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2017 Masters Program participants announced by the Gulf Coast Business Council

The Gulf Coast Business Council has selected 28 Gulf Coast leaders to participate in the 2017 Masters Leadership Program (full list on page two of the release). The program was developed in 2007 to identify and develop emerging leaders of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, while also serving as a “think tank” to create strategies to enhance the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

“This year’s class represents an impressive and diverse group of Coast leaders who have been recognized for their professional and personal achievements. We thank them for dedicating their time and expertise over the next year to finding solutions to elevate the economy of the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” said Ashley Edwards, President & CEO of the Gulf Coast Business Council.

The 2017 Program theme is “Blueprint Gulf Coast”. Through the Blueprint Gulf Coast initiative, GCBC Masters Leadership Program participants will create a roadmap to transform the economic landscape of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The 2017 Masters Program “Think Tank” will identify key economic pillars that will become the foundation for the Coast’s future economic prosperity and viability. The Gulf Coast Business Council will convene future Masters Program think tanks around the key pillars identified by the 2017 Masters Class. Each year the group will visit a U.S. city that has demonstrated best practices associated with one of the key pillars. This year the class will visit Nashville, Tennessee to study how leaders there have put into place key components of their economic blueprint and learn how they have drawn upon their own regional assets to affect change in the greater Nashville Community.

The Master’s program consists of 8 sessions held from April through November. These sessions are designed to develop and enhance critical leadership skills of Gulf Coast leaders. The theme-based program creates a practical application forum where the curriculum is applied to build individual leadership skills and enhance group leadership capacities. The culmination of these sessions and field study will result in the class developing a position paper on recommended solutions and courses of action that will be presented to the Gulf Coast Business Council. Final white paper reports from previous classes can be found on the Gulf Coast Business Council website: www.msgcbc.org

The Gulf Coast Business Council engages top executives of businesses – large and small – to be the united voice on public policy issues important to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, to serve as a facilitating organization and help develop future leaders. The Gulf Coast Business Council champions common economic and business interests through identifying issues, convening resources, framing public policy and finding solutions for the Mississippi Gulf Coast.


The 2017 Gulf Coast Business Council Research Foundation Masters Class

  •   Roderick Mark Alexander, Jr.
    Law Partner | Balch & Bingham, LLP
  •   Renee’ Areng
    Executive Director | Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast
  •   Emily Burke
    Public Relations Manager | IP Casino Resort & Spa
  •   Damita Caldwell
    Director, Operations | Huntington Ingalls, Inc.
  •   Douglas Cunningham
    Director, Production Control & Program Planning | Huntington Ingalls, Inc.
  •   Geneva Dummer
    Owner/Operator | The Meeting Place, LLC
  •   Felicity Edwards
    Grant Administrator| Covington Civil & Environmental, LLC
  •   Jade Ferguson
    Government & Community Affairs | MS Public Service Commission, Southern District
  •   Shelby Fox
    Executive Director/Operations Manager | Knight Nonprofit Center
  •   Leslie Henderson
    Owner/Operator | Lazy Magnolia Brewery
  •   Mark Henderson
    Co-Founder | LogLinear Group
  •   Andrew Hinkebein
    Southern District Representative | Office of U.S. Senator Roger Wicker
  •   Ben Hunter
    Director Sales & Marketing | The Focus Group
  •   Angela Juzang
    Director Marketing & Business | Garden Park Medical Center
  •   Cynthia Lamb
    Manager Client Relations | Pickering Firm, Inc.
  •   Haley Martin
    Managing Partner/Owner | PayneMartin | H. Martin, Attny at Law
  •   Paul Mickle
    Chief Scientific Officer | MS Department of Marine Resources
  •   Catherine Meinrich President | MPS Grants
  •   Gifford Ormes
    Manager, Legislative Affairs | Mississippi Power Company
  •   Joseph Kreg Overstreet
    Senior Project Manager | Neel-Schaffer, Inc.

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