The Leadership Letter is a monthly newsletter dedicated to announcing current events related to MEC's Leadership Mississippi Program. It is a special publication that highlights alumni and their outstanding work and achievements in the business economy across the state of Mississippi.
Be Leadership Mississippi Proud
Did You Know? MEC’s Leadership Mississippi program is the second oldest leadership program in the country. Yes! Leadership Mississippi has fielded numerous highly influential local, state, and national leaders. Among the ranks of Leadership Mississippi alumni are change-makers in business from not-for-profit organizations and corporate executives to elected officials and entrepreneurs.
Leadership Mississippi excels at serving the needs of the business community. Through education, innovation, and collaboration, it exists to enhance the quality of life in our state. Let everyone know you are part of this thriving alumni community to help extend the reach of our reputational strength and position Leadership Mississippi for even more success.
Here are some additional ways for you to Be Leadership Mississippi Proud:
Become an Investor
After successfully paying your $100 annual contribution, you automatically become an alumni investor. As an investor, you strengthen the program not only for the incoming class but also for you, our program alumni. 
Become a VIP Investor
As VIP Investor, in addition to your annual contribution, you take full advantage of sponsoring at least one of the many Leadership Mississippi sessions and events for either the current class and/or alumni engagement.

There are three ways for you to become an alumni investor by paying your annual contribution:

Pay online by clicking here (most convenient!)
Mail check to: M.B. Swayze Foundation, P.O. Box 23276, Jackson, MS 39325
(please make checks payable to: Leadership Mississippi)
Pay by phone and call Danielle Williams, MEC's Manager of Finance and Administration, on Monday through Friday from 9:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Display Your Leadership Mississippi Plaque
Upon graduation, you should have received a glorious plaque with your name on it, signifying completion in the program. We encourage you to display your Leadership Mississippi plaque at work, on vacation, in your car—wherever it fits! Let your entire network know you are proud to be Leadership Mississippi alumni. Spread the word about your transformative experience in the program. 

Follow, like, and share. Connect with Leadership Mississippi through our website. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, both @LeadershipMS.
Become a Volunteer
Volunteering is one of the best ways to stay connected and learn about MEC and its many programs. Our volunteers are one of the main reasons why our meetings are such a positive experience to our membership base. In the event that alumni volunteers are requested, emails will be sent for you to give back through this level of service. 

Thank you for your continued commitment and support for MEC's Leadership Mississippi.
Cathy Northington
Chief Operating Officer
Alumni Investor Opportunities

As alumni investors, there are two immediate opportunities for you to become involved.

The first is through serving as a volunteer for MEC's Annual Meeting on June 16th. The second is through visiting the "Conversation Corner" the morning of MEC's Annual Meeting.

Volunteer at MEC's Annual Meeting
Whether you are a first-time or seasoned MEC's Annual Meeting attendee, you can help make the upcoming Annual Meeting one to remember! Volunteering is one of the best ways to get connected and learn more about our organization. Our volunteers are one of the main reasons why the conference continues to be a positive experience for our membership. 

MEC's Annual Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at the Jackson Convention Center. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Volunteers are needed for set-up on Tuesday, June 15th and for registration on Wednesday, June 16th. Sign up to volunteer at Annual Meeting by clicking here.

Find out more information about MEC’s 71st Annual Meeting by clicking here

Visit the "Conversation Corner"
During MEC's Annual Meeting, you can participate in the "Conversation Corner", a place where Leadership Mississippi alumni and investors can connect with one another, converse and catch up before Annual Meeting. Inside the "Conversation Corner" will be the all-new LeadershipCam.

At 9:30 and 10:30 a.m., the LeadershipCam will be open and available to all alumni investors. Leadership Mississippi's traveling videographer, Dreka Shavon, Content Producer of Prime Stone Media LLC, will be giving tools and tips for all you need to know in today's fast paced media market.

