2024 Dukes Announced

Gulf Coast Carnival Association Sponsors Reception at Golden Nugget Biloxi in Biloxi, Mississippi, on January 20, 2024. Photo by James Edward Bates.

DUKE RICKY JUDE COX

Ricky Jude Cox of Gulfport is the husband of Stacey Rosenberger Cox.   They are the parents of Preston Alexander Cox, Madison Rose Cox, and Kaitlyn Emma Cox.  His parents are the late Mr. and Mrs. Willie Anthony Cox of White Castle, Louisiana.

Ricky is a 1986 graduate of Ascension Catholic High School in Donaldsonville, Louisiana.   He attended Louisiana State University where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies with Concentrations in Pre-Law and Political Science in 1990, was a member and officer of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, and was the recipient of the LSU Alumni Federation Scholarship.   Following graduation, he attended Mississippi College School of Law, where he served as the Executive Editor of the Mississippi College Law Review, was awarded the President’s Scholarship and the MS Bar Foundation Scholarship, and earned his Juris Doctor with Distinction in 1993.

In 1993, he began practicing energy and corporate law at the Gulfport law firm of Eaton and Cottrell, P.A. which later became Balch and Bingham LLP.  Ricky previously served as the Managing Partner of Balch and Bingham’s Gulfport office from 2009 until 2022.   He currently serves on the firm’s Executive Committee and as the firm’s Strategic Practice Group Leader for the Energy, Environmental, and Government Relations Sections of the firm.  He has been recognized by Best Lawyers and Chambers and Partners on one of the leading energy lawyers in Mississippi for more than a decade.  Ricky is a member of the Mississippi Bar Association, where he has served in various leadership positions, the Louisiana Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Energy Bar Association, and the Harrison County Bar Association, where he served as President of the Young Lawyer’s Division.

Ricky has served on numerous boards and commissions all along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, including, as a Commissioner for the Coast Transit Authority, as a board member for Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, as well as for the United Way, the American Heart Association, St. James Catholic Elementary School’s Advisory Council, St. Patrick Catholic High School’s Advisory Council, and the MS Gulf Coast Chapter of the LSU Alumni Association.

He is a graduate of Leadership Gulf Coast, Leadership Mississippi, and the Gulf Coast Business Council’s Master Leadership Class and has been recognized as a Top 10 Community Leader by the Chamber’s One Coast Awards, a Top 40 under 40 by the Mississippi Business Journal, and as a Top 10 Business Leader under 40 by The Sun Herald.

Ricky has been a member of the Krewe of Endymion in New Orleans since 2013.

DUKE STEVEN B. DICK

Steven B. Dick of Biloxi is the husband of Jamie Dick. They have four children, Cameron, Emily, Isabella and Taylor. His parents are Ms. JoAnn Dick and the late Mr. Henry Dick, Jr.

Steven is a graduate of Biloxi High School. He attended the University of Mississippi where he received his Bachelor of Accountancy in 1996 and was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity. Steven graduated from the University of Mississippi Law School in 1999, where he served as Honor Council Chairman and as a member of the Journal of National Security Law.

After working in private law practice for thirteen years, Steven joined Mississippi Power in 2012 and is currently the Economic Development Manager. He is a graduate of Leadership Mississippi and Leadership Gulf Coast. Steven serves as the President of the Biloxi First Board of Directors, on the Leadership Gulf Coast Board of Trustees, the Greater Biloxi Economic Development Foundation Board and the Biloxi Excel By 5 Coalition Board. Steven is a member of the Mississippi and Harrison County Bar Associations, Mississippi Economic Development Council, Biloxi Rotary, and the Knights of Columbus. Steven also serves on the board of directors of the Revelers Carnival Association and is a member of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Biloxi.

Steven’s brother, Henry Dick served as Duke to King d’Iberville in 2015.

DUKE DAVID SAMUEL LEE, SR

David Samuel Lee, Sr. of Gulfport is the husband of Amy Anderson Lee.  They have four children, David Samuel “Sam” Jr., Lucy Caroline, Amy Laurel “LaLa” and their angel, Molly Elizabeth. His parents are Mr. and Mrs. Charles Lee of Pass Christian, MS.

