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WINGING IT ON THE WATERWAY. Rare Birds and Others Flock to the Tenn-Tom.

BAM! In the age of the celebrity chef, MUW’s Culinary Arts Institute booms, serving food with thought.


Cleared For Take-Off. GTRA begins $13 million in expansion of runway, facilities and service.

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features 8 18 24 30 36 60 64 68

Cleared for Take-off GTRA begins $13 million in expansion of runway, facilities and services. The Stark Contrast Stark leads rather than follows with quality manpower and unmanned aerial systems success. Artful Lodgings Historic homes and buildings lead charmed lives of Service. Forget the Early Bird Special Baby boomers find a satisfying menu of retirement choices. Bam! In the age of the celebrity chef, MUW’s Culinary Arts Institute booms, serving food with thought. Non-Still Life 60 Those who do also teach in MUW’s Art Department. Cream of the Crop Fresh ideas yield big benefits, big awards for Downtown Columbus. The Big Finish At Columbus high schools, the junior-senior years are the jumpstart of a lifetime.


We are Columbus, Mississippi. We are a river town. We were born along the banks of the Tombigbee and today we use the river as our playground. We are a university town. We are home to America’s oldest state supported women’s college and the energy the students bring to our place. We are a military town. We train the pilots that defend our country and freedom around the world. We are a historic town. We gather to celebrate our place in lovingly restored homes and our nationally acclaimed downtown. We are a progressive town. We build the things that supply the world and we train the people who do the building. We are each of these things yet so much more… we are Columbus, a diverse community that has come together with the spirit to persevere, to prosper, and to succeed. We invite





you to explore the place we call home… come to Columbus and discover a new world.


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Getting a handle on the perfect house Decide where you want to wake up and smell the coffee. Guiding Lights 100 Black Men brightens the future with mentoring and more. Community Briefs Columbus is buzzing with activity. Bringing All of Columbus to the Table Devotion to food and family is the recipe for Table of Plenty’s success. Sizing Up the Future. At the GTR Global Industrial Aerospace Park, a $17.5 million infrastructure investment lays the groundwork for the next phase of growth. Winging it on the Waterway Rare birds and others flock to the Tenn-Tom. Eventful Columbus If it’s here, it’s happening. Most in Translation Columbus Air Force Base puts the accent on international diversity, local prosperity. Lean and Meaning Business CMTE prepares the 21st century workforce, instilling the heavy-weight skills for lean manufacturing. Gone with the Winter Clean Sweep ushers in a beautiful new year for Columbus. Front Line Leading edge care at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle echoes city’s history.

EDITION: VIEW BONUS CONTENT Unlock Our Special Augmented Reality Issue! There are special markers printed on pages throughout this magazine. Open your browser and enter the designated website address printed below each marker to get directions and unlock this magazine’s bonus content.




PHilliPs PiPe & ProdUcts, llc

Phillips contracting company, inc.

2917 14th ave. n. • Columbus, mS construction supplies & Materials:

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• Concrete construction products & supplies • Concrete formwork supplies • Manufactured wood products (lumber, plywood, etc.)

Home, Garden, construction & Farming Products: • • • • • • •

New & used corrugated piping Metal piping Corrugated plastic drainage pipe Creosote timbers Concrete barriers Steel & concrete beams New erosion control items

pick-up or Home delivery available!

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Founded in 1946, Phillips Contracting has earned a reputation for excellence throughout Mississippi and Alabama. We offer an array of construction services.

landscaping Materials: Dura mulch • Top soil • Pea gravel • Rip Rap Fence posts • Wattles • Mason sand & play sand Clay gravel • Washed gravel • Hardwood mulch Concrete sand • Bumper blocks


Every project is important to us. We strive to complete each one on time, within budget and to the highest standards of quality and safety. SaFetY

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Because of our ongoing emphasis on workplace health and safety, and the safety consciousness of our employees, we boast an outstanding record.

1500 Moss Street • P.O. Box 5044 Columbus, MS 39704

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Phillips Contracting strives for the highest safety standards on each of our projects. Our management and owners back the safety program 100%.



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Editor Melissa Cook Publishers Columbus Lowndes Development LINK Marketing Alliance, Inc. Creative Director Mark Kitchens Director of Interactive Media Rich Winter Senior Art Director Rich Winter Print Director Melissa Lott Web and Interactive Designer Porter Foster Senior Writer Carol Gassaway Photography Rich Winter James Patterson Chris Jenkins Advertising Sales Elizabeth Blake Casano Columbus Magazine is published by the Columbus Lowndes Development LINK and Marketing Alliance, Inc. The Columbus Magazine is printed annually and distributed to Columbus hotels, welcome centers, medical offices, fitness centers, and used for economic development purposes. Columbus Magazine P.O. Box 1328 Columbus, Mississippi 39703 Tel: 662-328-8369 Fax: 662-327-3417 All rights reserved. No portion of Columbus Magazine may be reproduced without written permission from the magazine.



Cleared for Take-off Golden Triangle Regional Airport begins $13 million expansion of runway, facilities and services.


uring the last two years, while dark clouds of reces-

terminal with a 160-seat post-screening waiting area and

sion have cast a pall over the national economy and

add a second instrument landing system (ILS) to increase

the airline industry in general, at Golden Triangle

landing flexibility in low-visibility conditions.

Regional Airport it’s been blue skies all the way, with GTRA

While the runway extension will allow greater opera-

posting record years of growth. In 2008, GTRA’s traffic was up

tional capacity for commercial jets as well as charters,

28%, and in 2009, the airport bested even that performance

by accommodating the T-38 supersonic jet trainer, the

by a few percentage points while expanding service to include

extension will also enable the airport to enhance its sup-

connections to two international hubs, Atlanta and Memphis.

port of the Columbus Air Force Base training mission.

More good news: GTRA has embarked on a $13 mil-

“We’re very pleased about that,” notes GTRA Director

lion physical expansion program that upon completion will

Mike Hainsey, who points out that airbase activities make

extend the runway from 6,500 to 8,000 feet, expand the

up more than 40% of the airport’s traffic.




In 2008, GTRA’s traffic was up 28%, and in 2009, the airport bested even that performance

GTRA’s own mission is also enlarging as more global aerospace leaders choose to locate their manufacturing

spacious post-screening waiting area offering food and other amenities.

in the GTR Global Industrial Aerospace Park. American

Ninety-five percent of the financing for all these

Eurocopter, a division of EADS North America, Aurora

improvements came from FAA grants, awarded after a

Flight Sciences, and Stark Aerospace, the American

rigorous process verifying need. Thus, Hainsey notes, it is

subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries, have already

ultimately the economic health of the region that the airport

established thriving operations at the park, with more

has to thank for the improvements.

companies on the way. Also in the works are plans for

“We’re a mirror image of the local economy,” he says.

air cargo facilities that will allow off-loading directly to

“So while the national economy has been down, we’ve

trucks, thus strengthening the Park’s inter modal speed

actually been growing.”

and convenience. In the meantime, commercial passengers will also enjoy noticeably added convenience and comfort in the

And, with the recession easing, Hainsey says, “we’ve weathered the storm,” facing a forecast that looks bright. More blue skies ahead.



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There are still plenty of terrific locations for new construction. In fact, that’s part of Columbus’s appeal—no matter what your desires, budget or lifestyle, this area probably has a great match.

Getting a Handle on the Perfect House Decide where you want to wake up and smell the coffee.


ometimes people know the minute they walk through

realtor Kris Davis of RE/MAX Partners explains. In her case,

a door. But sometimes, choosing the right home is

because she and her husband Michael live in Bent Tree

a tough decision. With all the neighborhoods in

Plantation, where large wooded lots stretch an acre to an

Columbus, who knows what’s right for you? Joe knows. Your morning cup of joe, that is. “Think about where you’d like to have that first cup of coffee,”




acre and a half, she can have her morning coffee out on the patio, surrounded by trees, serenaded by birds. On the other hand, it wasn’t the birds that brought


Homer and Mary Swain to their ideal

Craftsman bungalows, there’s also

home nearly 10 years ago. It was

plenty of room, Davis points out, for a

the birdies. A devoted golfer, Homer

house of your very own design.

found his paradise at Elm Lake golfing

“There are still plenty of terrific

community, where he plays every day

locations for new construction,” she

if he can. “I’ve played all the courses in

says. “In fact, that’s part of Columbus’s

the area, and Elm Lake is a good, fun

appeal—no matter what your desires,

course,” he says. The Swains also like

budget or lifestyle, this area probably

the atmosphere and the people. “It’s a

has a great match.”

friendly, quiet neighborhood,” Mary says

That includes a match for those

of the development, where families of

with loftier ambitions, who want to

all ages live and where the golf pro

step out the front door of a downtown

teaches summer clinics for children.

loft and have that morning cup at

Some Columbus residents like

Café on Main. And soon, new condos

their morning coffee with added water,

at the mixed use center, University

as in the peaceful lake that spreads

Place, will add yet another choice to

out across Prairie Waters. But others

the city’s downtown options.

couldn’t care less about that kind

Whether it’s with birds or the

of glassy surface—what they yearn

birdies, loft or lake side, no matter

to look across every morning is a

where you drink that morning cup,

gleaming expanse of counter top in a

there’s one more perk you’ll enjoy: a

new custom-built kitchen. In a city also

solid investment. “That’s another

renowned for its architectural riches,

advantage of Columbus real estate,”

where historic districts offer everything

Davis says. “The housing here offers

from elegant Victorians to charming

good value for your dollar.”

Real Estate Average Home Price

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Pictured below: UCBC Instructor, Marilyn Payne, and community leader, Dennis Erby, review educational software used in a pilot technology program established in a partnership with the Waterford Research Institute.




Guiding Lights 100 Black Men brightens the future with mentoring and more.


hat they see, they will

the number of protégés who also go

be. That’s a guiding

on to college.

In another successful outreach protégés provide community service

principle behind the

Such success is no accident.

for seniors, including meal delivery

work of 100 Black Men of Columbus

Selected by school counselors on

and yard cleanup, a program that

and Golden Triangle, Inc., and what

the basis of both potential as well

benefits both generations, Robinson

Columbus has seen, thanks to the

as need, protégés enjoy a wide-

says, as the gratitude of the seniors

efforts of this volunteer organization,

ranging program of mentoring and

“helps these young men to realize,

are benefits reaching throughout the

enrichment that goes beyond aca-

maybe for the first time, that they have

community—from the rising rates of

demics to include everything from

something important to contribute.”

graduation and success for young

public speaking to etiquette to busi-

From teens and seniors, 100

African American males, to senior

ness. Besides informational speakers

Black Men is now focusing its efforts

citizens finding important needs cared

at monthly meetings, the curriculum

on the very young, partnering with

for, to preschoolers getting a strong

also includes field trips to nearby busi-

the Utah-based Waterford Research

start in school thanks to a state-of-

nesses like the Weyerhaeuser and

Institute to create a pilot program to

the-art pilot education program.

