President's Report
April 2016 Issue 02

Flim sets and movie crews are becoming a more common sight along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, as a growing number of filmmakers have discovered South Mississippi as one of the nation's hot new destinations for film production. 

Given the tremendous opportunity that exists for growth in the film industry, the Gulf Coast Business Council has decided to focus its 2016 Masters Program on "Elevating the Film Industry on the Mississippi Gulf Coast".  This year's Masters Class will act as a think tank to study challenges facing our burgeoning film industry and will create a regional strategy aimed at fully realizing the film-related opportunities that exist in Coastal Mississippi.

The Gulf Coast Business Council Masters Program was developed in 2007 to identify and develop emerging leaders in our region. In recent years, the class has chosen to tackle a specific area of opportunity for the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  In 2016, the class will explore the best practices of other communities that have attracted the film industry, recommend infrastructure necessary to sustain the industry regionally, and provide recommendations for public policies designed to incentivize film industry growth.

The Master's program consists of 8 sessions held from May through November, each designed around a program that creates a practical application forum where the curriculum is applied to build individual leadership skills and enhance group leadership capacities, focusing on a common regional theme.

In June, the class will visit another city in the United States that is a model for success in the film industry to learn how other regions have drawn upon their unique regional assets to leverage the film industry as an economic driver.

Throughout the year, the class will have the opportunity to meet and dialogue with leaders and strategists with expertise in the film industry. The culmination of the Masters Program sessions will result in the class developing a position paper on recommended film industry growth strategies and solutions that will be presented to the board and membership of the Gulf Coast Business Council. The class will sustain its work after 2016 by engaging in implementing their recommendations through the Business Council's ongoing program of work.

The deadline to apply for the 2016 Masters Program is this Friday - April 8th at 5 pm. To read more about the program and to download an application, please visit or call our office 228-897-2020.

Thank you for your commitment to the future of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. We look forward to working with all of you to continue to grow the film industry in Coastal Mississippi.

Ashley Edwards 
Ashley Edwards | Gulf Coast Business Council | 228.897.2020 |
In Case You Missed It 
Our guest speaker in March was Tony Jeff, President & CEO, Innovate Mississippi. 

Tony enlightened the membership on "How Mississippi is Growing Technology and Innovation".
Be on the lookout for notice of their next Discovery Luncheon scheduled for Wednesday, April 27, 2016, to be held at the Knight Nonprofit Center. 

The Gulf Coast Business Council is a co-sponsor of this event.
For more on Innovate Mississippi, visit their website

The report also includes updates on Sales Tax Diversions, Tourism, and Real Estate and Economic Development.
For the complete report, click on the link below:  

Next Membership Meeting
April 26th - 8:00am 
Knight Nonprofit Center in the
Regions Banquet Room

Please join us at the next membership meeting as we welcome special guest speaker State Treasurer Lynn Fitch.


Leadership Gulf Coast Applications Now Available!

Leadership Gulf Coast (LGC), a program of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce, Inc., has announced that applications for the incoming 2016-2017
class are now available.
Leadership Gulf Coast is a program designed to prepare the area's current and potential leaders for the future. The goal is to create a communication network among present and emerging leaders dedicated to the improvement of the Mississippi Gulf Coast through understanding real issues and opportunities within our community. The program began in 1990 and has graduated nearly 900 leaders.
"This year, Leadership Gulf Coast will celebrate 25 years of nurturing leaders through a series of educational sessions that work to enhance one's leadership skills and knowledge," said Angie Juzang, chair of the 2016-2017 Leadership Gulf Coast Board of Trustees. "25 years in existence is a testimony to the success of the participants and organizers of the program. I am proud to be a graduate because it has been an invaluable part of my personal and professional development. If you think you know everything there is to know about coast life, think again. Having access to speakers and resources one otherwise would not have access to is irreplaceable. I look forward to meeting this year's class and celebrating their successes."
Applications can be downloaded from under the "Leadership Gulf Coast" tab or CLICK HERE . To be considered for next year's class, the application must be received by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce, Inc. office no later than 5:00 p.m. on May 6.
For additional information regarding LGC, contact LGC Liaison, Olivia Munn at 228-604-0014 or More information about LGC is available at  
The deadline for Masters Class applications has been extended to Friday, April 8, 2016 .
Please submit your applications ASAP for this year's class - "Elevating the Film Industry on the Mississippi Gulf Coast"

The Masters Class Application can be found at the following link: 

Welcome New Members

Join us in welcoming the following new member for March:

  • Cheli Strumila, CEO, Coast Observer Magazine 
The Mission of the Gulf Coast Business Council is to grow a sustainable diversified economy, recognized for its creativity, highly skilled workforce and favorable business environment that complements the livability of our communities and provides for opportunities and benefits to all citizens along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Gulf Coast Business Council | 228.897.2020 | |