News & Events

Leadership Mississippi Class of 2017
Graduates at Old Capitol Inn

class photo

MEC's Leadership Mississippi program is proud to announce the 50 graduates of the Class of 2017.

The Class of 2017 celebrated their completion of the program at a graduation ceremony held earlier today at the Old Capitol Inn in Jackson. Participants completed five sessions in locations across Mississippi: Jackson, Camp Shelby, the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Brookhaven, and Greenville.

Leadership Mississippi is the second oldest statewide leadership program in the nation and is conducted by the M.B. Swayze Foundation. Since its inception in 1974, Leadership Mississippi has graduated more than 1,300 alumni active in Mississippi business and politics. Mississippi’s top business executives have participated in Leadership Mississippi as a way to expand their networks. Many elected leaders, including a former governor, are graduates and recognize the value of the Leadership Mississippi experience.

Congratulations to the Class of 2017!

Frankie Adair
Thania Averett
Heather F. Bennett
Jerry Bennett
Vernell Bennett, Ed.D.
Christa Rouse Bishop
Caron Blanton, APR
Steven Blaylock
Kent Bloodworth
Kevin Burgess
Greg Burks
Laketter Cannon
Chris Champion
John Coughlin
Tearsanee Davis
Navketan Desai
Cindy Duvall
Lee Ann Foreman
Judy Forester
Rodney Francis
Felicia Gavin
Jacqueline Gibson, Ed.D.
Lee A. Green
Terrell Grindle
Alex Harvey
Greg Hodges
Benjie Houston
Elissa Johnson
Blaine LaFontaine
Clayton Legear
Jenny Levens
Emily Scheuer Lowe
Lashaundra McCarty
Jamie McKenzie
Charlie Moomaw
W. Abram Orlansky
Jason Patterson
Amanda Rebecca Price
Amy Reed
Chanda Latara Roby, Esq.
Kantera Ruff
Sandy Sanford
LaMarcus Smith
Jason Snider
Matthew A. Taylor
Brett Thompson-May, J.D.
Amy L. Walker
Hunter Walters
Ashley Wicks
Allyson L. Winter

 

Leadership Mississippi Applications are Now Closed

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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.

Jason Patterson Awarded Bob W. Pittman
Leadership Mississippi Media Scholarship

Jason PattersonCongratulations to Jason Patterson, editor and publisher of The Yazoo Herald, for being awarded the Bob W. Pittman Leadership Mississippi Media Scholarship for the Class of 2017!

This scholarship grants one member of the media the opportunity to travel the state with the Leadership Mississippi Class of 2017 on a full scholarship.

This scholarship is ONLY available to members of the media.

Congratulations, Jason!

lm class photo 2017

Leadership Mississippi Holds First Session of 2017

Session Focuses on State Government

The Leadership Mississippi Class of 2017 got off to an exciting start on February 2-3, 2017, as they held the first session of 2017 in Jackson. The session focused on state government and featured state leaders who provided insight on the functions and challenges of serving in that capacity. They also participated in a congressional insight activity focused on the experience of serving as a legislator.

The class heard from cartoonist and author Marshall Ramsey, Mississippi Supreme Court Justice James D. Maxwell II (Class of 07-08), and from Leadership Mississippi alumni serving as state legislators.

The next session for the Leadership Mississippi Class of 2017 will be held at Camp Shelby on March 30-31, 2017.

Leadership Mississippi Announces 2017 Session Dates & Locations

The Mississippi Economic Council’s Leadership Mississippi program has recently announced the session dates and locations for the 2017 calendar year. The Class of 2017 will visit five locations throughout Mississippi, culminating with graduation on December 1, 2017.

Congratulations to the host cities for Leadership Mississippi 2017!

  • Jackson - February 2nd-3rd
  • Camp Shelby - March 30th -31st
  • Mississippi Gulf Coast - June 15th -16th
  • Brookhaven - August 24th -25th
  • Greenville - November 9th - 10th
  • Graduation - December 1st

Each year, Leadership Mississippi travels across the state, visiting locations in every region of Mississippi and learning about the culture, history, and economic impact of every corner of our beautiful Magnolia State.

Whether its visiting Mississippi’s state capital of Jackson, diving deep into the Mississippi Gulf Coast, strategizing about the military impact in our state at Camp Shelby, learning about the rich culture of the Mississippi Delta in Greenville, or taking time to relax in beautiful Brookhaven, the Class of 2017 has an exciting year ahead!

We hope to see you at one of our six Leadership Mississippi sessions in 2017!

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.

Sincerely,

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

Atmos Energy’s Whittle Selected 2017
Chair of MEC’s Leadership Mississippi

MINACT Inc.’s Collins Selected as Vice Chair

Mississippi Economic Council’s (MEC) Leadership Mississippi Program selected Patrice (Michelle) Hardy Whittle of Atmos Energy as the 2017 Chair. MINACT, Inc.’s Maj. Gen. Augustus Leon Collins has been selected as the 2017 Vice Chair. Whittle is a 2015 Leadership Mississippi graduate. Collins is a 2012 Leadership Mississippi graduate.

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Leadership Mississippi Holds Graduation for Class of 2016 

 

Major General Augustus L. Collins (Class of 2012), CEO of MINACT Incorporated, gave the keynote speech at graduation.

Fifty-two standout Mississippians recently graduated from the 2016 Class of Leadership Mississippi, the nation’s second oldest leadership program. A graduation ceremony was held on December 2, 2016 at the Jackson Convention Complex.

The Class of 2016 held sessions in Jackson, DeSoto County, the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Camp Shelby, and Greenwood. Edmond Hughes (Class of 2012) of Ingalls Shipbuilding served as Leadership Mississippi 2016 Chair.