Mercedes plants.

test and integrate technology into

Founded in 1997 as a local

The chapter’s sponsorship of the

pre-school learning for the three and

chapter of the national organization,

annual summer Science Camp at the

four-year-olds at the United Christian

the group began with a mission

Mississippi School for Mathematics

Baptist Child Development Center.

of awarding scholarships but quick-

and Science also broadens horizons

“We recognize brain development

ly realized “we had more to give,”

as well as knowledge. Located on

is key,” says Dennis Erby, a retired

according to the chapter’s president,

the campus of Mississippi University

state trooper who serves as the chap-

local dentist Dr. John Robinson, Jr.

for Women, the week-long program

ter’s secretary/treasurer, noting that

Today, 100 Black Men’s group men-

(open to both protégés and non-

early results have been impressive.

toring program guides protégés, as



Erby also encourages those inter-

teenage participants are called, as

in intensive and engaging science

ested in helping with projects like

they make their way from 7th grade

instruction—at one recent camp,

these to join in.

through high school. “I’m most proud

protégés built and launched their

“Anybody with a good work

of our excellent graduation rates,”

own rocket—while also providing a

ethic is welcome at 100 Black

Robinson says, pointing with pride to

taste of college life.

Men,” he says.




community briefs

Good works, chapter and verse “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” That Bible verse, John 10:10, was the inspiration behind the Genesis Dream Center, the former Hughes Elementary School now being converted into a church and community center offering diverse programs for workforce and youth development as well as transitional care. “With all the industry coming into this area, we wanted to make sure our community members had the skills to take advantage of the opportunity,” says Pastor Darren Leach, who leads Genesis Church and is heading up the Center. Leach is in talks with local education officials to add satellite industrial training certification to the Center’s proposed GED prep and testing, while the Center’s current involvement with the city’s “Lace Up” middle school youth program has proven such a success Leach hopes to expand it to other grade levels in the near future.

Tune in for teeth Could it be the cure for the common dental appointment? Patients of Drs. Steven Porter and Patrick Singley certainly think so. At the practice’s inviting new offices on Bluecutt Road, Porter and Singley have taken technology to a new level—all the way to the ceilings of exam rooms where televisions have been arm-mounted so that patients can tune into their favorite tv shows and movies during appointments. “We make sure everything is age appropriate,” Dr. Singley says and notes that while kids enjoy watching cartoons, adults—especially those in for longer procedures like root canals—are equally appreciative of the chance to catch up on their own viewing. Other technological dental dividends include digital x-rays and Waterlase® Dentistry, state-of-the-art laser dentistry that is not only quieter but also means less anesthesia and fewer shots—which makes getting lost in “Lost” even easier.

Feast for the senses There are farmer’s markets, and then there is the Hitching Lot Farmer’s Market, offering not just sales of produce but a true celebration of the area harvest, which, as visitors discover, includes everything that’s “locally grown, made or conjured up.” That means in addition to home-grown taste temptations like farm-fresh eggs, plump ripe tomatoes, fresh peaches, greens and silver queen corn, there are also plenty of delicacies like home-made artisanal breads and gourmet coffee. Good taste isn’t just confined to the food—the yield also includes collectible arts and crafts, from hand-thrown pottery to wood carving to greeting cards and hand-crafted candles. Hungering for great live music? The Hitching Lot offers that as well, plus cooking demonstrations, children’s activities and more. Small wonder that crowds are always collected at Second Avenue and Second Street from May through October. Hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and Family Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Meeting with success The scheduled 2011 opening of two Marriott hotels—the Courtyard and the Fairfield Inn and Suites—has already met with a lot of enthusiasm from Columbus business, thanks in part to the Courtyard’s promise of the largest and best appointed meeting facilities in the city. According to Mark Castleberry, President of Castle Properties, which is developing the two hotels in conjunction with Peachtree Hotel Group in Atlanta, the new meeting space advantage will include more than square footage. “We’ll have state-of-the-art AV equipment, and we’ll also offer full catering,” Castleberry says. Plus, with approximately 200 rooms (between the Courtyard’s projected 110 and the Fairfield’s 90) this Marriott duo will be ready to handle a crowd, whether for in-town business training or out-of-town tourists. Castleberry also expects many regional travelers through Marriott’s popular Marriott Rewards program. “We’re the only Marriott properties in the Golden Triangle” he points out. “That gives us a big advantage.”




A brand new flavor brand An eatery named for a river, Caney Fork Restaurant in Nashville launched its brand into the Mississippi and Alabama markets this year by really diving in—a first-year rollout of at least 6 restaurants, which began right here in Columbus in February at the site of the former Santa Fe restaurant just off I-82. That prime location was one reason Columbus was chosen to be first, says Josh Weis, Caney Fork Vice President. “But the people here were so great and so enthusiastic, it was our talk with them that made our decision.” Serving down-home Southern food with flair, Caney Fork avoids the generic flavor of conventional chains both with its menu and with its hunting and fishing-inspired interiors. The mounted raccoon poised mid-scavenge in the Columbus Caney Fork is a charming thief who has stolen so many hearts he’s become a star at other locations too.

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The Hunter RQ-5A has been used by the U.S. Army to patrol the skies over Iraq and Afghanistan since the early 1990’s.

The Stark Contrast Stark leads rather than follows with quality manpower and unmanned aerial systems success.


here are many ways to

ters in the GTR Global Industrial

assess the progress of Stark

Aerospace Park. This ultra-modern

Aerospace, the global aero-

86,000-square-foot facility is already

space defense contractor producing

undergoing a 20,000-square-foot

unmanned aerial systems and parts

addition, expansion necessitated by

that support American military efforts

consolidation and by the addition

around the world.

of ground-tactical radar to a prod-

Take the benchmark of the bot-

uct line that currently includes the

tom line, and you’ll find a doubling

Hunter MQ-5B and the Heron MALE

of growth each year since the com-

Unmanned Aerial Systems, as well as

pany’s founding in 2007.

Plug-in Optronic Payloads used on

Measure success in square feet,

AAI Shadow UAS.

and you see a company that’s grown

It’s an impressive record, but

from a total of 16,000 square feet in

for David Eudy, Stark President

the Raspet Flight Sciences Laboratory

and CEO, there’s another equal-

at Mississippi State University and in

ly important measurement of the

a modest facility here in Columbus,

company’s achievement.

to the company’s current headquar-

“When you walk out in the plant, you see employees who are happy

Stark Aerospace technicians fabricate new unmanned aerial vehicles and also make repairs and upgrades to vehicles that have logged many hours of service in the skies over the Middle East.

to be here. They know what they’re doing is important, and they’re proud of their work. For me, that’s success,” Eudy says.



Heads Up. Eudy, who has

excellence above all, which means the

community at large as well as with the

headed the company since start-

company shares something besides

Columbus Air Force Base.

up, credits a motivated staff for the

information with its employees. “Our

In return, Stark has received

company’s prosperity, and now as he

people know they’ll be rewarded for

strong support from the Columbus

pilots Stark’s 120-person operation

their efforts.”

community, particularly from the area’s

from “an essentially entrepreneurial

Still, according to Eudy, it isn’t

economic development team. Eudy

entity” to an established organiza-

only financial incentives that drive

headed American Eurocopter before

tion with formalized structures, he is

Stark’s cohesive team, it’s also a

being hired by IAI and says, “One

equally confident that the quality of

sense of belonging and shared

thing I’ve learned over the years is to

Stark’s people will loft the enterprise

mission. “We’re a family here,” he

rely on the development people to cut

to the next level.

says, and it’s a family with deep ties

red tape and help out in other ways.”

to the community.

Case in point: the access road cur-

Eudy’s confidence seems justified. After all, when it comes to moti-

Think globally, act locally—and

rently being built to the airport runway

vation, he may not have written the

vice versa. A subsidiary of Israel

that will allow test flights for Stark’s

book, but he has created an effective

Aerospace Industries, Stark has a

UAS, which in the past have had to be

scorecard. It’s called a Heads Up

workforce that is 90% local residents,

shipped to Arizona and Maryland for

Display, or HUD, a monthly progress

all trained on the job, a point of pride

the job. “Soon we can test for delivery

report covering areas including rev-

for Eudy. “I believe in this area,” he

right here,” Eudy says.

enue, new business, customer sat-

says. “I believe in the people. When

As company capabilities continue

isfaction and corporate citizenship.

somebody asks me where I’m from, I

to rise, market opportunities also

HUDs are posted throughout the facil-

say right here.”

promise to expand, with horizons

ity; quarterly reports are also shared

That’s one reason good corpo-

opening in both military and non-mili-

with employees. And, Eudy points

rate citizenship is a goal measured

tary applications. The sky really is the

out, unlike some global manufactur-

by HUDs and met with enthusiasm,

limit for Stark, a company ready to

ers searching for the lowest possible

through a variety of volunteer activi-

reach higher thanks to a strong foun-

labor costs, Stark has always sought

ties and relationships, both with the

dation right here in Columbus.




O N E source. O N E team. O N E mission.

S UCCESS I S G OLD E N Proud to be part of Mississippi’s Golden Triangle community. At Severstal, our strength is international, but our service is refreshingly local – an advantage that reflects our commitment to the state of Mississippi and the Golden Triangle. And that commitment is growing stronger and deeper. When our expansion is complete in late 2011, we’ll have doubled our annual production capacity to 3.4 million tons of crude steel and raised our investment in the region to over $1.5 billion.

Put the SINGLE best steel supplier to work for your bottom line. Call 866-369-3047 or visit Achieve More TogeTher. © 2010 Severstal NA, SNA1066

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Quality, local service and competitive prices. 2320 Commerce Drive, Columbus, MS 39701 662-328-0492 •

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Expect more thanks.

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Justin Casano City President 662.241.4171

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© 2010 Regions Bank. *Investment services are provided through Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc., a subsidiary of Regions Financial Corporation and a member FINRA and SIPC. Securities and insurance products sold through Morgan Keegan are not FDIC-insured, not a deposit, not an obligation of or guaranteed by Regions Bank, its affiliates or any other government agency, and may lose value.

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Artful Lodgings Historic homes and buildings lead charmed lives of service.




Pictured above: Marleen Hansen, proprietor of the Cartney-Hunt House, enjoys the morning light in her historic b&b. Pictured left: Azalea Place, c. 1869, is one of more than 600 historic homes and buildings in Columbus.


hey are beautiful, elegant, with an aura both

“I never know who’s going to be on the other end of

seductive and a bit mysterious. People love to

the line,” says Marleen Hansen, of the telephone calls to

take their photographs. Tales have been told of

the b&b she and her husband Vagn operate out of their

them, books have been written about them. They’ve even

home, the 1828 Federal-style Cartney-Hunt House, the

attracted a star-struck autograph seeker.

oldest brick house in North Mississippi. Some Cartney-

Old fashioned movie stars? Not quite. And for all

Hunt guests are regulars, like the couple from Houston,

the attention they attract, the more than 600 historic

Texas who stay at the b&b when they attend Mississippi

homes and buildings of Columbus are far from pampered

State football games. (“They already have reservations

divas. True, many have been carefully, lovingly restored

for every single home game this year,” Hansen says.)

and preserved, but these beauties

Some guests are attending events at

are doing more than sitting pretty.

