Innovator extraordinaire might be a good moniker for Bob Mullins, former vice president for Economic Development and Outreach at Hinds. Mullins, a 1967 alum, spent 28 years at Hinds before leaving to lead training efforts at the Canton Nissan plant. Mullins was recruited by the automotive giant after commanding Hinds’ efforts to train Mississippians for Nissan jobs.
Personable, energetic and laser-focused, Mullins was a master at building relationships and delivering guarantees. With roots in the career-technical classroom, Mullins started as a drafting instructor at the Raymond Campus in 1969. He served as assistant CTE dean at the Jackson and Raymond campuses and coordinated industry training for the district. His ability to identify niche markets and develop customized training led to the creation of Hinds’ Resource and Coordinating Unit (RCU) for Economic Development in 1988. Through the RCU, Mullins built the college’s reputation for meeting employer needs. He used emerging technologies to expand the college’s reach, including a Mississippi International Trade Office and a trans-Atlantic partnership with Bridgwater College in England.
The growth of business and industry training under his direction culminated with the building of Eagle Ridge Conference Center, the first of its kind on a community college campus in Mississippi. Mullins’ insistence on superior customer service was the foundation for the success of the college’s workforce training efforts.
He retired from Nissan in 2013. Soon thereafter, Mullins was a behind-the-scenes player in helping the college and the Mississippi Development Authority compete for a Continental Tire plant in Hinds County.
Reflecting on his years at Hinds, he said, “Hinds is a special place to me still, because it helped create a lot of things that led to success in my life. The things I learned there – the value of getting things done, making contacts and being fair and honest with people – are invaluable.”
Mullins funded the Mullins Family Scholarship through the Hinds Foundation and was 2014 Alumnus of the Year.