Madison alderman focuses on community involvement plus music, travel, golfBy NIKKI ROWELL,
Madison Alderman Guy Bowering counts it an honor and a privilege to serve the people of Madison and Ward 6.
Throughout his life, he has made serving his community a priority no matter where he has ended up over the years.
Originally from Rolling Fork in the Delta, Bowering made his way to Hattiesburg where he earned a degree in music education at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Over the years, he says he eliminated a lot of things he did not want to do in his professional life as he was growing up.
Bowering said he has his father to thank for his work ethic, which he honed while working his many jobs as a young man.
“I worked at a service station, in a grocery store, delivered papers, cut yards, pitched hay,” he said. “You know, I did a little bit of everything.”
Doing a little bit of everything paid off for Bowering, as he said it taught him a lot.
“It taught me a good work ethic,” he said. “That whatever I’m doing, to do it well. No matter how menial it is, you need to do a good job, and I got that from my father.”
While he earned his degree in music, Bowering ended up spending much of his career working in the insurance field.
“I tell people, I really got my education after college,” he said. “I got into the insurance business, which later got me into the investment side of things,” he said. “I was offered a position as a regional sales manager a number of years ago, which later became Fortis Financial Group.”
His primary responsibilities were working with insurance professionals who had their securities license and helping them develop investment business, insurance planning, whether its personal or business insurance and investment retirement plans within their client base.
“That’s what my responsibility was to help them do that,” he said. “Of course, I always maintained a small client base too.”
To serve in this capacity, Bowering earned a number of insurance and securities licenses. When he retired from the company, he had Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas.
This work is what brought Bowering to the Jackson area in 1980. “This was where the center of business was, in the Jackson metro area,” he said.
He has lived in Madison for 22 years. He and his wife Nancy built their home in Annandale near the golf course. “I’m a golfer, so it’s worked out well,” he said.
Bowering has been active in community affairs since a young adult. He was involved with the Jaycees and Kiwanis Club.
This involvement is what eventually led Bowering to run for alderman. He is now serving his third term.
“I work at it,” he said. “I get phone calls from constituents, but also I’ve been promoting economic development, so I like to be involved with that. I stay in touch with the police and fire departments, public works and things that need attention in our neighborhoods.”
He is also a member of the Madison Chamber of Commerce.
“I just think you need to be involved,” he said. “Obviously, everyone can’t be mayor or alderman, but there are various committees you could join and various events and community projects you can get involved in. If you have a lot of people doing that, everybody’s lives will be better.”
Bowering counts the city’s economic development some of the most important work he has been involved with as an aldermen.
Since retiring, if Bowering isn’t on the golf course or serving his community in some capacity, he is probably doing some traveling with his wife or playing music at a local venue.
His wife has worked as a travel agent for 25 years, so they spend a great deal of time traveling. They have gone on cruises and made their way across most of Europe.
In fact, the two will be leaving soon for a 11 day trip to Germany, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Austria.
This will be a planned tour, which Bowering said they have never done before. They will spend two nights in each place.
One thing Bowering loves to do the most is play his music. He plays guitar and bass.
“I like to get together with some people and play music,” he said. “We have a group that gets together and plays at the Jackson Yacht Club on Tuesday nights.”
He started playing when he was young. “In fact, I worked my way through college playing rock and roll,” he said. At the time, his band, “Tim Whitsett and The Imperial Show Band,” were one of the top bands in the state. We played at the fraternities at Ole Miss, State and USM and many high school proms.”
One of his greatest regrets is that when he went into business, he stopped playing for about 40 years.
“Then, I picked it back up,” he said. “I had to discipline myself to sit down and work on it to get the feel for it again. Not only that, but my finger dexterity and reflexes weren’t what they were 40 years ago.”
He likes to play a little bit of everything, including what he calls “good rock and roll.” He also plays some jazz and blues.
He and Nancy are active members of the Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Church in Madison.
Bowering is a man of many talents, but he has made time throughout his life for being involved with his community and giving back.