Columbus Air Force Base, and some

They’re also working hard every day:

people are simply passing through.

some hosting out-of-town visitors and

“Our calls come from all over the

in-town events as gracious bed &

country,” Hansen says.

breakfasts; others holding classes

Perhaps one of the most unusual

for students in one of the nation’s

calls, however, came from just outside



the b&b. “I got a phone call asking

campuses; still others serving as

if we were open,” Hansen recalls,


sanctuaries to some of the state’s oldest congregations,

“and I looked out the window to see the man on the

as public buildings for city and county business and as

phone standing outside in front of his car.” A professor

family homes to people of all ages and from all walks of life.

of architecture at Ball State University, he explained that






he had just been passing through when he realized he’d come on to an architectural treasure. “He told me he just had to see the rest of the town.” Armed with a copy of Reflections, the hard-cover picture book history of Columbus homes, the professor set out to see as many houses as he could and to get each owner to autograph his volume. “I gave him my card so he’d have an introduction,” Hansen remembers with amusement. Of course, a card of introduction isn’t necessary to be welcomed into the gracious historic world of Columbus. In fact, the childhood home of playwright Tennessee Williams, a gingerbread-clad Victorian, once an Episcopal rectory, serves as the city’s Welcome Center, and nearly a dozen other historic homes are open for daily tours, with three city-wide tours and celebrations scheduled each year: the Fall Home Tour, the Tennessee Williams Tribute Weekend and Victorian Home Tour, and the Spring Pilgrimage, a twelve-day extravaganza that includes tours, carriage rides, a 10k run, and Tales from the Crypt, a candlelight tour of the storied Friendship Cemetery where the decoration of both Confederate and Union graves just after the Civil War gave rise to the nation’s first Memorial Day. The annual events are excellent opportunities to experience historic architecture, but really, the star-gazing in Columbus is great anytime.



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Columbus-Lowndes County At A Glance Population (2009 Estimate)

Columbus.............................................23,650 Lowndes County.......................... 58,655 Location

Columbus is in east-central Mississippi, seven miles west of the Alabama border and 22 miles west of Starkville, home of Mississippi State University.


The Chickasaw Treaty of 1816 provided land to the U.S. government where Columbus now stands, and the town was officially established in 1821.

For More Information

Columbus -Lowndes Development LINK 1102 Main St., P.O. Box 1328 Columbus, MS 39701 Phone: (662) 328-8369 Fax: (662) 327-3417

Government Offices City of Columbus 523 Main Street Columbus, MS 39701 (662) 328-7021

Lowndes County 502 2nd Ave., N. Columbus , MS 39703-1364 (662) 329-5884

Transportation Golden Triangle Regional Airport 2080 Airport Road Columbus, MS 39701 (662) 327-4422

The Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway Development Authority Post Office Drawer 671 Columbus, Mississippi 39703 (662) 328-3286



Whether you crave the Tenn-Tom Waterway’s miles of water fun or your passion for eagles and birdies lands you in one of the area’s golf communities, Columbus’ menu of lifestyle options has something to fit every appetite.









d fi e


it y

A Ce r ti



Forget the Early Bird Special

nt C o m



Baby boomers find a satisfying menu of retirement choices.




t happens every 8 seconds. Another baby boomer turns 60. And as the Pepsi generation heads into AARP

country, one thing seems certain: “seniority” won’t be a one-plan-fits-all affair. Forget the early bird special. This generation wants retirement à la carte, and with its impressive menu of inviting lifestyle options in everything from recreation to healthcare to residential choices, Columbus, a Certified Retirement City, more than fills the bill. It’s all about freedom, explains Maureen Lipscomb, director of the Hometown Mississippi Retirement Program in Columbus. “Retirees nowadays don’t want to feel limited by age, economics or even geography,” she says. That makes Columbus made to order, whether the order is more play, more travel or even more work. “I’ll have retirement with a side order of employment.” As many as 75% of boomers expect to engage in some employment after retiring. As home to Columbus Air Force Base, the city has always been ahead of the curve in accommodating working retirees; it’s the perfect stage for second acts in careers. Larry and Jean Parker relocated to Columbus from Cleveland, Ohio more




Retirees nowadays don’t want to feel limited by age, economics or even geography. Jean Parker, pictured above, has enjoyed her opportunity to rejoin the workforce.

than a decade ago after Larry retired from his job in the

wired for life. Here at Mississippi University for Women,

pharmaceutical industry. While Larry took to the links,

retirees can dig into college curriculum classes and other

Jean, after more than 20 years as a stay-at-home mom,

educational opportunities at reduced costs or even cost-free

wanted to return to a job in banking. A part-time slot

at one of the South’s premiere institutions of higher learning.

became full-time within a week, and although she took

“The perfect lifestyle sunny side up, with an

another try at retirement a few years ago, she realized

extra helping of convenience.” Varied options allow

she wasn’t ready to give up her teller window.

retirees to maximize their place in the sun, be it a

“I just love my job,” she says.

traditional neighborhood, a condo,

“I love what I do, and I love the

a loft apartment or seniors-only

people.” She also credits the city’s

community. The Parkers like the

welcoming atmosphere. “In big

peace and quiet at Elm Lake; they

cities, it’s a lot harder. People treat

like the diversity of ages, too. “It

you with respect here, and they

keeps you young,” Larry says.

appreciate your experience.”

Other retirees enjoy the seniors-

“I want the recreational

only programs and camaraderie

buffet.” For retirees ready to play,

at Trinity Place Retirement Center.

the choices are endless: the Tenn-

But no matter where they locate,

Tom Waterway’s miles of water

retirees love the convenience to

fun, plus state and local parks,

great shopping and dining.

the Riverwalk, a biking and cycling club and more. Larry

It’s all a question of balancing a full plate, and for the

Parker’s passion for golf has found the perfect outlet at the

Parkers, it’s simple. “I told Larry a long time ago, you don’t

Elm Lake golfing community where he and Jean live, and

go shopping with me, and I won’t go golfing with you,”

where Larry hits the links five or six days a week. “The course

Jean explains with a laugh.

here is outstanding,” he says. “It’s really the best deal in golfing in all


of northeast Mississippi.” “The footloose special, please.” Lipscomb points out


that for retirees who like to travel, Columbus is the ideal location,


only a few hours drive from major Southern cities like Atlanta,



New Orleans, Birmingham and Memphis. And a city airport with recently expanded service makes

JACKSON 118 mi. Birmingham

taking off even easier. “For retirees

147 mi. Jackson

on the go, Columbus is on the

166 mi. Memphis

way,” Lipscomb says.

251 mi. Miss. Coast

“Life-long learning, welldone, at a senior discount.”


262 mi. Atlanta 288 mi. New Orleans

Columbus is also the place for boomers to keep their brains hard-



Growth Plan

Golf Columbus Country Club 2331 Military Road (662) 328-5584

Elm Lake Golf Club 1609 Taylor-Thurston Road (662) 329-8964

Green Oaks Golf Club 326 Green oaks Drive (662) 328-3879

Whispering Pines Golf Club Columbus Air Force Base Building 570, C St. (662) 434-7932

As the economy begins moving forward, count on Triangle Federal Credit Union to provide stability, balance and support for your growth needs.

Volunteer Opportunities Community Volunteer Center 501 Seventh St. N., Suite 5

Since 1959

P.O. Box 266 Columbus Air Force Base Columbus 434-6052

2330 Hwy. 45 N. Columbus 327-9450

1101 Hwy. 182 E. Starkville 338-9131

Climate Overview

Health Care

A moderate climate and miles of rivers, lakes and trails make the county a prime place for outdoor recreation.

Columbus-Lowndes County residents enjoy excellent health care, with numerous physicians and specialists, and the presence of a regional hospital, Baptist Memorial Hospital.

January Low Temp........... 32F January High Temp.......... 53F July Low Temp..................71F July High Temp................ 92F




Columbus, MS 39701 (662) 327-0807 www.unitedwaylowndescounty. org/cvc_vision.html

The Charity Guide for Columbus charities/MS/Columbus.html

Volunteer Mississippi org50069.jsp

Serving Columbus & the Golden

Providing Personal Service for for North Triangle Area 12Mississippi Years! Since 1977

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516-B Lincoln Rd. Columbus, MS 39705

(662) 327-2700 Design • Build • Maintain Irrigation • Retail Nursery Columbus (662) 327-2700 Amory (662) 257-9106 604 18th Ave. North • Columbus, MS 39701 • (662) 327-6664 Starkville (662) 338-9106


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For more than six decades, Ceco Building Systems has been an integral part of the Columbus/Lowndes County community. National prominence in the metal building industry ranks Ceco among the top leaders in this industry. We are proud to call Columbus home and to maintain our headquarters here.

Roger Burlingame, President, Ceco Building Systems

Ceco ad 6.875x4.5937.indd 1


4/8/10 7:47:03 AM



MUW’s culinary program is ready to “kick it up a notch.”


In the age of the celebrity chef, MUW’s Culinary Arts Institute booms, serving food with thought.





television studios to learn how to

plans to convert empty galleries into a

cook for the cameras.

sleek and inviting teaching café and a

But as for bam!—or any other

teaching restaurant with lounge.

That’s about the only thing students



“We think this will be a great draw

are not taught at MUW’s Culinary

subject students have to tackle on

for students as well as for people

Arts Institute, where aspiring chefs

their own.

in the community,” says Ogle, who


learn how to make food taste good,

Still it wouldn’t take Emeril to

is also exploring the feasibility of a

look good, sound good and sell

see that MUW’s culinary program is

small-scale bakery operation. Other

like, well, hotcakes, in


the course of earning


a Bachelor of Science

entrepreneurship classes



for budding restaurateurs

arts with a minor in

as well as classes for

entrepreneurship, food

what Ogle calls the



“hobbyist,” which in the

or nutrition wellness.

era of Food Network

Students are taught

encompasses a virtually

how to cook in front

limitless category.



of a crowd, to the




America’s passion

delight of Columbus




diners who snap up tickets to savor

ready to “kick it up a notch” with all

nearly so hot in the nineties when

the Institute’s regular “Lunch and

the new space they’ve acquired in

Ogle enrolled in the Institute’s very

Learn” demonstration meals. And

historic Shattuck Hall, now that the

first graduating class—a handful of

whenever possible Interim Director

art department has decamped for

students consigned to a single stove

Erich Ogle has taken students into

new quarters. Currently underway:

in the home economics department.



