Russ tapped as Mississippi Economic Development Council president

Published 12:16 am Tuesday, October 8, 2019

NATCHEZ — Natchez, Inc. Executive Director Chandler Russ has been selected President of the Mississippi Economic Development Council for the 2019-2020 year.

“I’m honored that my peers and colleagues from across the state selected me to lead the organization, especially for this coming year,” said Russ, who is in his third year of serving on the MEDC, the past year as president elect.

Russ, who was sworn in as president of the MEDC late last month, said the upcoming year is important for the MEDC.

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“This year will be an interesting year, since it is an election year,” Russ said. “The membership and leadership have chosen to make sure that it has significant participation in the transition team for whomever is elected governor of the state toward economic development, so that will be a big push of our membership this year.”

The MEDC is made up of some 500 members statewide, consisting of economic development organizations, chambers of commerce and stakeholders in economic development.

Members select members and officers, Russ said, of the organization that meets monthly in Jackson to support economic development efforts throughout the state “through advocacy, collaboration, education and by providing resources to its members, the organization states.”

Russ also is the first person from Natchez and Adams County to serve as president of the MEDC since it was founded in 1937.

“I’m honored my peers and colleagues across the state have selected me to serve in this position for the coming year, and I’m proud of my colleagues and to represent Natchez and Adams County on the Council,” Russ said. “It is an election year and a transition year for the economic development landscape.”

The MEDC 2019-2020 Officers are Russ of Natchez with Natchez, Inc. as president; Mitch Stringer of Jackson with Cooperative Energy as president-elect; Guy Johnson of Bay St. Louis with Coast Electric Power Association as secretary/ treasurer; and William Scaggs of West Point with North Mississippi Industrial Development Association as immediate past-president. The Vice Presidents are Valencia Williamson of Hattiesburg with Area Development Partnership as vice president of Chamber Development; Allison Hawkins of Gulfport with Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District as vice president of Community Development; Pablo Diaz of Vicksburg with Vicksburg-Warren County Economic Development Partnership as vice president of Economic Development; and Hunter Aycock of Tupelo with the Community Development Foundation as vice president of Emerging Leaders.

The 2019-2020 Board Members are Britt Herrin of Senatobia with Tate County Economic Development Foundation representing District 1; Clayton Stanley of Corinth with The Alliance representing District 2; Angela Curry of Greenwood with Greenwood Leflore Carroll Economic Development Foundation representing District 3; Glen Haab of Louisville with Winston County Economic Development District Partnership representing District 4; Joey Deason of Madison with Madison County Economic Development Authority representing District 5; Garrick Combs of Brookhaven with Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber and IDF representing District 6; Lori Watts of Columbia with Marion County Development Partnership representing District 7; and Janel Carothers of Kiln with Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission. Stacey Lester of Jackson with Mississippi Power Company and Ed Gardner of Jackson with the Entergy Mississippi, Inc. are Members At-Large. Glenn McCullough, Jr. of Jackson with the Mississippi Development Authority as Ex-Officio Member.

The Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC) Mississippi representative on the MEDC Board is Jon Maynard of Oxford with Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation and Chamber of Commerce. The SEDC Alternate Director is Tom Troxler of Brandon with Rankin First Economic Development Authority. Chance McDavid of Jackson with the Mississippi Development Authority will serve as the committee chairman for the scholarships and Community Economic Development Awards.