Mississippi Economic Council
Leadership Mississippi
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.

"We all carry a responsibility to do what we can when it will make a difference."

- Michael Useem
Dear Leadership Mississippi Alumni,

MEC's Leadership Mississippi, now at age 45, gains its strength from its program graduates--all 1,500 (and counting) of you!  Leadership Mississippi boasts an impressive litany of alumni, including C-Suite executives, school board members, mayors, medical doctors, community advocates, legislators, statewide leaders and even a former state Governor and U.S. Senator! 

In 2005, adversity struck the program as it came to a halt one year post-Hurricane Katrina. At that time, we believed we needed to leverage our resources to help rebuild our state during a time of need, so that  became our focus--the people of our great state.  During that time, we also positioned ourselves to rethink and redesign the brand, the reach and the impact of the program. Today, thirteen successful classes later, we are elated to give the positive report that the changes we made, thus far, have made a tremendous difference in the lives of our focal point--the people of our great state.

It is now 2020, and we face a different adversity, namely COVID-19. It is imperative that the Leadership Mississippi program alumni pull together and use its influence to bend the curve during this national health crisis. Many of your fellow alumni are already providing strong leadership through outreach and compassion.  They are going above and beyond their call of duty to help their workers and their families, and communities at large, navigate this unprecedented and unpredictable crisis more efficiently. 

That is why I am asking you today to continue your acts of outreach and compassion for Leadership Mississippi through your annual contribution. You can give your $100 annual contribution or special recognition anniversary contribution of $145* and any additional donation, great and small. To give now, click here! Your financial gift will help us continue to expand this program to better reach prospective participants - and to build more opportunities for you, our alumni, to engage and network and serve the community.

" Where do we go from here?" you may wonder. Your alumni engagement will determine the shape of things to come. With alumni like you, who have the heart to give and serve, the future is bright. No better time than now to join your fellow alumni in supporting the long-term viability of Leadership Mississippi. 

We call upon you during this time to help provide assistance through membership, financial contribution, in-kind donation, volunteerism and a continued sense of pride.  In return, it is our hope that you receive the reassurance knowing that you contribute to the continued growth and sustenance of the program you hold dear--a program that is truly making a difference in Mississippi's present and for Mississippi's future. 

Together, we have faced adversity and together, undaunted by the fight, arise better than before!

If you have any questions or wish to further discuss your contribution options, please reach out to me at cnorthington@msmec.com. 

For future updates about the impact of COVID-19 on chamber operations and events, keep an eye on Leadership Mississippi's  website and MEC's coronavirus resource page.

*For the first 45 alumni contributors of $145 that give by April 30th (date extended due to COVID-19), your 45th Anniversary Contribution will be recognized as "The Circle of 45" and listed in our MEC Annual Report that circulates among our 10,000+ MEC members.

Again, thank you for your continued contribution to Leadership Mississippi.  

We appreciate you! 

Sincerely yours,

Cathy Northington
Chief Operating Officer
Mississippi Economic Council
Coffee and Conversations

"Coffee and Conversations"

We held the first virtual Coffee and Conversations with Maj. General (Retired) Augustus Collins on March 31st on the topic of Leadership During A Crisis: Through the Lens of a Retired Military Veteran. It was a huge success!  If you were unable to tune-in to the live conversation,  here is your opportunity to hear what you missed!

Leadership Mississippi will be hosting the following Coffee and Conversations sessions during the month of April. We hope that you will find them engaging, insightful and encouraging as we conquer the COVID-19 pandemic together.


As a sponsor of MEC's Leadership Mississippi Coffee and Conversations, we will proudly display your logo on the series registration page, LM social media banners, within the virtual conferencing platform and on pertinent emails that reach our audience. 

We want our state and local communities to recognize the generous contributors who help make Coffee and Conversations a success. Please email Cathy Northington at cnorthington@msmec.com for more information on sponsorship. 

Upcoming Sessions

Thursday, April 9, 2020, 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.  