“Not much space to learn to cook,”

Huckaby and his brother Bubba

Ogle remembers with a smile.

own and operate Huck’s Place, a

By the time they graduate, this

city favorite.

year’s student body of 120 will have

Ogle also expects an uptick

refined their craft in spacious test,

in students applying from around

styling and demonstration kitchens

the country now that the Institute

and SMART classrooms, with curricula

has become a member of Pro-

that now includes a degree offering

Start, the dual credit high school

in culinology, merging culinary arts

scholarship program.

with food science training; graduates

More students, more jobs for

have gone on to research and

graduates, more delicious dining

development positions with national

for the community—the folks at the

chains like Chili’s. Other Institute grads

Culinary Institute may not say it, but

have ended up in restaurants all over

Columbus surely can:

the nation, including right here in Columbus. Ogle’s classmate, Brian


Pictured above from left: MUW culinary graduate, Brian Huckaby, and his brother Bubba own and operate Huck’s Place, a city favorite.



BUSINESS AT A GLANCE Retail Sales 2008 ($1000)

$1,046,033,456 Retail Sales per capita

$17,764 Food Services Sales ($1000)

$165,343,426 Total Number of firms

1,875 Source: MS State Tax Commission

Economic Resources Columbus-Lowndes Development LINK 1102 Main St., P.O. Box 1328 Columbus, MS 39701 Phone: (662) 328-8369 Fax: (662) 327-3417

Taxes State Sales Tax................... 7% Total Sales Tax ................... 7%

Sanders Oil Company Since 1931 Convenience stores • Lubricants Wholesale Gas and Diesel

Join us for lunch 11am - 2pm ...and let’s Not Forget - We Cater! Margaret Ann’s

Columbus 327-2700 P.O. Box 711 (662)(662) 328-2318 Amory (662) 257-9106 Columbus,Starkville MS 39705 (662)(800) 844-2318 338-9106




table of Plenty

Located directly across from Military Hardware 1001 Military road | ColuMbus, Ms 39701 | P. (662) 570-1748

Columbus Cellulose Fibers and Columbus Modified Fibers salute our community’s focus on economic development!

Coleman Realty & Investment Co. Columbus, mIssIssIppI 39705-0018 662-329-2323 - Investment Real Estate - Commercial Property Management

Dennis F. Coleman, CCIM David F. Coleman, CCIM

Your KEY In The Community! Members of the Columbus Bank Association

P.O. Box 9630, Columbus, MS 39705 114 Brickyard Road, Columbus, MS 39701 Office: 662.328.4931 Fax: 662.328.4934

Serving more than 800 financial institutions across the globe— and proud to call Columbus our home. Www.columbusmagAZINE.NET


Bringing All of Columbus to the Table Devotion to food and family is the recipe for Table of Plenty’s success.


arty Wages, co-owner of the Table of Plenty,

brother and sister team who grew up in Columbus with

begins to apologize to his customer. The man

two parents who were both “excellent cooks” eager to

has just told Wages he doesn’t like coleslaw,

pass along their knowledge.

and it’s after he’s eaten Table of Plenty’s signature oyster

The family’s love for good food sent the siblings on

po’ boy: a half dozen plump oysters deep fried and

separate yet not unrelated paths—Wages off to Florida

nestled on fresh-baked bread spread generously with

and two decades working in the food industry, Borland

garlic mayonnaise—and smothered in a tangy layer of

in Columbus, catering part time as she brought up young

feta cheese coleslaw.

children. Their paths rejoined when Florida’s cratering

“I’m sorry, I should have asked if you wanted the

economy and corporate downsizing brought Wages back

slaw,” Wages says (even though the menu description

to Columbus and into the kitchen of the small house that

is quite clear.)

Borland owned and which became Table of Plenty.

“Oh, no!” the customer replies quickly. “I’m so glad

Despite the tiny size of its premises, Table of Plenty

you didn’t ask. Because if you’d asked me, I would have said no, and then I would have missed this.” Call it a this factor, an uncanny ability to combine flavors in fresh, sometimes surprising and always exceptionally delicious ways that has turned Table of Plenty’s restaurant and catering operation into a Columbus institution after barely more than a year in business. Whether it’s feta cheese coleslaw, the creation of Margaret Ann Borland, Wages’ sister and partner, or balsamic-glazed meatloaf, Wages’ own take on the American classic, Table of Plenty’s approach to food is winningly ingenious. And like its signature dishes, the business thrives thanks to a unique combination of flavors brought to the table by a

Table of Plenty’s Restaurant & Catering has become a Columbus institution after barely more than a year in business.



Creating a COMMUNITY of Smiles

Braces for Children, Teens and Adults Call now for your COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATION

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Table of Plenty Strawberry Cake Ingredients 1 (18.25-ouce) package white cake mix 1 (3-ounce) package strawberry gelatin 4 large eggs 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries 1 cup vegetable oil 1/2 cup milk Strawberry Buttercream Frosting Garnish: whole strawberries Preparation Beat cake mix and next 7 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer 1 minute. Scrape down the sides, and beat at medium speed 2 more minutes, stopping to scrape down sides, if needed. (Strawberries should be well blended in batter.) Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch cakepans. Bake at 350° for 23 minutes or until cakes spring back when lightly pressed with a finger. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks. Spread Strawberry Buttercream Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish if desired. Serve immediately, or chill up to 1 week.

is no misnomer: besides the restaurant’s popular lunch

406 Wilkins-Wise Rd. - (662) 327-5656 1530 Gardner Blvd. - (662) 328-5666 2193 Lake Lowndes Rd. - (662) 327-0659

business, catering stays in constant demand, wowing


residents thronging to the city’s annual Catfish in the Alley.

crowds from corporate events to weddings, and serving up the title treat, golden fried to perfection, to visitors and Another successful and particularly appropriate area of business are the to-go meals, bringing the city’s busy families back to the table for home-cooked feasts. For Marty Wages, being back in his old hometown has been gratifying. “I’ve really felt welcomed,” he says. Welcome, too, is the city’s recession-resistant economy. Would Wages have ever chosen this path without necessity? Perhaps not, but then he would have lost out on the

It's Beautiful. It's Bella.

experience of flourishing entrepreneurship. And, while he would have missed that, Columbus would have missed this.




Office:662-328-1150 4170 Hwy 45 N., Columbus, MS 39705

Call Our 24/7 Voice Pad Number for Information on Any Listing in the Golden TrianGle!




Because we recognized early on that cooperation was key to competitiveness, we’ve been able to bring on board collaborative partners who could add strategic strength and synergy.




Sizing Up the Future At the GTR Global Industrial Aerospace Park, a $17.5 million infrastructure investment lays the groundwork for the next phase of growth.


orget Texas. For those looking to find a place where everything is bigger, including the opportunity, there’s no need to look further

than the GTR Global Industrial Aerospace Park, the massive 2,500 acre development located adjacent to the Golden Triangle Regional Airport. Encompassing the 1,200-acre Crossroads TVA-certified Megasite, the Park is already home to a thriving industrial hub, including global aerospace leaders drawn to more than just big acreage, according to Joe Higgins, Jr., CEO of the Columbus-Lowndes Development LINK. “It’s not just the scale of the sites,” Higgins says. “It’s the scale of the assets that have attracted these companies. Assets in support, infrastructure and labor, as well as in ideas and innovation.”

The development of a Memorandum of Cooperation and Collaboration, agreed upon by seven counties in Mississippi and Alabama, is another innovative asset.

Strength in numbers. For David Eudy, CEO of

The LINK itself is a perfect example of big and

Stark Aerospace, the regional alliance behind the Park

innovative thinking, a unique public/private partnership

has brought powerful advantages. “I like that we can

that has already made short work of a tall order.

count on support coming from more than one source,”

In only a few years Link has brought to the area

he says. “The regional aspect is important.”

more than $3.4 billion dollars in industrial and retail

In fact, the development of a Memorandum of

development that has created more than 4,000 jobs

Cooperation and Collaboration, agreed upon by seven

with top pay grades—economic development that

counties in Mississippi and Alabama, is another innovative

also propelled Columbus to the No. 7 spot in Site

asset, marshalling the economic, educational and political

Selection magazine’s 2009 survey of the nation’s top

resources of two states in support of the Park.

micropolitan areas.

“Because we recognized early on that cooperation

Many of the new jobs belong to aerospace

was key to competitiveness,” Higgins explains, “we’ve

companies like American Eurocopter, a division of

been able to bring on board collaborative partners who

EADS, Aurora Flight Sciences, and Stark Aerospace,

could add strategic strength and synergy.”

just three of the manufacturing operations that have enjoyed booming growth since locating in the Park.

A convergence of top-flight talent. One such partner is the Columbus Air Force Base, a pillar of the



Columbus community since its opening in the early days

And there’s more work ahead for EMCC and for

of World War II, and today one of the nation’s top pilot

the Columbus labor force, as over $30 million in Park

training facilities. Some of the world’s best pilots graduate

and Airport infrastructure improvements pave the way,

from CAFB, while only twenty minutes away at Mississippi

literally, for a new phase of growth.

State University, the Raspet Flight Sciences Laboratory

Ready to roll. With a $17.5 million water and

and the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems both

sewer infrastructure investment—along with a $13

offer globally renowned research capabilities as well as

million expansion of the GTRA, already the state’s

engineering talent that is second to none. Right here in

third largest airport—the Park is poised for new

Columbus, at Mississippi University for Women (co-ed

activity. It’s a good position for the Park, just as the

since 1982), the formation of the School of Professional

Park offers a good position for industry, Higgins points

Studies has added another significant resource with its

out, offering inter modal convenience and speed, with

new Masters of Global Commerce, an advanced degree

excellent air, rail, highway and port access on the

program that integrates cutting edge technology with

Tenn-Tom Waterway.

global economics and entrepreneurial savvy.

While the area has largely resisted the recessionary

“We’ve also been exceptionally pleased to have East

pressures affecting the nation, Higgins and his development

Mississippi Community College as a training partner,”

team know the stresses on today’s manufacturers. Their

Higgins notes. “We’ve got an available workforce of

advice: Think big, in size and assets.

nearly 100,000, and thanks to EMCC, our workforce training is superb.”

“With all the demands of the global economy,” Higgins says, “it would be unwise to settle for any less.”

Industrial Sites The Crossroads Megasite.........................1,800 acres Golden Triangle Industrial Park.................... 960 acres Riverside Industrial Park............................... 271 acres GTR Global Industrial Aerospace Park........................................2,500 acres

In only a few years Link has brought to the area more than $3.4 billion dollars in industrial and retail development that has created more than 4,000 jobs.




Quality Products... Quality People  40 year presence in the U.S.  State-of-the-art production facility  Home of the Light Utility Helicopter: The U.S. Army’s UH-72A Lakota  Voted “Top 10 Employer” by GI Jobs

 Contractor to the U.S. Army, Navy, Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security  #1 Helicopter company in the U.S. commercial market

American Eurocopter | 1782 Airport Road | Columbus, Mississippi 39701 | 662.327.6226 | Www.columbusmagAZINE.NET


Winging it on the Waterway Rare birds and others flock to the Tenn-Tom.