Leadership Mississippi has graduated 42 classes since 1974 and boasts more than 1,1000 graduates located across the state and nation. The program is endowed through a generous contribution by the late J.C. and Annie Redd. The program is conducted through the M.B. Swayze Foundation.

Leadership Mississippi Class of 2016 Graduates

  • Mende M. Alford
  • Stacy W. Andrews
  • La Shon F. Brooks
  • Brian Broussard
  • Gaye Broyles
  • Jennifer Buster
  • Robert Cesaro
  • Reatha H. Clark
  • Martha Campbell Cooke
  • Ramel Cotton
  • Michael F. Davis
  • Jen Dearman
  • Cheryl Duhon
  • Jan Farve, PHR
  • Lynn Frisby
  • Gunner Goad
  • Casey Graham
  • Gerad Hardy
  • Michael Harvey
  • Mark Henderson
  • Aaron Hill
  • Bradley Holder
  • Rosalyn Howard, M.Ed
  • Shane Imbert
  • Meagan O. Linton, Esq.
  • Michael Lipski
  • Stuart P. Lott, Esq.
  • Clark C. Luke
  • Michael Marino
  • Robert R. Maxwell Jr.
  • John Lonzo McCarty
  • LTC Brent McCullouch
  • Beth McDaniel
  • Paul E. Mize
  • Shan Montgomery
  • Deanne M. Mosley
  • Joseph W. Moss
  • Jamie D. Osbirn
  • M. Brant Pettis
  • Amanda Howell Price
  • Brian Ramsey
  • Kurt Readus
  • Stephanie Rebman
  • Dovie Reed
  • Ramona Seabron-Williams
  • Kirk Sims
  • Adam Stone
  • Clifton Thach
  • Clay A. Wagner
  • Wesley Webb
  • Kami Wert
  • Macaulay Whitaker

Leadership Mississippi Class of 2016 Learns About Education, Culture in the Delta

The Leadership Mississippi Class of 2016 recently held an exciting session focusing on Education & Culture in the Mississippi Delta on November 10-11, 2016.

Class participants learned about the education system in Mississippi, discussing strategy, challenges, and impact on Mississippi's culture & economy.

They also discussed history and heritage of the Mississippi Delta, a wellspring of music, literature, adventure, imagination, history and plain old fun. From Native Americans to cotton barons, Pulitzer-Prize winners, Civil Rights leaders, Bluesmen, poets and inventors, the Mississippi Delta is as unique as it is rich in the cultural history of Mississippi,

They had a great time in the Mississippi Delta!

Class of 2016 Holds First-Ever Military Session at Camp Shelby

lm camp shelby class

Leadership Mississippi recently hosted its first-ever military session at Camp Shelby on August 25 & 26!

lm camp shelby hughes collinsLeadership MS Chair Edmond Hughes (left) and Maj. Gen. Augustus Collins at the Camp Shelby Session. They graduated from the Leadership Mississippi program in 2012.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 2016 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 Maj. Gen. Augustus Collins in his last public appearance before retiring as Adjutant General of Mississippi!

You Can Watch a Live Stream of Maj. Gen. Collins Here

Special Thanks to Our Sponsors:

  • Area Development Partnership
  • Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center (CSJFTC)
  • Hattiesburg Clinic
  • Guaranty Trust Company
  • The First, A National Banking Association

Leadership Mississippi Past Chair Robin Robinson

Named 2016-2017 MEC Chair

 

DSC 19472016-2017 MEC Chair Robin Robinson (center) with MEC President/CEO Blake Wilson (left) and 2015-2016 MEC Chair David Gates at the 2016 MEC Annual Meeting.

At last week's MEC PowerPlay - The 67th Annual Meeting, Leadership Mississippi Past Chair and Past M.B. Swayze Foundation Chair Robin Robinson became the 2016-2017 MEC Chair. She succeeds Leadership Mississippi alumni and past Chair David Gates of Atmos Energy (Class of 2008) as MEC Chair.

Robinson is Director of Organization Development and Corporate Communication at Sanderson Farms, Inc., which is a publicly held, vertically integrated poultry company with $1.9 billion in sales. Sanderson Farms has operations in Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Georgia and North Carolina, employs over 11,000 employees, and is the third largest poultry company in the United States.

Robin was a member of the Leadership Mississippi Class of 1988-1989.

Congratulations Robin!

Leadership Mississippi Holds First Session of 2016

2016 class photo

The Leadership Mississippi Class of 2016 recently held its first session in Jackson, focusing on state government. 

After the initial registraiton, the 53-member class heard from political analysts Andy Taggart and Jere Nash, participated in a political election exercise with Tyson Elbert from the John C. Stennis Institute of Government, and held an Alumni Reception at Duling Hall in downtown Jackson.

On the second day of the opening session, the class participated in a DiSC Behavioral Profile Analysis activity before hearing from Supreme Court Justice James Maxwell and touring the State Capitol.

The next session for the Class of 2016 will be held on April 7 & 8 in DeSoto County.

Leadership Mississippi Announces Class of 2016

Leadership Mississippi is proud to announce the Class of 2016!

Click Here for a Full List of Leadership Mississippi Class of 2016 Participants

The 52-member Leadership Mississippi Class of 2016 will kick off 2016 with its first session in Jackson on February 4-5. The Class will hold sessions in DeSoto County, on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, at Camp Shelby, in Greenwood and will return to Jackson for the final session and for Graduation.

 


Leadership Mississippi Session Map 2016

MECMap16

 

Session 1
February 4 - 5
Jackson

Session 2
March 24 - 25
DeSoto County

Session 3
June 9 - 10
Mississippi Gulf Coast

Session 4
August 25 - 26
Camp Shelby

Session 5
November 10 - 11
Greenwood

Session 6
December 2 - Graduation
Jackson