Mississippi Economic Council
Leadership Mississippi

Every day is a great day to appreciate a veteran for his or her service. However, it is particularly important on today, November 11, otherwise known as "Veterans Day".

Veterans come from all occupations and backgrounds and through your service, you have made an enormous contribution to our nation.
MEC's Leadership Mississippi Program takes this time out to recognize all of our veterans for your exemplary and inspirational leadership and commitment to serving our country. Though words cannot describe what you mean to our country, we want to say Thank You from the bottom of our hearts!

MEC's Leadership Mississippi program wanted to hear from our alumni who have served in asking, "What is your... Military affiliation? Proudest moment while serving? and "Leadership Lesson" you would like to share?"

The intent is to shine light on those who have served in the military and often go unrecognized for their contribution to our country.

To the veterans of all branches: 
Thank you for your sacrifice, your bravery, and the example you set for us all! 

Thank you for your service!
When asked, "What is/was your... 
1) Military affiliation?
2) Proudest moment while serving?
3) "Leadership Lesson" you would like to share?"

This is what our Leadership Mississippi alumni and veterans had to say:

Major General Augustus Collins (Retired)
Class of 2012

"My final assignment in the Army was as the Adjutant General for the Mississippi National Guard.  Although, I am pretty proud of holding that position, my proudest moment came when I was selected to command the 155th Brigade Combat Team and deploy that formation to the Iraqi Theater of Operations in January 2005.  Leading and serving with almost 5000 of the most dedicated men and women in combat was the highlight of my 35 years in uniform.  If I was to give a leadership lesson, I would simply say be open-minded and judge your subordinates based on their performance.  You can never tell who will step up and save the day." 

Command Chief Master Sergeant Joseph Moss (Retired)
Class of 2016

"One of the greatest opportunities in my life and my career is to be a member of the Mississippi Air National Guard. It gave me the opportunity to work with some outstanding individuals. The men and women of the 172nd are truly heroes. The men and women that serve the department of defense and the other divisions-anybody that wears a military uniform, I have the utmost respect for."

LTC LaKetter Cannon
Class of 2017

"I'm currently serving as Assistant Chief of Staff, Personnel, for 184th Expeditionary Sustainment Command in Monticello, MS.  I have over 27 years of service in Mississippi Army National Guard.  I'm most proud when a soldier gives thanks for positive impact and help I've given.  This is my ultimate goal each day.  I want to make an impact and pour into soldiers in hopes that it's paid forward and improves the Army.  

Leadership Lesson: Be a lifelong learner. Never let a position or title convince you that you know it all. Continue to grow and learn. Remember that you can learn from anyone including mentors, peers and subordinates."  

LTC Deidre D. Smith
Class of 2018

"I am a U.S. Army Soldier with more than 22 years of service on active duty and in the Mississippi Army National Guard.  I served fourteen years on active duty with two deployments.  I have served in various locations across the United States with service in Germany, Turkey, Afghanistan and during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

I have been blessed with so many opportunities to serve during my military career that it is difficult to pinpoint one individual achievement while serving as a U.S. Army Soldier.  I take great encouragement knowing that I can be a positive motivating force in someone else's life and military career.  It is an amazing feeling being part of something that is greater than yourself.  My proudest moment in life is the birth of my daughter.  In the military,  I humbly take pride in the achievements of my team, knowing that we put our hearts and souls into every mission we do.  There is a great amount of pride in the accomplishments of a job well done while serving others." 

Leadership Lesson: "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much will be asked." - Luke 12:48 

 LTC Frederick E. Varnado
Class of 2007

"As an Army-retired Lieutenant Colonel, I'm thankful to have served our Nation from 1975-1995 as a Military Intelligence Officer. One of my most memorable moments was my assignment at The Pentagon. During my 20-year career, I was blessed to have served with outstanding Enlisted, Non-Commissioned, Commissioned, Warrant and General Officers who upheld our Army Core Values (Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless-Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage). As a Veteran, I'll continue to be a servant-leader.

If you have any news you would like to share or see featured in next month's newsletter, let us know!

We hope to hear from you!
Our Mission

To build a strong diverse network of leaders from every corner of the state balanced with a broad variety of leadership abilities and career accomplishments creating a core of individuals committed to Mississippi's future.

MEC's Leadership Mississippi is a program of the 

M.B. Swayze Foundation 
Mississippi Economic Council - The State Chamber of Commerce

248 E. Capitol Street, Suite 940 - Jackson, Mississippi 39201

P.O. Box 23276 - Jackson, Mississippi 39225-3276

Phone: 601-969-0022 - 1-800-748-7626

Fax: 601-353-0247 - 1-888-717-2809

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