Columbus is the only city that sits directly on the Tenn-Tom. Transients are drawn not just by the relatively warm weather but by the even warmer hospitality.


he sun breaks through the

and east to Pennsylvania. Others—

whose 78-foot pilot house motor yacht,

clouds on a cool February

Great Loopers, they’re called—range

Thai Suites, rests alongside the Marina

day, as a great blue heron

farther north and east, all the way

on this particular February day. The

launches abruptly from the surface

around the Great Lakes to the Atlantic

wayfaring couple has been on the

of the water, tearing the air with a

Intercoastal Waterway, south around

water for seven years now, navigating

great whoosh of wings. Mallards coast

Florida and back up.

channels all over the continent, from

nearby, while Canada geese float in a

Hundreds of these rare birds—

the Pacific Northwest to Canada to

flock. Meanwhile, just down

Mexico. This is their second

the way an entirely different

winter in Columbus.

species of migratory bird has

Hospitable habitat.

settled in at the Columbus

Columbus is the only city that

Marina. The habitat for this

sits directly on the Tenn-Tom,

particular bird is water, in

and transients like Duffy and

this case the Tenn-Tom

Tuss are drawn not only by the

Waterway, but nesting habits

relatively warm weather and

vary, from trim cabin cruisers

the even warmer hospitality,

to homey houseboats to

but by one more important

100-foot yachts that stretch

commodity: the food.

high and long in the water.

Transients, they’re also called—pass

“Boaters love to eat out,” Duffy

Migratory patterns vary, too. Some,

through the Marina every year, and

says, “and Columbus has great choice

the Snowbirds, travel the Y-shaped

some settle in for a night, for a week, or

and variety in restaurants.” It’s also

river system connected by the Tenn-

sometimes for the whole winter season,

easy to get supplies at a reasonable

Tom, a forked artery that stretches

like Duffy and Tuss (no formality here,

price, he adds—and easy to get to the

south to Mobile, north to Minnesota

boating is a first-name kind of lifestyle)

supplies and the dining thanks to that



warm hospitality. Marina Manager T. Caldwell provides a courtesy van to chauffeur transients to and from town; more unusually, when the van is busy, he and his staff offer up their own vehicles, a level of friendly service that surprises even (or, rather especially) seasoned travelers like Duffy. “This isn’t the fanciest marina I’ve ever been to,” Duffy says, “but it’s got great Southern hospitality, and T. gives a fair value price on things like The Columbus Marina welcomes not only the transients, but also the parade of local boaters who pass through the Marina all year.

monthly slip fees.” Call of the water. For his part, Caldwell welcomes not only the transients, but also the parade of local boaters who pass through the Marina all year—ski boats, jet skis, fishing boats (the bass and crappie fishing are outstanding), pontoons and more—some of them cruising north to




the end of the 234-mile Waterway, where it feeds into the massive Pickwick Lake on the Tennessee River, or south where it connects to the Warrior-Tombigbee System in Demopolis, Alabama. “Boaters are just a different breed,” Caldwell says. They’re people who not only like the water, but who are also “the kind of people who like to help each other out.” It’s a breed he understands well, as a lifelong water skier whose son is now a sponsored skier. “I never expected to run a marina, but it’s worked out well,” he says, with business growing 20% last year, as local boaters and boaters from as far away as France and Australia came through. And it isn’t only boaters who feel the call of the water. Land lubbers find plenty to love about the Tenn-Tom, too, with ample camping, picnicking, and dock fishing areas, thousands of acres of hunting, and with the Riverwalk winding five miles through downtown Columbus with pavilions, lighted trails and benches to sit and watch the water and the people go by. The bird watching, by the way, is also excellent.

Hicks and Smith, PLLC Attorney at Law

Dewitt T. Hicks, Jr. | P. Nelson Smith, Jr.

Practice Areas:

Banking | Business & Corporate | Construction Employment Law | Environmental Litigation | Estate Planning Family Practice | Government & Municipal Litigation Insurance Defense | Premises Liability | Probate & Trust Product Liability | Professional Negligence Real Estate Workers’ Compensation | Personal Injury Regions Bank Building | 710 Main Street, 2nd Floor | P.O. Box 1111 Columbus, MS 39703-1111 662.243.7300 |






Recreation Activities

Children’s Activities

Arts & Culture

Columbus/Lowndes Recreation Authority

Columbus Lock and Dam Play Area

Tennessee Williams Home

2535 Main Street

4873 W. Plymouth Road

Columbus, MS 39701

Columbus, MS 39704

(662) 328-7075

(662) 328-0222

Lee Park

Columbus Arts Council

(662) 327-4935

7th St. N.

300 Main St.

P.O. Box 869

Lake Lowndes State Park

(662) 327-4935

Columbus, MS 39703

3319 Lake Lowndes Road

(662) 328-2787

Columbus Malco Cinema

2320 Hwy. 45 N.

Waverley Plantation Mansion

Columbus, MS 39702 (662) 328-2110

Columbus Country Club 2331 Military Road

(662) 240-4171

(national historic landmark)

Mother Goose at Columbus/ Lowndes Public Library

1852 Waverly Mansion Road

314 7th St. N.

(662) 494-1399

Columbus Marina

(662) 329-5300

(800) 920-3533

Tennesse-Tombigbee Waterway, Mile 335

Plum Grove Center

Pilgrimage Antebellum Home & Garden Tour

Columbus, MS 39705 (662) 328-5584

Columbus, MS 39705 (662) 327-8450

Magnolia Motor Speedway 495 Hwy 45 S. Columbus, MS 39704

54 W. Minnie Vaughn Road (662) 327-4935

Columbus Historic Foundation

Plymouth Bluff Center

(800) 920-3533

2200 Old W. Point Road (662) 241-6214

(662) 328-0376

Propst Park

Columbus Speedway

Hwy. 82 East and Martin Luther King Drive

2616 Tabernacle Road Columbus, MS 39701 (662) 241-5004

Columbus, MS 39701

(662) 327-4935

Columbus, MS

Historic Downtown District Columbus, MS (662) 327-4935

Rosenzweig Arts Center 501 Main St. (662) 328-2787

Skate Zone 910 N. Lehmberg Road (662) 329-1881

Slip N Dip 312 Lake Lowndes Rd. (662) 328-7946

Spray Park 7934 Barton Ferry Road (662) 434-6808



eventful columbus




2 0 1 0 - 2 0 11


Dream 365 MLK Celebration Celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with weekend-long activities and events including a noted keynote address. Admission to some activities. (662) 425-1234 FEBRUARY

Catfish in the Alley African-American Heritage Tour Tennessee Williams Welcome Center Celebrate the significant political, artistic and athletic contributions of Columbus’ African-American community through musical presentations, historical tours and cultural performances. Transportation provided. No Admission • (800) 920-3533

Columbus Pilgrimage 10K Run Begins at the Tennessee Williams Home and Welcome Center. Entry Fee Tales From the Crypt Friendship Cemetery The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science students recreate the lives of noted local personalities interred at the historic Friendship Cemetery, site of the Decoration Day that inspired the poem, “The Blue and the Gray.” The multi-day event occurs during Spring Pilgrimage. Admission • (662) 329-7360 Noon Tunes Tennessee Williams Welcome Center/The Trotter Convention Center Courtyard Held Thursdays from 11 am to 1 pm. These musical series showcase local musicians with a live concert and offers lunch for purchase from local Downtown restaurants. Decoration Day Reenactment Friendship Cemetery Reenactment of the 1866 service that eventually became the nation’s Memorial Day celebration. No admission.


Arts Auction Gala Trotter Convention Center Live arts auction, silent auction, dinner and live musical performances. Admission • (662) 328-2787 Noon Tunes Tennessee Williams Welcome Center/The Trotter Convention Center Courtyard Held Thursdays from 11 am to 1 pm. These musical series showcase local musicians with a live concert and offers lunch for purchase from local Downtown restaurants. APRIL Grilling on the River Columbus Riverwalk Annual cooking competition, designated the Magnolia State Barbeque Championship; Offers children’s activities, a food fair and live music. No Admission • (662) 328-6850 Annual Spring Pilgrimage Tennessee Williams Welcome Center Annual tour of homes with daily tours, candlelight tours and carriage rides of historic South side Columbus. STS Top 20 Event Admission • (800) 920-3533




MAY Market Street Festival Downtown Columbus Music and art festival held in historic downtown Columbus. Admission to some activities (662) 328-6305 JUNE Juneteenth Celebration Sim Scott Park Two-day festival with lots of food vendors and live music. No admission • (662) 329-5871 Sounds of Summer The Columbus Riverwalk Bring a lawn chair and relax to music from local musicians, visit with friends and neighbors and enjoy food and cold beverages while overlooking the Tenn-Tom River. Sounds of Summer is held each Thursdays from 7 to 9 pm. JULY Fireworks on the Water Stennis Lock and Dam Oh, say you will see! Sponsored by the City of Columbus and the Columbus Air Force Base. Features live entertainment, children’s activities and a star-spangled finish.

Sounds of Summer The Columbus Riverwalk Bring a lawn chair and relax to music from local musicians, visit with friends and neighbors and enjoy food and cold beverages while overlooking the Tenn-Tom River. Sounds of Summer is held each Thursdays from 7 to 9 pm. AUGUST Duathlon Lake Lowndes State Park Individual and team competitions. Entry fee • (662) 328-2110 Artesia Days This festival features delicious food, music and lots of fun including children’s activities. SEPTEMBER Tennessee Williams Tribute & Victorian Home Tour Tennessee Williams Welcome Center Tribute honoring one of America’s most prolific playwrights, Tennessee Williams. Enjoy exhibits, plays, forums and Victorian Home Tours. Admission to some events. (800) 327-2686 or (662) 328-0222 Curtain Calls! A week-long celebration of America’s finest playwright, Tennessee Williams, who spent his childhood years here in Columbus. The Williams home, a former Episcopal rectory, is now the Columbus Welcome Center. Victorian Home Tours, performances of the writer’s work and more. Seventh Avenue Heritage Festival A celebration of what was once one of Columbus’ most vibrant business districts. No admission • (662) 329-1191 OCTOBER Roast ‘N Boast Columbus Fairgrounds Festival including live music and a barbecuecooking contest. Admission • (662) 364-7272 Welty Weekend at the W Mississippi University for Women A three-day celebration of Southern literature. Admission to some activities. (662) 329-7119 Ghost & Legends Tour Embark on an escorted bus journey through Columbus’ historical and haunted past. Admission • (662) 329-1191

Fall Tour of Historic Homes Tour antebellum and Victorian homes during this lovely Fall tour. Admission (800) 920-3533

