- story by Trish McAlvain
On the surface, her big personality speaks for itself as one of Mississippi’s bright stars: Mrs. Gulf Coast 2016, the official bicentennial hostess "Miss Issippi,” and “MS Congeniality,” with her own webisodes filmed across Mississippi.
But underneath multiple crowns, there’s more to Jaimee Dorris.
According to broadcaster Elaine Stevens, “She is as deep as the iceberg that sank the Titanic. Never underestimate what’s under the surface.”
Stick around long enough and you will discover that Jaimee’s one sort of “typical” Southern diva: domesticated wife, hands-on mother and stepmom, plus a multi-business owner who puts family first.
When state bicentennial historians gathered to speak of the mascot chosen 100 years ago, it was decided to have an updated version. Who better to fill those shoes than MS Congeniality? Everyone agreed that Jaimee was the perfect choice.
Jaimee hopes to always be completely approachable to the public in her role as Miss Issippi. "Ask me anything, I'll tell the truth. I hope I don't intimidate you.
Dottie’s love of painting brought the artsy side to the mix. This mixture of science and art makes Jaimee a one-of-a-kind artist with an analytical style of thinking. She says she uses her brain to make decisions, not her heart.
Jaimee spent two years studying organic chemistry in college and made straight A's. However, she was never concerned with exact numbers enough to see this being her profession. She was the student who was a little too theatrical during class and had thoughts of something else in her future.
Her sister Michelle lives in Hawaii. She is Jaimee's best friend, and is a graphic designer and a wonderful belly dancer. Brother Gary Goad is a well-known local electrician here on the Gulf Coast.
Jaimee has drawn strength from her husband Joel who has helped her appreciate the "typical Mississippian." Joel helped her to see that "we judge ourselves on how others judge us," she says.
This Hancock county couple lives by the simple belief that it is most important to pride ourselves on our strengths.
"He is a fishing bayou rat," says Jaimee when she speaks fondly of her husband. “It took me 30 years to appreciate the ‘good ol' boy’-style man. Learning that who cares what people think? It's about how you feel."
"Joel knows how to treat me; he is a Southern gentleman, a provider for his family; he hustles as a businessman, and is an overall hard worker with strengths of the manly Mississippi man.”
This is symbolic to Jaimee and instills state pride in her adventures and portrayal as Miss Issippi and MS Congeniality.
Jaimee has been a member of the Rotary Club since 2013. She enjoyed helping fellow Rotarians to get the International Youth Exchange off the ground for Hancock County. Jaimee is fond of the program, knowing the attributes it created in her own experiences as an exchange student.
"I work for myself to give time for a clean, peaceful overall feeling for my family." Joel and Jaimee Dorris are celebrating their three-year wedding anniversary. They stay active with five children, ranging from ages 10 to 21 with Joel's kids from a previous marriage and Jaimee's biological son Micah (who can be spotted as boom mic operator and assistant in “MS Congeniality”).
Jaimee is eager to share and lives by her own advice. "Each person's mission is different than everyone else. Inspired ideas are most important. The thing is to listen to your intuition. Oftentimes you must find your own way by listening to yourself.
"Everyone has their own path. Get to know yourself, what you do well. Sometimes, it is something special. Always trust who you are, naturally."