David is a graduate of Long Beach High School.  He attended Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and graduated in 1994 from the University of Southern Mississippi where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.  He was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity, was inducted into the MGCCC Hall of Fame in 2011, named Gulf States PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 2010, and Gulf States PGA Mississippi Chapter Player of the year in 2008. He is a lifetime member of the PGA of America, a member of the Bayou Bluff Tennis Club, The Revelers carnival organization, and served as President of the Gulf States Section of the PGA in 2012-2013.

David is the owner of Deluxe Cleaners in Gulfport, MS and the head coach for the Gulfport High School girls’ golf team. He and his family are parishioners of St. James Catholic Church. 

DUKE LEO ERNEST MANUEL

Leo Manuel of Biloxi is the husband of Ashley Cosgriff Manuel. His parents are the late Mr. and Mrs. Larry Manuel of Biloxi, MS. 

He is a 1997 graduate of Mercy Cross High School.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Louisiana State University in 2001.  At LSU, he was awarded the Ben Burns Award for Best Senior Design Project.  Following graduation, he attended the University of Richmond where he received both a juris doctorate, cum laude, and Master in Business Administration in 2005.  While a student at Richmond, he sat as an article’s editor for the University of Richmond Law Review and the co-chair of the student government social committee.  In 2005, he began practicing law with the Gulfport, Mississippi law offices of Balch & Bingham, LLP, where he is an Office Managing Partner.  His practice consists of energy law, commercial litigation, and contract law. 

He has served for several years on the Board of Directors for the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum and previously served on the Board of Directors for the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce.  He is a 2010 graduate of Leadership Gulf Coast and a 2019 graduate of Mississippi Economic Council’s Leadership Mississippi.  He is a member of the American Bar Association, Mississippi Bar Association, Energy Bar Association, Harrison County Young Lawyers Association, Gulfport Business Club, Biloxi Yacht Club, and the Order of Mithras Carnival Association.

Leo served as page to King d’Iberville in 1991, as a Duke to King d’Iberville in 2020 and is a current elected board member of Gulf Coast Carnival Association.  His father, Larry Manuel, served as a duke in 1991.  His brother, Maurice Manuel, was a flag bearer in 1991.  His brother, Charlie Dellenger, served as duke in 2016.  His niece, Caroline Dellenger, served as a page in 2017 and a flag bearer in 2019.

DUKE DAX MATEO PITALO

Dax Mateo Pitalo of Ocean Springs is the husband of Breanne Williams Pitalo. They are the parents of Mason Elizabeth and Bayes Mateo Pitalo, and their dog, Opie.  Dax is the son of Mr. and Mrs. George “Jordy” Pitalo, Jr. of Ocean Springs.

Dax is a 1996 graduate of Mercy Cross High School.  He graduated from The University of Mississippi, where he was a member of the Sigma Nu Fraternity. Dax is now the General Manager of Medical Arts Pharmacy and Hearing Center, Inc.  He is the third generation in the business that has been serving the Mississippi Gulf Coast for over 70 years. 

Dax and his family are parishioners of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Ocean Springs. He is a member of the Biloxi Yacht Club, Slavic Benevolent Association, Ole Miss Alumni Association, The Revelers, and Order of Mithras.  Dax enjoys the outdoors, fishing, traveling, Ole Miss, the Saints, and spending time with family and friends.

Dax is a longtime member of GCCA. He was a flag bearer for GCCA in 1990. His grandfather, George Pitalo was duke to King d’Iberville in 1987.  His father, Jordy Pitalo was a duke to King d’Iberville in 1998.

DUKE JOSH MARION PITALO

Josh Marion Pitalo is the husband of Megan Broussard Pitalo.  They have one daughter, Heidi Marie.  His parents are Ms. Eileen Mahoney-Ezell of Biloxi, MS and Mr. Danny Louis Pitalo of Ocean Springs, MS.

Josh is a 2004 graduate of Mercy Cross High School, where he was a member of the soccer team.  Following graduation, he began working, within the family business, Mary Mahoney’s Old French House.  This family owned and operated business has been a staple attraction of the Mississippi Gulf Coast for 60 years.  Josh, a third-generation staff member, is involved with the day-to-day operations of Mary Mahoney’s.