DECEMBER Star Driving Tour Self-guided driving tour of antebellum and Victorian homes decorated for the holidays. Antebellum homes feature a gold star and Victorian homes feature a silver star. Brochures available at the Welcome Center. No admission • (662) 328-0222

Trash & Treasures along the Tenn-Tom Columbus Riverwalk 234 miles of yard sales. This is an all-day event. No admission. (662) 329-1191 or (662) 328-3286 NOVEMBER Decorative Arts & Preservation Forum/Antiques Show & Sale Various Locations Fine and collectible antiques with lectures and related activities. Admission to some activities. (800) 920-3533 Downtown Open House Main Street Columbus Downtown businesses open special hours with refreshments and sales. No admission • (662) 328-6035

Wassail Fest Downtown Columbus Great night of art, entertainment, good food and homemade wassail with downtown merchants. No admission • (662) 328-6305 Love Feast at MUW An annual tradition featuring traditional and contemporary music followed by a Christmas tree lighting at Welty Hall. No admission • (662) 329-7204 Holiday Historic Homes Tour Tour antebellum and Victorian homes decorated for the holidays during this tour. Admission • (800) 920-3533

Columbus Christmas Parade Over 200 floats, cars, bands, marching groups and local celebrities light the streets of Downtown with festive holiday decorations and floats. Santa and Miz Claus are escorted in perfect style to spread holiday cheer! First Monday in December each year. Lightning of the City Christmas Tree Tennessee Williams Welcome Center The lighting of a 40 foot tall pine is on the first Friday in December and the ceremony is broadcast live on WCBI TV. Event is complete with Christmas Caroling, Santa & Miz Claus. New Year’s Eve Block Party & Ball Drop Downtown block party complete with live music, food, beverages and fun. Begins at 8:00 pm and includes promotions at all downtown restaurants and bars and even a cruise giveaway for 2. At midnight, join in the excitement of a 10’ X 10’ lit ball is lowered from over 100 feet above Downtown, all the festivities are also broadcast live on WCBI TV. Planning to celebrate the 3rd year on New Year’s Eve 2011, this growing event has already received recognition as the best event in the state of Mississippi!

Everything in Janitorial, Paper & Packaging Supplies Tennant Scrubbers & sweepers Hillyard products Mats of all kinds Rubbermaid Gym floor finishes Lysol Butchers Johnson Diversity Roll foam Bubble wrap Carton sealing tapes Pallet wrap Poly bags

Deb soaps Gojo soaps Retail packaging supplies Swimming pool supplies Copy Paper Bay-West paper products Kimberly Clark Bakery supplies Safety supplies Hotel/motel supplies Weed killers Liners of all sizes Memphis gloves

1616 7th Avenue South • Columbus, MS 662.327.1467 • 800.844.1467



Columbus, MS – A 85-room Fairfield Inn and Suites with approximately 1,000 square feet of meeting space is slated to open late 2010. Peachtree Hotel Group will be the Hotel Operator. The Fairfield Inn and Suites Columbus will offer an outdoor pool, an outdoor whirlpool spa, fitness room, guest laundry, valet laundry service ,complimentary high speed internet, 24 hour business center, on-site guest laundry facilities and the new express market open 24 hours a day for your convenience. The hotel will also feature the “Early Eats” complimentary hot continental breakfast. Please visit our Facebook Page “Fairview Inn & Suites Columbus” to view the construction progress of our new Fairfield Inn & Suites.

OPENING LATE 2010 2011 6th Street North • Columbus, MS 39701 For more information call 317.507.1117.




Willowbrook Dental Center For the smile you always dreamed of! Dr. Mark A. Nobles, DMD Dr. Ben W. Harrelson, DMD Members of: American Dental Association Mississippi Dental Association

Cosmetic • Laser • Implant Laser Whitening • Invisalign • Veneers Family Dentistry Appointments Only • Most Insurances Filed Hours: Mon. - Thurs. 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. and Fri. 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.

(662) 327-4523 540 Willowbrook Rd. Columbus, MS 39705 DISCUS DENTAL

cAre credIT

Listing of this previously mentioned area of practice does not indicate certification of expertise therein.

P.O. Box 789 202 South Spring Street Fulton, MS 38843-0789 (662) 862-3121 Fax: (662) 862-3120

Monogram & Personalization Specialists Embroidery • Engraving • Printing Gold Vera Bradley Dealer Highway 45 North, Next to Belk Columbus, Mississippi (662) 327-3332 • (662) 327-3365 fax

Make an initial impression that lasts

Bethany Reed Hairston, M.D., F.A.A.D. Certified American Board of Dermatology Medical, Surgical, & Aesthetic Dermatology

255 Baptist Blvd., Ste 304 • P.O. Box 7458 • Columbus, MS 39705 (662) 328-3375 • Fax (662) 328-3395 • Toll Free 1-877-441-DERM



Clockwise from above: Newly restored Fine Arts & Design Building, instructor Alisa Holen assists a ceramics student, Professor Tom Nawrocki at home, Eugenia Summer Gallery student show.




Non-Still Life Those who do also teach in MUW’s Art Department.


or the faculty of the Art Department at Mississippi

triptych that manages to convey both feverish energy

University for Women, commuting is part of the job

and ironic detachment. Or “Skirmish,” Alex Stelioes-Will’s

description—commuting, that is, between the world

colored pencil evocation of a child’s suburbia that is

of exhibitions and galleries, the world of the classroom,

innocent and familiar yet unknowable at the same time. Or

and that more immediate yet infinitely more distant land

“Keepers of the Faith,” Department Chair Robert Gibson’s

of the imagination, where these working artists routinely

haunting mixed media homage to a time gone by, created

disappear only to return bearing pieces like “Call of the

with exotic wood, handmade paper, and a compelling

Flesh,” Shawn Dickey’s 3D screen print, a surrealistic

combination of imagery: A bird. An hourglass. An old man



Clockwise from above: Call of the Flesh by Shawn Dickey, Skirmish by Alex Stelioes-Will, Perfect Company by Alisa Holen, and Keepers of the Faith by Robert Gibson.

in an old fashioned suit sitting in a chair. A preacher perhaps? To view works like these—to navigate the lush curves of Alisa Holen’s clay pieces or to find your attention ensnared by the bold geometrics of Sung Choi’s computergenerated designs—is to understand the philosopher Francis Bacon’s assertion that “the job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.” And yet in the classroom, these makers of mystery are anything but mysterious, offering guidance and

internships, applied projects and

clear-eyed critique borne of real-

even coursework. And thanks to the

world experience. “Because of our

diversity of faculty expertise—from

own work as artists, we’re aware

print making to photography, graphic

of the trends and the competitive

design, painting, figure drawing and

nature of getting into commercial

fiber arts—aspiring artists enjoy a

galleries,” Gibson explains. That

range of choices to help identify and

seasoned viewpoint has resulted in

develop their talents, as well as a

ample opportunities for students to

great environment in newly renovated

gain their own real-world experience

quarters with more than 4,000 square

long before graduation, through

feet of studio space.




Clockwise from left: Urban by Sung Choi, and ZigZagZig56 by Tom Nawrocki. Below: Mr. Robert Gibson, Director of the MUW Art and Design Program and Associate Professor of Art, explains the process of making paper to his class.

MUW’s artist/teachers also guide by the example of success. This year faculty member and art world star Tom Nawrocki will once again engage in an active schedule of exhibitions. Nawrocki’s art has appeared in more than 400 state, regional, national and international art competitions, with work residing in permanent collections from New York to California to Prague. The artist has taught printmaking and fiber arts at MUW since 1970, and has moved easily between media. His current series of prints, “Zig Zag Zig,” combines exuberant color and shape with the control of a master. Nawrocki’s passport shows stamps from around the world—Korea, the Netherlands, Japan, Brazil, India, Germany, to name a few. His work shows the stamp of a world even more exotic. Faculty and student art may be viewed at the new Eugenia Summer Gallery in the Art and Design Building. T.E. Lott, Jr. CPA Charles M. Hawkins, CPA, CBA John F. Prince, CPA Nellah F. Taylor, CPA - Starkville Jeffry H. Read, CPA - Starkville Thomas J. Buckley, CPA Vivian L. Yeatman, CPA Bobby G. Shaw, CPA, CBA - Tuscaloosa Debby H. Gray, CPA, CPC Clayton H. Richardson, III, CPA, CVA - Starkville J. Michael Prince, CPA

CoLuMBuS oFFICE 221 North 7th St. (662) 328-5387 STARKVILLE oFFICE 106 B South Washington St. (662) 323-1234 TuSCALooSA oFFICE 6834 Highway 69 South (205) 759-4195 Mark A. Vickers, CPA, CVA Stewart R. Greene, CPA J.H. Kennedy, Jr., CPA Samuel A. Bray, CPA Frank F. Gray, CPA - Tuscaloosa Leslie W. Wood, CPA - Starkville Lawrence E. Wilson, CPA Kristy A. Tunnell, CPA, CITP - Starkville Louisa L. Russell, CPA Cheryl G. Nelson, CPA - Starkville Julie M. Melvin, CPA Matthew S. Sasser, CPA J. Mark Ward, CPA Jill M. Bergin, CPA W. Matthew Turner, CPA - Tuscaloosa Joshua B. Shaw, CPA - Tuscaloosa Katherine R. Wright, CPA - Starkville

Audits, Reviews & Compilations Tax Planning & Preparation Payroll Services Estate & Trust Tax Preparation Management Advisory Services Pension & Profit Sharing Services Quickbooks Advisors Accounting & Bookkeeping Services Business Valuation Technology Counseling Online Tax Preparation

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Mississippi Society of Certified Public Accountants Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants Registered with Public Company Accounting Oversight Board Member of Center for Public Company Audit Firms Member of Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center Member of Governmental Audit Quality Center

q ua lit y • int egr it y • servic e p ro fessio na lism • since 1926




In 2010 the National Trust for Historic Preservation bestowed on Columbus the prestigious Main Street Award. Choosing the city after a nation-wide selection process, the organization called Columbus the “shining star amoung Mississippi main streets.�

Cream of the Crop Fresh ideas yield big benefits, big awards for Downtown Columbus.


hat do you give a downtown

event in the state by the Mississippi Main

that already has everything,

Street Association, while the Hitching Lot

including block after block of

Farmer’s Market was named best public/private

historic architectural treasures, a vibrant retail

partnership. And in 2008, Columbus was named

and restaurant environment, the state’s biggest

one of the National Trust’s Dozen Distinctive

and best selection of loft apartments, a Farmer’s

Destinations, a designation cities earn, according

Market that sells everything from cantaloupes to

to the Trust, “by combining dynamic downtowns,

crafts, a year-round schedule of lively festivals

cultural diversity, attractive architecture, cultural

and celebrations, a series of both lunchtime

landscapes and a strong commitment to historic

and summertime concerts, a Riverwalk that

preservation, sustainability and revitalization.”