Dreka is an award-winning storyteller from the state of Mississippi, equipped with years of experience. At the LeadershipCam, located inside the "Conversation Corner", you will learn how to perfectly package media messages that are clear and attractive to your clientele. You won't want to miss it!
Great Things in Store for Leadership Mississippi Alumni Engagement

As we build momentum for a new fiscal year, MEC's Leadership Mississippi has planned some very exciting programs and improvements for alumni engagement.
Some of which includes the opportunity for alumni to automatically become Investors by paying your annual contribution, multi-level sponsorship packages, new programs and initiatives, target areas for collaboration, networking and mentorship and the relaunch of one our most noteworthy virtual series, Coffee and Conversations.

Stay tuned as we plan to roll out one of the best years in alumni engagement!

Leadership Mississippi Class of 2022
Applications Opening Soon
Leadership Mississippi welcomes applicants of all walks of life and varying business backgrounds, ranging from corporate-level executives, entrepreneurs, emerging leaders and community engagers and more.

Our goal is to develop and maintain a network of Mississippians committed to improving the quality of life in our state. Ideal candidates are those who are passionate not only about their home community but about the success of our state. 

Acceptance into the program is determined by a multi-step application process where the number of applicants far exceeds the number of spaces available. A diverse and selected group of judges carefully review each of the qualifying Leadership Mississippi applications. This review board is particularly interested in the extent to which the applicant has been involved in his/her community and in the applicant's interest in continuing and/or expanding involvement both at home and on a broader scale.

Applications for the Class of 2022 will open August 2021.
Leadership Mississippi
Virtual Interest Meeting
Do you know someone--a mentor/mentee, colleague or friend, who would be a tremendous asset to Leadership Mississippi? Have them join our interest meeting.

Our first-ever Leadership Mississippi Interest Meeting will be virtual and held May 20, 2021 from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Please share this link with those you believe are fit for this journey.

The Leadership Mississippi team is eager to welcome the newest cohort of emerging fellows!
The Leadership Mississippi Class of 2020-2021

In the wake of the pandemic, the Class of 2020-2021 got the chance to spend an extra year with us. This year, we have altered the structure of the program year to include hybrid sessions (both in-person and virtual) throughout the remainder of the year.

These fellows will be recognized at MEC's Annual Meeting this June 16th.

The Class of 2021 Fellows

Penney Ainsworth - President & CEO, Boys & Girls Club of Central MS
Julia Bradley - Professor of Practice, School of Accountancy, University of Southern Mississippi
Dr. Suzana Brown - Executive VP of Institutional Advancement, MS Gulf Coast Community College
Dr. Creston Burse - Chief Information Security Officer, MINACT, Inc.
Kristen Crane - Communications/Public Relations, Glass, Inc.
Douglas Cunningham - Director- Program Planning/Production Control, Ingalls Shipbuilding
Mathew Davidson - VP of Rates & Regulatory, Atmos Energy
Kelvin Davis - Director of Student Business Services, Delta State University
Marvin Dickey, Jr. - Special Projects Manager, Southern MS Planning & Development District
Hadley Eisenberger, Esq. - Inspector General/ Deputy Executive Director, MS Dept. of Human Services
Dr. Jeremy Erwin, MD - Chief Medical Director, Magnolia Health, Inc.
Sharendra Evans - Director, The Workplace
Aaron Foster - Group Manager - Human Resources, Toyota Motor North America
Elissa Fulton - Communications Specialist, Electric Cooperatives of MS
Dr. Pamela Gary - CEO, Central Mississippi, Inc.
Shane Germany - Architect, Landry Lewis Germany Architects, PA
Matthew Grice - Comptroller, Mississippi Power
Veronica Haas - Human Resources Lead, Baxter Healthcare Corporation
Ritchie Hampton - Market President, BancorpSouth
Joshua Hancock - Engineer, Entergy Mississippi, Inc.
Leonette Henderson - Director of Development Partnerships, Higher Purpose Co.
Donald Hinton, Jr. - Vice President/General Counsel, Cooperative Energy
Aleesha Hudson - Region Analyst IV, Enbridge
Michelle Kerr - Human Resources Manager, Caterpillar, Inc.
Geoffrey Knesal - Sr. Project Manager, Roy Anderson Corp.
Nicole Martz - Special Events and Promotions Manager, IP Casino Resort & Spa
Matt Mayo - Executive VP & Chief Lending Officer, Community Bank
Sarah Swanner-Medlock - Operations Manager, MS Band of Choctaw Indians
Richie Moore - General Manager, Public Service Commission of Yazoo City
Michael Mosher - Associate Director- Office of Technology Commercialization, The University of Mississippi
Ceejaye Peters - Corporate Counsel, Yates Construction
Kristi Plotner - Director of Behavioral Health Management, FEI Systems
LTC Andrew M. Ratcliffe III - Facility Commander, MS-AVCRAD
Lakeisha White-Richardson, MD - Physician, Delta Health System
Annie Sanders - Founder/Director, Safe Haven Center for Domestic Violence
Ann Sansing - Community Health Coordinator, Mississippi State University
Dr. Tamala Boyd-Shaw - Founder/Executive Director, MS Delta Academies
Dr. Mitchell Shears - Associate VP for Student Success/Executive Director of Title III, Jackson State University
Brad Stevens - President- Amory, Community Bank
Laura Tinsley - Director of Preconstruction Services, Century Construction Group
Dr. Scott Tollison - Provost/ VP for Academic Affairs, Mississippi University for Women
Thomas Walker, Jr. - Partner, Jones Walker, LLP
Ryan Warner - Senior Facility Engineer, Aerojet Rocketdyne
Luke West - CEO, Relias Healthcare
LaShetta Wilder - Bureau Director II of Re-entry and Pre-Release Services, MS Dept. of Corrections
Bryce Yelverton - Consultant, Yelverton Consulting