Josh is an avid sports fan and enjoys fishing, hunting, boating and all things water and woods related.  He is a proud New Orleans Saints season ticket holder. He is also a member of the Order of Mithras carnival organization, and the Slavonian Benevolent Society.  He and his family are parishioners of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Cathedral Parish.

Josh was a flag bearer in 1994.  His grandmother, Sarah Tremmel Pitalo was Queen Ixolib 1954.  His mother, Eileen Mahoney-Ezell was Queen Ixolib in 1976.  His uncle, Robert F. Mahoney, Jr. was a duke in 1975.  His cousin Mary Pitalo Rodrigue was a page to Queen Ixolib in 1975.  His cousin Stacy Mahoney-Schmidt was Queen Ixolib in 1992.  His cousin Caty Mahoney-Hulett was Queen Ixolib in 1998. His sister, Nicole Pitalo Carlise was a maid to Queen Ixolib in 2003 and Queen Ixolib in 2004.  His cousin Gavin Schmidt was a duke in 2004, Lt. of Carnival 2006-2007, and Captain of Carnival in 2008-2009. His cousin Gavin Schmidt, II was a page to King d’Iberville 2010. His cousin Natalie Hulett was Key Girl in 2023.

DUKE DAVID CHADWICK RIEMANN

David Chadwick “Chad” Riemann of Gulfport is the husband of Heather Donnelly Riemann.  They are the parents of Sadie, John David, and Emma.  He is the son of the late Mr. David Files Riemann, Diane Riemann of Gulfport, and Shaw and Vicki Ott of Madison.

Chad is a graduate of Gulfport High School and received his bachelor’s degree in banking and finance from Mississippi State University.  At MSU, Chad was a member of Kappa Alpha Order.

Chad is a fourth-generation funeral director and is president of Riemann Family Funeral Homes.  In his profession, Chad has served as past president of the Mississippi Funeral Directors Association and was honored as Mississippi Funeral Director of the year for 2005-2006, leading the Association through Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath.  He is a former member of the Funeral Director’s Council, an exclusive group of funeral directors from across the country, and he was appointed in 2022 by Governor Tate Reeves to a Board position with the Mississippi State Board of Funeral Service.  Chad has served in many civic capacities and is a member of the Board of Directors of Feed My Sheep.  Chad is Co-Founder of the 501(C)3 charity, Wreaths for Biloxi National Cemetery, and the 501(C)3 charity, Bow Ties and Beignets, benefitting children in need on the Coast.  He is a member of Mithras and served as Captain of Revelers for two years during COVID.

Chad and his family are members of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, where he served as both junior and senior warden of the parish vestry and served on the St. Mark’s pastor search committee.

Chad believes that spending time with family is most important. He has a passion for cooking on The Big Green Egg, cars, boats, football, spending time outdoors, and watching Mississippi State sports.

Chad’s father, David Files Riemann was a duke in 2014 and served as King D’Iberville in 2015.  Chad served as a Duke in his father’s Royal Court in 2015.  His brother, Addison Riemann has been a flag bearer.  All three of Chad and Heather’s children, Sadie, John David, and Emma have served as GCCA flag bearers.  Their son, John David, was a page to King D’Iberville in 2015 and their daughter, Sadie, was a page to Queen Ixolib in 2016.

DUKE STEPHEN JAY STIGLETS

Stephen Stiglets of Gulfport is married to Lisa Dowdy Stiglets, also of Gulfport, and they have three children — Stephen Jay Jr., Benjamin Jacob and Morgan Elizabeth Stiglets. His parents are Doug Stiglets of Houston, Texas, and Peggy Stiglets Ward of Gulfport.

He is a graduate of Harrison Central High School. Following High School he attended Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and the University of Southern Mississippi before transferring to Mississippi College where he earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

Stephen is the manager of Governmental and Community affairs for Mississippi Power where he leads the company’s legislative activities at both the state and federal level along with overseeing corporate giving activities.

He serves as the executive director of the Mississippi Power Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) that focuses on improving the quality of life for residents and communities in southeastern Mississippi. 

Stephen is a graduate of the 2015 Leadership Mississippi Class and currently serves on the board of the Utilities State Governmental Organization.

Stephen and Lisa are members of Trinity Methodist Church in Gulfport.

He is the first member of his family to serve in the Gulf Coast Carnival Association.