winds around five gorgeous miles and a rich,

The awards have been gratifying to Amber

fascinating history that stretches back nearly

Murphree Brislin, Director of Columbus Main

200 years and includes the man considered

Street, but what’s been even more rewarding,

America’s premiere playwright?

she says, is the way city residents have come

What do you give a downtown that has everything? A few awards, for starters. In 2010, Columbus was a recipient of the Great American Main Street Award given by the National Trust

together for more than two decades to put Downtown Columbus on the map. “The support the downtown area has gotten from the people in our community has been fantastic,” Brislin says. Equally




for Historic Preservation. In 2009 the city’s

prosperity, according to Brislin, is the creativity

New Year’s Eve celebration was named best

and imagination that supporters have brought



to the endeavor. “It’s really all about vision,” she says. “To see what needed to be preserved and to see what needed to be invented or re-invented. To see what was possible, in other words.” Having a ball right here. One good example of turning the possible into the positive is Columbus Riverwalk and Trail, the five-mile ribbon of lighted paths, pavilions and benches that tie Downtown to the Tenn-Tom Waterway and turns the urban experience into a natural wonder. And

focus of Columbus Main Street, says Brislin, an integral

at the Hitching Lot Farmer’s Market, vendors display the

part of the Main Street Four-Point Approach that covers

fruits of their labor, both agricultural and artistic, so that

design, to aid in the enhancement of Downtown’s

glazed pottery sits alongside fresh snap peas and sweet

physical appearance; organization, to build consensus

potatoes, and handmade cane flutes lie nestled next to

and cooperation in the revitalization process; promotion

organic eggs. As for what to do with the childhood home

and marketing of the commercial district’s assets; and

of Pulitzer-prize winning playwright Tennessee Williams, the

economic restructuring to strengthen Downtown’s

city preserved it and moved it downtown to serve as the

economic base.

Columbus Welcome Center. More recently, Columbus looked at the fun and excitement that Times Square was enjoying on New Year’s Eve and wondered why not have a ball right here? The result is the New Year’s Eve Block Party,

So far, the plan has worked well, but that doesn’t mean Columbus Main Street is ready to rest on its laurels. “We’re always looking to improve,” Brislin says. The downtown that has everything could always do a little bit more.

complete with a glittering ball drop, live music, prizes, refreshments and live television coverage on station WCBI. Not surprisingly, the Block Party has already established itself as a perennial blockbuster. Assets that harmonize. The annual Market Street Festival—held the first weekend in May since 1996 and named a Top 20 event in the Southeast for the past 11 years—has been another smash for Downtown, while the fair weather Noon Tunes and Sounds of Summer concert series have added more high notes. In between festivals, the merchant base in Downtown continues to prosper, offering popular wares ranging from clothing to antiques to art and stained glass. Nurturing Downtown retailers is a particular



Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!” – from Oh, the Places You’ll Go

The junior-senior race begins at all the schools with plenty of jumpstarts—a wealth of honors and advanced placement (AP) classes as well as dual credit courses.




The Big Finish At Columbus high schools, the junior-senior years are the jumpstart of a lifetime.


s every parent knows, time moves fast. One

High Schools. At Heritage Academy, every 9th through

day it’s ABCs, the next day it’s ACTs and SATs.

12th grader is issued a MacBook, which is used in

From Dr. Seuss and one fish-two fish counting,

conjunction with classroom Smart Board technology, an

suddenly it’s the countdown to college and work life.

innovation so successful that Heritage is the only school

Fortunately, at Columbus area high schools, that junior-

in Mississippi (and only one of 54 in the nation) to be

senior countdown is a learning and action-packed two

selected as an Apple Distinguished School for 2010.

years inside and outside the classroom that ends in high achieving liftoffs.

And far from shunning social media so integral to teen life—and dear to teen hearts— school administrators are

A time of prom and prep. The junior-senior race

finding ways to incorporate it to good use. At the Immanuel

begins at all the schools with plenty of jumpstarts—a

Center for Christian Education, a Facebook page and

wealth of honors and advanced placement (AP) classes

the Immanuel Rams tweets keep students in touch with

as well as dual credit courses

athletics and other activities.

at both Mississippi University for

A global edge. World-

Women and East Mississippi

class is no exaggeration in

Community College. And currently

describing a Columbus diplo-

a $2.8 million AP incentive grant

ma. At Columbus High School,

is expanding AP opportunities


with services like tutoring and AP


Summer Prep Camps at schools

Diploma Programme enhanc-

across Lowndes County, including

es resumes and boosts brain

Caledonia, New Hope and West

power for those juniors and

Lowndes High Schools, as well as

seniors ready to tackle the

at Columbus High School.

rigorous course offerings and




Touchdowns and tech-

extracurricular requirements.

nology. Area high schools are

CHS is one of only three

also hard-wired for success,

schools in the state to offer

with “smart technology” like the

the IB diploma, recognized as

Promethean Board used in sci-

a global standard of excellence

ence labs at Lowndes County

from Moscow to Madrid.



Clockwise from below: Students at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science carry out an advanced biology experiment in the lab. Faculty member, Dennis Reed, assists a physics student between class periods.

talented students, where accepted

lege is no easy task with tuition costs

students begin attendance in their

soaring. That’s why Columbus school

junior years, and where typically around

counselors and teachers work hard

10% of the senior class are National

scouring for scholarship opportuni-

Merit Scholars. Not surprisingly, these

ties. In 2009 Columbus High School

quiz whizzes routinely shine at aca-

students earned more than $2 million

demic competitions across the state,

in college scholarships.

region and nation. But

The scholarship process begins



early. “College prep with a strong

aren’t just cleaning up at competi-

Christian emphasis is our mis-

tions—they’re also brightening their

sion,” Bob Williford, Administrator of

communities with volunteer service

Immanuel, explains. “So helping find

that is both required and encouraged

scholarships is part of our job.”

at all area high schools. In 2010,

Ready to work. For students

Heritage Academy seniors, working

who aren’t ready to spend money, but

with Habitat for Humanity, raised funds

would rather earn it both immediately

Meritorious. The junior-senior

and donated Saturdays to lead the

and over the long haul, the transition

focus is exclusive at the Mississippi

school in building a house for a

to the working world is smooth and

School for Mathematics and Science

deserving family in Caledonia.

rewarding, thanks to the 21st century

(MSMS), the state’s only public, residential high school for academically-





training and opportunities available at

These days, raising funds for col-

CHS’s McKellar Technology Center,

Columbus Light & Water... making your life flow brighter.





Clockwise from right: Seniors at New Hope High School get a jump on college by taking advantage of advanced placement courses. Heritage Academy was one of 54 schools nationwide to be named an Apple Distinguished School for 2010.

where a rich array of career and technical offerings includes environmental science, computer graphic design, culinary arts, med tech, automotive mechanics, carpentry and more. The financial technology program nurtures budding entrepreneurship, while co-op programs allow students to gain on-the-job experience long before graduation. With so much to do, the juniorsenior years go by fast, but the preparation, say Columbus teachers and counselors, lasts a lifetime. Oh, the places they’ll go? You just never know.



Most in Translation Columbus Air Force Base puts the accent on international diversity, local prosperity.


esidents of Columbus aren’t afraid to admit it: They speak with an accent. In fact, thanks to the Columbus Air Force Base, home of the 14th Flying Training Wing, Columbus speaks with many accents and

enjoys an expanded world view to match, as pilots and other Air Force personnel bring in ideas and experiences from around the nation and around the globe. The influx “adds a good perspective,” says Lieutenant Colonel Carey Lee, CAFB’s International Military Student Officer. “In Columbus, residents who don’t travel still have a window on the world.” Lee oversees the students in CAFB’s two foreign pilot training programs. One is conducted in conjunction with foreign military sales–Poland, for example, purchases F-16s from the U.S. and their pilots are sent to CAFB to learn to fly. The second, the Aviation Leadership Program (ALP), is a scholarship program sponsored by the U.S. Secretary of Defense to train top pilots from around the world. More than 40 countries have sent their best and brightest through the ALP; this year the accents range from Latvian to Peruvian to Indian to Moroccan, with pilots from more than a dozen countries participating. While the purpose of the ALP is enhanced allied military strength, the



tural exchange is gratifying to all sides,


Pictured right: Lt. Faiz Mohammed Ramaki, the first Afghan officer to train in the United States in nearly 50 years earned his silver Air Force wings in a June 12 ceremony at Columbus Air Force Base. Lt. Ramaki was a participant in the USAF Aviation Leadership Program.

especially to volunteer host families

and uncomfortable” until his friendship

in Columbus.

with a Columbus resident—an older

A taste of America, flavors

woman with an Irish Catholic back-

of the world. Rick “Sonic” Johnson,

ground, Lee notes—helped break

CAFB’s Chief of Public Affairs encour-

the ice. One Yemen pilot “honestly

ages local families to get involved, noting

believed that we had gone in ahead

that hosts enjoy rewarding engagement

of him to stage the stocked shelves

surprised at how open and friendly

“with no heavy requirements.” Holiday

at WalMart,” Johnson says. The

people are in Columbus.”

invitations, family dinners or even drives

pilot was surprised to discover that

World of economic benefits.

downtown provide welcome experienc-

American abundance and the warm

While Hurlburt, 24, will transfer out at

es to pilots who are fluent in English and

American welcome he received were

the end of his training, he just might

usually eager to get to know America

both genuine. “He thought because

be back. Like Air Force spouses, the

and Americans. Hosts, on the other

of the U.S.S. Cole that he would not

more than 5,500 military retirees resid-

hand, get a taste of international friend-

be welcomed, but the opposite was

ing in Columbus provide a strong and

ships—sometimes literally. Johnson

true,” Lee says. “He was amazed at

skilled labor and volunteer resource

happily recounts the meals one Italian

the personal interest the rest of his

for the area, already boosted by the

pilot liked to make for his family. “He was

class showed in him.”

annual economic impact CAFB pro-

a fantastic cook. All he needed was a stove and refrigerator.”

At the end of the pilot’s training Johnson recalls, “We were sitting out

vides as Columbus’ largest employer, which in 2008 reached $321 million.

Over the years, Johnson has seen

on a sidewalk downtown, and he told

But while the presence of the

lifelong relationships form. “People will

me ‘you Americans deserve all your

base translates into a world of eco-

come up to me on the street to fill


nomic benefits, Johnson suggests

me in about the guys they’ve hosted.

Columbus has also been an

They’ll keep track of these pilots like

effective ambassador even to other

they are their own sons.”





the intangibles like international friendships are equally important. “You can’t put a price on those,”

United nations. The program

Benjamin Hurlburt, an Orlando native

and its local alliances also broaden

and Yale graduate currently half-way

Residents interested in becoming

foreign views of America, as in the

through his year-long pilot training.

a host family should contact Lt. Col.

case of Pakistani pilot who was “stiff

“Coming from a larger city, I was

Carey Lee at (662) 434-7610.

he notes.