A.L.L. Mississippi- The Fight For Talent Retention

Advancing, Leveraging and Leading (A.L.L.) Mississippi is an initiative designed to focus on finding ways to first attract talent, then to engage it and finally, to retain it for employers.
When asked, "Which of the following factors most influenced your decision to accept your current job?" A.L.L. Mississippi survey responders indicated:
When asked, "Did you have to make any of the following compromises when you accepted your current job?" A.L.L. Mississippi survey responders indicated:
When asked, "Which of the following things do you believe make an organization an attractive employer?" A.L.L. Mississippi survey responders indicated:
When asked, "Which of the following training/development opportunities do you most value from your employer?" A.L.L. Mississippi survey responders indicated:
When asked, "Which three benefits do you most value from your employer?" A.L.L. Mississippi survey responders indicated:
If you, or someone you know, is between the ages 18-30 and has not yet completed the A.L.L. Mississippi survey, please do so by clicking here.
Your responses help to enhance our survey data and inform strategies to propel us forward as a state in the fight for talent retention of our best and brightest next generation of leaders.
Tim Adler - May 14
Leigh Barber - May 5
Paul Barnes - May 8
Nathaniel Beach - May 9
Paul Bertucci - May 7
Heather Brown - May 20
Jerome Brown - May 29
Taylor Coombs - May 23
Julia Crockett - May 28
Chad Daniels - May 7
Roman Galey - May 24
Sharon Garrison - May 3
John Greenlee - May 25
Charles Greer - May 25
Steven Griffin - May 25
John Hendrix - May 31
William Hodges - May 2
Delaurence Johnson - May 17
Timothy Letzring - May 17
Honorable James Maxwell II - May 4
James McArthur - May 19
Beth McDaniel - May 10
Cynthia Minton - May 1
Shan Montgomery - May 14
Tonya Moore - May 27
James Osbirn - May 23
Micah Poole - May 10
Ashley Rea - May 11
Dr. Jan Reid-Bunch - May 4
Dr. Lynne Richardson - May 7
Dr. Kirk Schulz - May 11
Kirk Sims - May 5
Michael Sims - May 25
Aaron Sisk - May 8
Adam Stone - May 3
Joan Strayham - May 19
Jenny Tate - May 2
Clifton Thach - May 20
Kami Wert - May 2

and all other alumni celebrating May birthdays!

If you have any news you would like to share or see featured in next month's newsletter, let us know!
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We want to stay connected with 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.