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Mugshots Grill & Bar

Mugshots owner named Entrepreneur of the Year by USM — Mugshots Grill & Bar

a man standing in front of a cake

Successful  restaurateur Ron Savell has been selected as the 2021 Boardman  Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year by the College of Business and  Economic Development at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM).  

Savell,  a 2002 graduate of USM, is the owner and founder of Mugshots Grill and  Bar and Patio 44. He will be recognized during the University’s annual  Golden Idea Pitch Competition on Thursday, Nov. 11, from 5:30 p.m. until  7:30 p.m. at Scianna Hall on the Hattiesburg campus.  

“We  are so happy to honor Ron as CBED’s 2021 Entrepreneur of the Year. Ron  is not only a worthy recipient because of his successful business  endeavors, but he is a great example of a successful entrepreneur that  gives back to his community and university in order to make them better.  He epitomizes the qualities we look for in this award and we are proud  to celebrate Ron’s success and contributions,” said Dr. Bret Becton,  Dean of USM’s College of Business and Economic Development.  

Savell  has made a tremendous impact on the city of Hattiesburg since he began  calling it home more than 25 years ago. With close to 18 years of  invaluable restaurant ownership experience, he has been able to expand  his once small investment in a Hattiesburg dive bar into 23 successful  restaurant locations.  

“I'm  honored and thrilled to receive the Entrepreneur of the Year award from  Southern Miss,” said Savell. “While it certainly takes an army to run  my company, I proudly accept this award on behalf of my family and all  of our wonderful employees.”  

Savell  grew up in the restaurant industry as his parents owned and operated a  Sonic Drive-In in Natchez, Miss. His love for the industry continued  into college while he worked as a bartender to put himself through  school. Shortly after completing his degree at USM, Savell decided to  purchase a local bar named “Mugshots” in January of 2004.  

He  kept the name and transformed the business model, making it Mugshots  Grill and Bar. Years later, Mugshots has expanded to 20 locations in  four states, several of which are now franchised. Savell later founded  Patio 44 in 2013, which now has three locations in the state, including  Hattiesburg.  

In  addition to his impact on the restaurant industry, Savell has also  generously contributed his resources and time to support local nonprofit  initiatives, including the American Heart Association, Homes of Hope in  Purvis, and Abbie Rogers Civitan Camp. He also served on the USM’s  Athletic Foundation Board of Directors for 12 years and currently serves  as a Benedict Day School board member.  

Savell  was among a select few chosen by the Mississippi Business Journal as  the Top Entrepreneurs in Mississippi for 2018 and served as Partner of  the Year for the 2016 Passions of the Palette, hosted by the Hospitality  and Tourism Management program at USM. Additionally, he was awarded the  2015 Citizenship Award by the local Civitan camp.  

He and his wife, Caitlin, have been married for 12 years and have four children: Hailey, Emma, Meg, and Duncan.  

The  Entrepreneur of the Year event is sponsored by the late Joseph Boardman  Jr., a 1953 graduate of Southern Miss, who majored in marketing. A past  president of the Southern Miss Alumni Association and former member of  the USM Foundation Board, Boardman also served 18 years on the Harrison  County Development Commission. 

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