Company


Neil White has published and edited more than 30 books as the creative director and publisher of The Nautilus Publishing Company in Oxford. He has been a newspaper editor, magazine publisher, advertising executive and federal prisoner. His memoir, In the Sanctuary of Outcasts, focusing on the year he lived with the last victims of leprosy in the continental United States, was a finalist in the 2010 Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance “Book of the Year” award. In 2010, he won the Outstanding Author of the Year award from the Southern Library Association, and Barnes & Noble honored him as one of the top three emerging nonfiction authors in America through its “Discover Great New Writers” program. White has contributed to The Oxford American, National Geographic and The Encyclopedia of Southern Culture.