CMTE’s manufacturing process begins with a solid foundation of basic skills assured by CMTE’s WorkKeys training and Silver Certification.




Lean and Meaning Business CMTE prepares the 21st century workforce, instilling the heavy-weight skills for lean manufacturing.


ailure is not an option, explains Stan Rice,

classrooms of the Center’s 27,000-square-foot state of

Workforce Development Coordinator at the Center

the art facility, where hands-on assessment is given for

for Manufacturing Technology Excellence (CMTE),

verification and authentication of an individual’s skills.

as he lays out the puzzle. Four squares of woven filaments,

Armed with basic M3 certified skills, students can then

four thread patterns that look identical to the untrained

move on to specialized tracks in more than a dozen areas,

eye. The job is to overlay the patterns at top speed and at

from PLC’s, robotics and pneumatics to CNC operation to

exact angles to form a perfect matrix for the composite, the

avionics and cabling to composites. “Keep it real” is the credo

engineered material that is light in weight yet exceedingly

in CMTE’s hands-on training areas which are, in essence,

strong, and flexible enough to be molded to a variety of

miniature manufacturing floors, where students hone their

applications including aircraft wings and bodies.

skills on working equipment—trouble-shooting PLC’s, for

In applications like these, and in today’s manufacturing environment, “there’s no room for error,” Rice says. “You have to be precise.” Composites helped skyrocket aerospace performance during the 20th century, and today CMTE, the workforce development division of East Mississippi Community College, is working to do the same by creating a labor force that is much like composites: flexible, agile, with an impressively strong knowledge base molded to answer the 21st century demands of lean manufacturing and just-in-time inventories.

example, assembling and disassembling diesel engines, and maintaining military grade wiring harnesses.

Major Manufacturing Employers Employers

No. Of Employees

Weyerhaeuser Corporation.................................. 647 Sanderson Plumbing...........................................600 Severstal.............................................................550 Omnova Solutions............................................... 387

Making the grade. CMTE’s manufacturing process—

Baldor Electric.....................................................350

the making, that is, of high grade workers—begins with

Johnston Tombigbee Furniture.............................250

a solid foundation of basic skills assured by CMTE’s

Microtek Ecolab...................................................220

WorkKeys training and Silver Certification. From there, training progresses with the Basic Manufacturing Skills and the Modern Multi-Skill Manufacturing (M3) program. Thanks to the Amatrol Anytime Anywhere e-learning system,

APAC..................................................................206 Stark Aerospace................................................. 180 American Eurocopter........................................... 319

students can study either remotely or in the computer



Being multi-skilled and team oriented is important in a pull-through manufacturing system, but CMTE instructors also know the key importance of retraining students to master the problem solving skills necessary for lean manufacturing.

Major Employers EMPLOYERS



Columbus Air Force Base

Pilot Training


Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle

Health care


Lowndes County Schools



Columbus Municipal Schools



Weyerhaeuser Corp.

Printing paper


Sanderson Plumbing

Lavatory seats



Rolled steel





Miss. University for Women



Omnova Solutions

Vinyl wall covering


Baldor Electric

Electric motors





And CMTE training isn’t just about knowledge and skills, it’s also about thinking. “In a pull-through system,

Employment By Occupation (2008) Architecture/Engineering






Building/Grounds cleaning/Maintenance



“But we also retrain students’ thinking

Business operation specialists



to orient them to problem-solving. In

Community/Social Services



Computer and mathematical






capabilities as a specialized training




partner have also proven to be a




Financial specialists



you have to work as a team, and you have to be multi-skilled. So crosstraining is important,” Rice notes.

lean manufacturing, that’s key.” From zero to production inside




crucial asset for a diverse range of industrial pace setters such as Severstal, Weyerhaeuser and

Food preparation/Serving related



PACCAR as well as aerospace

Health-care practitioner/Technician







leaders like American Eurocopter and Aurora Flight Sciences. In 2007, when Stark Aerospace was formed,

Health-care Support Installation/Maintenance/Repair

CMTE helped the company move




from hiring its first employees to

Life/Physical/Social Sciences



Management, including farmers/Farm managers



Office/Administrative support









production within one year, and today it continues to serve Stark with pre-employment and post-hire training in areas such as composites

Personal care/Service

and avionics.


Success in training partnerships is the result of attention to client needs—

Protective Service

and to client know-how, says Otis




Taylor, CMTE’s Director of Workforce

Transportation/Material moving



Services. “First of all, we sit down




with client companies to determine Industry veterans with nearly

exactly what is required to create




the region has in turn stepped up with more work.

a productive, sustainable workforce.


We then create an individualized plan,

between them, Rice and Taylor

“I can remember a time when

and typically, we write a grant for the

have seen vast improvements in

good workers sometimes thought

cost of instruction”—instruction that

the production process as the

there were better manufacturing

will also incorporate the knowledge

global economy has emerged, and

opportunities in places like Detroit,”

of existing client staff. “We’ve learned

they both agree that the region’s

Taylor says. “Now those people are

clients have a lot of expertise to

workforce, with training help, has

returning, because they’ve seen the

contribute,” Taylor says.

stepped up to the challenge, while

best opportunities are right here.”



People from every corner of the city come to get the job done—and in the process, a lot of people get to know each other, too.

Clean Sweep’s annual oneday effort draws hundreds of volunteers of all ages and from all walks of life.

Gone with the Winter Clean Sweep ushers in a beautiful new year for Columbus. hen it comes to spring makeovers, it’s pretty


Even big retailers like WalMart and Kroger pitch in

hard to top Mother Nature’s handiwork in

to donate gift cards that are used to purchase supplies

Columbus. That’s her job, after all, to splash

for the lunch served up to Clean Sweep volunteers,

the landscape with all the marvelous sunny hues and

while local merchants and residents also help out

delicate foliage of daffodils, jonquils, irises and budding

donating paint used to spruce up curbs this year and

trees. On the other hand, the volunteers on the Columbus

fire hydrants last year.

spring makeover team are no slouches, either. Armed with

One might expect a “young professionals” group to

rakes, paint brushes and trash bags, the Clean Sweep

be more at home wielding Blackberries than paint brushes

crew—not so much a crew, really,

and rakes, but this group of young

as an army—does exactly what the

working people ages 21 to 40 has

name suggests: it sweeps across

successfully blended “doing well”

the city eliminating the unbeautiful

with “doing good.” Born as a county

and beautifying the blah.

leadership project, the LINK’d Young

Held in late March, the annual

Professionals also offers plenty of

one-day effort draws hundreds of

advantages for networking in the

volunteers (more than 400 this

group’s monthly meetings at local

year)—people of all ages and

eateries and watering holes; the

from all walks of life, including

recent Speed Networking Night

Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts,

provided a fun twist.

4-Hers, Exchange and Kiwanis

Still, Clean Sweep is a project

club members, church groups,

the group particularly enjoys and

businesses bringing as many as

that has found special support from

a dozen staffers—all to clean and

the community at large as well as

brighten the face of Columbus.

from other business professionals.

“And if the end result is a thing of beauty, so too

Roger Burlingame, President of Ceco Building Systems

is the group effort that brings it about,” says Shasta

and a longtime community volunteer, sees Clean Sweep

Nance, of the Columbus LINK’d Young Professionals,

as an ideal program for a city that is “both friendly and

which organizes Clean Sweep. “The cooperation is really

beautiful,” and where tourism is vital.

amazing,” Nance says. “People from every corner of the

“You never get a second chance to make a first

city come to get the job done—and in the process, a lot

impression,” he says. “Clean Sweep is opportunity to do

of people get to know each other, too.”

something positive for Columbus and in turn for ourselves.”



Photos courtesy of Billups-Garth Archives, Columbus-Lowndes Public Library

FRONT LINE Leading edge care at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle echoes city’s history.






first in the country to offer MammoSite

comprehensive cancer care center,

“hospital town” was born

Radiation Therapy for breast cancer;

and to provide cancer patients with

under fire, when 3,000

its nuclear medicine camera was the

breakthrough treatments like high-

wounded men poured into the city

first of its kind in the nation when it

dose-rate brachytherapy, total skin

on wagons and oxcarts after the

was installed. Baptist was also one of

electron-beam irradiation to treat skin

Battle of Shiloh.

the first in the region to implement the

cancer and chemoembolization to

Medicine at the

time was primitive.

No antiseptic. da Vinci

No antibiotics. But what Columbus


Robotic Surgical System;

also the first in the region to open a

treat certain types of liver cancer. Chemoembolization is light years

had was a willingness to improvise

ahead of chloroform and carpet

and a determination to provide

squares. Today, the more than 100

care. Churches became hospitals;

physicians who practice at Baptist

carpeting became blankets.

represent most medical specialties,

Today, the city’s reputation as

and the hospital still plays a vital role

a “hospital town” comes not from

in the community, says Paul Cade,

gunfire but from “firsts” at Baptist

Baptist Administrator and CEO.

Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle:


Baptist was, for example, the first hospital in the state and one of the








have been a part of the Columbus

community for more than 40 years.

And, since joining Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation in 1993, tremendous updates in facilities and equipment have been made that greatly enhance the quality of medical care provided to the residents of the area,” Cade added. Civil War Columbus marshaled its resources strategically; facing a modern era of challenges, Baptist has done the same. Founded in 1969, the hospital was acquired by Memphis, Tennessee based Baptist Memorial Health Care 17 years ago, and membership in the tri-state system has brought added resources to bear on local Columbus needs, a strength which helped the hospital provide what it calculates as $57 million in total community benefit in 2008 alone.  Greater resources have also helped bring about those firsts. And speaking of firsts, in 2009, more than a thousand babies were born at Baptist and spent their first days of life in the welcoming environment of new labor and delivery




nursery located in a new five-story patient tower, part of a $34 million expansion project in 2005. The face of Columbus today owes much of its architectural richness to the city’s wartime medical services, which saved the town from battle. For the face of Columbus tomorrow, friends and families of Columbus newborns can log on to the Baptist Web Nursery to see and “aww” over its Picaboo Pics.  Expect unconditional surrender.



Supplying critical chemicals to industry worldwide Since 1954, Eka Chemicals, a business unit of AkzoNobel, has been a proud employer and strong supporter of Columbus and the Golden Triangle economy. Eka Chemicals is a major supplier of chemicals to the pulp and paper and other industries worldwide. The Columbus Plant supplies products for a wide range of industrial applications that includes papermaking, surface treatment of metals in the electronics and automotive industries, water treatment, agriculture and mining among many others. AkzoNobel is proud to be one of the world’s leading industrial companies. We are the largest global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals. We think about the future, but act in the present. We’re passionate about introducing new ideas and developing sustainable answers for our customers. That’s why our 57,000 employees - who are based in more than 80 countries - are committed to excellence and delivering Tomorrow’s Answers Today™. For more information, please visit or




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et. On behalf of the Columbus Lowndes Development LINK, we are pleased to introduce Columbus’ new Quality of Life magazine. “Columbus-Discov...

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