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Leadership Mississippi Visits Mississippi Gulf Coast


DSC 9189Leadership Mississippi recently visited the Mississippi Gulf Coast as part of the Class of 2017. The class experienced the coast by taking a bus tour that was led by Ashley Edwards. Edwards is President of Gulf Coast Business Council. The class learned about the history, recovery of hurricanes, tourism, culture and much more. Throughout the tour, the class also heard from local mayors.

The class was also offered the opportunity to visit Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula. They embark on a tour of Ingalls Shipyard, learning all about the industry and the impact that it has on Mississippi. Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula employs more than 11,000 people, and is the largest manufacturing employer in Mississippi and a major economic contributor in the state. For more than 70 years, Ingalls Shipbuilding facilities have pioneered the development and production of technologically advanced, highly capable warships for the surface Navy fleet, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Marine Corps, and foreign and commercial customers.

 Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College's Estuarine Center open its doors to the Leadership Class and offered them exposure to outdoor learning and team building skills. The Class participated in activities such as boat rides, rock climbing, ropes course and more.   

The class participated in two receptions. One was held at Lazy Magnolia and the other was at the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum. 

The session was capped off with a class session on leadership and learning to know others led by Dr. Sam Jones. 

Leadership Mississippi Holds Second Session at Camp Shelby

camp shelby 2017

The Leadership Mississippi Class of 2017 recently hosted military session at Camp Shelby.

Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center (CSJFTC) is the nation's largest National Guard Training Site, spanning over 135,000 acres across portions of Perry, Forrest, and Greene counties. Camp Shelby was established in 1917 in support of mobilization during World War I, and it has served almost continuously since then as a training site for the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and members of the Reserve Components. Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center employs over 1,500 employees and trains over 120,000 service members annually. CSJFTC is home to the largest Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site (MATES) in the nation with nearly 700 pieces of armored equipment in its equipment set. Camp Shelby will celebrate 100 years as a training facility in July 2017.

The Class of 2017 had the unique opportunity to learn about the military's presence in Mississippi, riding in tanks, Apache helicopters, and more! The session also included a special message from Major General Janson D. Boyles, Adjutant General of Mississippi.

Special Thanks to Our Sponsors:
• Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center (CSJFTC)
• Mississippi Power
• The First, A National Banking Association
• Visit Hattiesburg

cathy award 2017

Northington Named 2017 Young, Gifted
& Empowered Leader of the Year

Leadership Mississippi's very own Cathy Northington, Senior Vice President & Chief Administrative Officer & Director of Programs, Leadership & Diversity at the Mississippi Economic Council, was recently named the 2017 Young, Gifted & Empowered Leader of the Year!

She was honored at the 2017 Young, Gifted & Empowered Awards on Saturday, March 4 at Jackson Preparatory School.

Congratulations Cathy!

More about the award:

There's a conclave of young professionals who are committed to moving Mississippi forward. They are raising their families in the Magnolia State, building businesses and serving in their communities. Their commitment is not only changing the landscape of Mississippi, but how the world views Mississippi.

Young, Gifted & Empowered honors individuals who are champions for and in the arts, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, education, innovation and leadership. The honorees are between the age 25-45 and have demonstrated a noteworthy commitment to excellence and community service; a high level of character, leadership, and innovation through professional and personal growth.

Your Annual Contribution Will Help
Leadership Mississippi Thrive in 2017

Do You remember your Leadership Mississippi experience?

It is different for every single class going back to the very first in 1974, when Mississippi became the second state in the nation to launch a statewide Leadership program. The program has changed with the changing needs of Mississippi. In recent years, our classes began traveling the state, which provides a very valuable perspective to those in leadership roles in our communities. The program has grown in strength and stature. This year we had over 100 applications for only half as many slots.

Leadership Mississippi has become distinguished for many reasons – and the most important reason is your own personal involvement which has helped both sustain and make the program stronger. It is because of leaders like you that the program has the recognition it has gained over the last 40+ years. So just by participating, you have made a meaningful difference!

Ongoing Financial Support from Alumni Helps Build the Program

One way you can consider helping even more is by supporting the continued growth of Leadership Mississippi through an annual financial contribution. Your ongoing financial support will assure Leadership Mississippi’s ability to continue to offer quality programming – and to build new initiatives. In recent years we have invited alumni to attend our Leadership Mississippi events as we travel the state to provide ongoing engagement. We are now looking for ways to further engage the alumni in programmatic opportunities. Your tax-deductible contribution will help us turn ideas into reality. It’s for this reason I hope you will consider making a contribution at one of the levels suggested or whatever you can afford. It will be put to wise use and greatly appreciated.

Click Here to Make a Contribution to Leadership Mississippi

Volunteer Involvement Makes a Meaningful Difference

In addition to ongoing financial support, we also count on our alumni to help in planning our programming and hosting our classes in communities across Mississippi. Whether or not you contribute financially, there is always a need for volunteer involvement. Whether you can contribute financially or not, I hope you will take the opportunity to volunteer and attend one of our many alumni events throughout the year.

Over the years, Leadership Mississippi and our graduate leaders have gotten behind many important efforts, working to improve early childhood and K-12 education, to promote volunteerism, to support our troops with calling cards when war was declared in Iraq and to focus on expanding career-readiness among high school students, just to name a few.

What’s more, our graduates have gone on to become Mayors, state and federal Judges, State Legislators as well as State Treasurer, Secretary of State and Governor – and over 1,000 leaders like you are making a real difference in the future of Mississippi, in your companies and in your communities.

It is an honor and privilege having the opportunity to serve as director of MEC’s Leadership Mississippi program and to get to know our alumni from across Mississippi. MEC makes a significant financial commitment to the program every year, which along with registrations and sponsorships keeps the program going. Your alumni financial contribution will help us continue to grow our efforts and improve the program, and explore new ways for engaging our graduates.

Thank you for considering and best wishes for a great holiday season and a prosperous New Year.


Cathy Northington, IOM
Senior Vice President & Chief Administrative Officer
Director, Programs, Leadership & Diversity
Mississippi Economic Council