"COVID-19 and The Impact on Teachers, Parents and K-12 Students" 

with  Dr. Barbara Logan Smith, Class of 2015,  Executive Director at Teach for America: Greater Delta, Mississippi & Arkansas,  James Williams, Class of 2015, National Facilitator for the Center on Education and the Economy and  Dr. Jason Dean, Chair of the State Board of Education

Tuesday, April 14, 2020, 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

"Protecting Consumers During the COVID-19 Pandemic"

with Attorney General Lynn Fitch, Class of 1995-1996

Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

"COVID-19: The Evolution of Healthcare"

with Dr. Tearsanee Davis, Class of 2017, Director of Clinical and Advanced Practice Operations for the Center of Telehealth at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and Phyllis Johnson, Class of 1997-1998, Executive Director of the Mississippi Board of Nursing; More speakers to be announced for this session

Registration for this series is required. To register, click here.

Grab your favorite mug and flavor of coffee and join us online all month long.
Post a picture using #CoffeeAndCoversationWithLM on Facebook!

Leadership Mississippi Alumni across the state are continuing to do remarkable things in the fight against COVID-19. Here are a couple more of their stories:

Rosalyn Howard - Class of 2006
Mississippi Nurses Foundation, Executive Director; Mississippi Nurses Foundation Board of Directors

Serving the state by enacting the Nurse in Need Program. " The Mississippi Nurses Foundation Nurse in Need program provides financial assistance up to $500 to Mississippi nurses who are members of the Mississippi Nurses Association during hardship, such as a loss of employment, physical injury, disaster, travel cost, childcare, supplies, etc."

Phyllis Johnson - Class of 1997-1998
Mississippi Board of Nursing, Executive Director

Serving the state by enacting a temporary disaster permit as a means to offset the current healthcare needs. "This new guideline will allow retired nurses, recent nursing school graduates and other eligible nursing applicants to receive a 120-day permit that will allow them to work within their scope of practice and provide more healthcare service to patients across the State of Mississippi."

Chris Monsour - Class of 2019 
AnderCorp, General Manager/Project Executive

Serving the Gulf Coast community by locating additional N-95 medical masks for Memorial Hospital at Gulfport. " We would like to thank those who assisted our team through the effort of locating and delivering the much needed supplies to our medical heroes as we continue the fight vs. COVID-19."

To see the previous list of Leadership Mississippi alumni COVID-19 relief efforts,

R. Mark Alexander, Jr. - April 28
Dr. Sumesh Arora  - April 13
Martha Cooke  - April 12
Ramel Cotton  - April 13
Christopher Espy  - April 24
David Estorge  - April 26
S. Trent Favre April 8
Keith Ferguson  - April 7
Cari Field  - April 14
Judy Forester  - April 2
Brad Gatlin  - April 10
Nora Ginn  - April 19
Lee Green  - April 19
Dr. Tangela Hales  - April 7
Michael Harvey  - April 24
Tyrone Hendrix  - April 29
Cynthia Hines - April 22
Jamie Holder  - April 16
Rosalyn Howard  - April 10
Dr. Loretta Jackson-Williams - April 14
Elissa Johnson -  April 3
Kina Johnson  - April 5
Dr. Samuel Jones  - April 24
Robert Lesley - April 20
Heather Martin  - April 8
Dr. Elizabeth Myles  - April 10
William Nicholas  - April 7
Grady Palmer, Jr. - April 23
Margaret Perkins - April 8
Brant Pettis  - April 7
Brian Ramsey  - April 27
Amy Reed - April 17
Douglas Rouse, III  - April 19
Tosha Taylor - April 24
E. Bradley Tisdale  - April 13
Edward W. Turnage, III - April 25
Macaulay Whitaker  - April 5
Mary Cates Williams - April 2
Greg Word - April 23

and all other alumni celebrating April  birthdays!

If you have any news you would like to share or see featured in next month's newsletter, let us know! Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter @LeadershipMS. 
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.

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

Visit Our Website