Meet Our McClain Family
Family is relative … meaning, it’s not always the people who share your name or genes. At McClain, our family includes those who dedicate countless hours to making this place the Unique Southern Experience it is. So now, we invite you to get to know our family a little bit better.
- Buddy McClainOwner & CEO
As a distinguished entrepreneur and Sonic Franchisee for over 40 years, taking on McClain Lodge was just a natural fit for Buddy McClain. Purchasing the property in 2012 with his wife, Joni, they have truly turned the place into a gorgeous resort filled with breathtaking views and endless possibilities. Since expanding the original property from 468 acres to over 1800, you can truly see the embodiment of Southern hospitality and culture in every aspect of the property. When he isn’t running his restaurants, or helping oversee McClain operations, Buddy can be found giving back to the communities in which he does business. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Central Mississippi American Red Cross since 2007, and has also served as a member of the Metro-Jackson Chamber of Commerce since 1999. Buddy and Joni are active members of the First Baptist Church of Fannin. They reside in the Fannin Community in Rankin County and have two daughters, Stefanie Fairly and Mallory McClain, and two grandchildren, Knox and Jane Fairly.
- Joni McClainOwner & President
Joni McClain embodies the spirit of Southern hospitality. Soon after graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi, Joni began a fruitful career in marketing and events. In 1990, she opened EventWorks, Inc., a company that specialized in sales promotions and corporate events. Despite the success of her business, Joni wanted a way to utilize her sales, marketing, and special events talents on a national level. She joined McClain Sonics as the Marketing Director, and spent several years managing the marketing strategies and special events for the company. In 2012, Joni and her husband, Buddy, acquired McClain Lodge. Joni serves as the Owner/President of the lodge and brings her passion for event planning to every aspect of the business. Joni has been honored with several awards throughout the years for her contribution to women in the workforce. She is also a member of several different organizations, including the Mississippi Fairgrounds Foundation Board, Keep Mississippi Beautiful Board, and the Board of Directors for the YMCA Reservoir and Flowood branches. Joni is an active volunteer for the Central Mississippi Chapter of the American Red Cross, as well as an active member of The First Baptist Church of Fannin. Joni and Buddy reside in the Fannin Community in Rankin County and have two daughters, Stefanie Fairly and Mallory McClain, and two grandchildren, Knox and Jane Fairly.
- Sean NeelyDirector of Operations
Sean Neely knows business and business management. Raised in Rankin County, Sean has been in business management for over 20 years. He got his start in the MS Air National Guard and served from 1991 to 2013. For service during four deployments, Sean was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal and Aerial Achievement Medal. During this time, Sean also ran and operated a security business known as Neely Security with his father, Richard Neely. Upon leaving the Guard, Sean became a district manager for a chain of local pawn shops. It was during this time that Sean met Buddy McClain and knew that he wanted to help grow the business.
Sean joined the McClain family as the Director of Operations in 2017. When Sean isn’t busy making sure that the General Store is running smoothly, he can be found spending time outdoors with his wife, Teri Dawn, and their four children, Brice, Kaylee, Blake, and Sydney. The Neely's attend Pine Lake Church and enjoy volunteering for Gravy and Grace Ministries.
- Angela MeasellsGeneral Manager, McClain Lodge and McClain Catering
To Angela Measells, there is no such thing as a stranger, just a friend she hasn’t met yet. Born and raised in Rankin County, Angela holds a degree in Hotel Restaurant Management and Travel Tourism. Angela got her start as a front of house manager for Up the Creek in Flowood. She left to focus on her family, but soon came to miss her career. She joined the Rankin County Chamber of Commerce as an event planner and knew that she had found what she was passionate about. She joined VIP Grand events as a Sales/Event planner for Luckett Lodge. When the McClains purchased the lodge property in 2012, Angela stayed on and, in 2015, became the Event Director for McClain Lodge. In 2017, she was promoted to General Manager of McClain Lodge, and oversees all its events. Angela’s passion for event planning comes from the people that she meets. She adores helping each client, taking their ideas and then executing them flawlessly into an experience of a lifetime. When she isn’t finalizing details of a wedding, or organizing her staff to execute a corporate event, Angela can be found spending time with her husband, Brian, and their 3 sons, Bailey, Brooks, and Riley. The Measells are members of New Liberty Baptist Church.
- Shaun CattonDirector of Animal & Land Management
Shaun Catton has been surrounded by animals all his life. Growing up in Zimbabwe and attending school at Louis Trichardt in South Africa, Shaun combines his unique life experiences with his passion for animals. Having grown up on a ranch, Shaun is no stranger to raising animals and nurturing them. With his ability to understand animals, he has been able to take various species from some of the most exotic places, and acclimate them to Mississippi’s hot and humid climate. As the Director of Animal and Land Management, it’s not uncommon to see Shaun with his many animal babies following behind him. A true outdoorsman, when Shaun isn’t tending to the different animals, he can be found fishing or hunting.
- Stefanie McClain FairlyRetail/ Guests Relations Manager
After graduating from Belhaven University, Fairly became a full time member of the MVP SONIC GROUP family as the Marketing Director in January 2007. After working as Marketing Director from 2007 to 2014, she became Vice President of the MVP SONIC GROUP in 2014.
In 2011, Stefanie along with Buddy McClain, and Tony De Martini bought a small restaurant in Brandon, MS called SWAYS. In 2016 they renovated the restaurant, changing the name to Old Fannin Restaurant.
Stefanie came on board with McClain General Store & Restaurants in 2017 as Brand Marketing Specialist and buyer for the General Store. And became Retail/Guest Relations Manager in 2019. Stefanie is passionate about e-commerce and Social Media. And has helped McClain guests access the website to reserve safari tours, restaurant reservations, and cabin accommodations.
Representing McClain is a way of life for Stefanie. She is actively involved in the community by showing schools, churches, and non-profits the emphasis these businesses put on giving back to the community it serves.
Stefanie and her husband Daniel Hendrick Fairly, Jr., have two children: Knox McClain Fairly and Jane Graham Fairly. The Fairly’s are members of First Presbyterian Church of Jackson.
- Matt HuffmanFood & Beverage Director
Matt Huffman was raised to know the meaning of Southern fare and farm-fresh. As an esteemed graduate from Johnson & Wales University in Culinary Arts, Matt started his culinary career as a sauté cook for Amerigo’s. Through hard work and dedication, he became one of the youngest chefs to serve as Executive Chef for the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion and was honored to serve under two governors. With a passion for farm-to-table, Matt brings a truly unique perspective for the General Store and Restaurants. Matt learned from a young age the importance of farm-fresh fare. Drawing inspiration from his grandparents, Papa and Mamma Huffman, and Grandma and Grandpa Hunt, he uses his talents and passion for cooking to highlight and share the rich culture of Southern and American regional cuisine. Matt is happily married to Brianne Huffman and they have two beautiful children, Joseph and Ruby. When Matt isn’t whipping up the next special for the restaurants, he can be found enjoying alligator hunting with his wife or fishing and hunting with his kids. The Huffmans are members of Pinelake Baptist Church, Flowood Campus.