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Cooper elected Mississippi Press Association president

BILOXI—A career newspaperman from Natchez was elected president of the state newspaper media trade group during its annual convention on Mississippi’s gulf coast.

Kevin Cooper, Senior Vice President/Digital and Special Projects for Boone Newspapers, Inc., was elected to serve as leader of the Board of Directors for the Mississippi Press Association at its 153rd Annual Convention June 21.

Cooper, 48, is the former longtime publisher and editor of The Natchez Democrat and has served on the MPA Board since 2012. A Gulf Coast native, he is a 1993 journalism graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi and member of its School of Communication Hall of Fame.

Cooper, an accomplished photojournalist, served as a staff photographer for The Natchez Democrat after graduating, and eventually moved to Biloxi as a photographer for The Sun Herald. He rejoined Boone Newspapers in 1998 as a management trainee and returned to Natchez before being named its managing editor in 1999. He later served as publisher of the Boone-owned Ironton (Ohio) Tribune and once again returned to Natchez as publisher in 2006.

He was named to his current position in early 2019.

Cooper and his wife, Julie, a former editor for The Natchez Democrat and Natchez the Magazine, have two children, Anna and James.

Cooper will also a serve concurrently as president of Mississippi Press Services, an advertising and marketing subsidiary of MPA.

The publisher of The Winona Times and The Conservative in Carrollton was elected to serve a three-year term on the Board. Amanda Sexton Ferguson started her newspaper career at her hometown newspaper, The Southaven Press, where she was eventually named editor.  She also spent five years as the Communications Coordinator for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-South, directing the organization’s marketing, public relations, and brand development. She joined the Times in 2007.

Lisa Bryant of The Pontotoc Progress was elected to fill a two-year unexpired term. Bryant began working in the newspaper industry in 1991 at the Progress as an advertising consultant. She later served as advertising manager and general manager before being named Associate Publisher/Community Newspapers for Tupelo-based Journal, Inc., the parent company of the Progress.

Also elected to officer positions were First Vice President Jack Ryan of the Enterprise-Journal in McComb, Second Vice President Stephanie Patton of The Leland Progress, and Treasurer George R. “Russell” Turner of The Greene County Herald in Leakesville.

Paul Keane, publisher of The Wayne County News in Waynesboro, becomes Immediate Past President of the Association and Chairman of the Board for the Mississippi Press Association Education Foundation.

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