MBJ E-Edition — October 30, 2020

Page 1

• Insurance & Employee Benefits - 18 » Galloway, Chandler, McKinney » LUBA workers' comp trends

M S B U S I N E S S . C O M

| O c to b e r 3 0 , 2 02 0 I S S U E | Vo. 4 3 • N o. 8 • 6 0 p a ge s

• Architects & Engineers - 21

» Construction costs skyrocketing » Architects and engineers coming up with innovative solutions to pandemic challenges

• Banking & Finance - 24

» Dan Rollins - A man of many talents » Keesler growing brand in southeast

• Small Business - 28

» Restaurants keep fighting » Delta Fresh Foods initiative aims to develop local food system by encouraging young farmers

• Health Care - 31

» COVID-19 epidemic has taken a big toll on healthcare workers » EMPLOYERS BEWARE: OSHA ‘Coronavirus-related’ inspections, citations on the rise in late 2020

• Leading Private Companies - 35

List of the state's top private companies for 2020 Section begins page 40

» Top 100 about how we are doing as a state » Duff brothers open about the secret of their success » BankPlus taking long-term view for the future » Merchants continues to overcome » Vertex Aerospace continues to grow its business around the world providing » Mississippi’s top private companies continue to grow and prosper

Pages 20, 27, 30, 34, 44-47


Mississippi Business Journal


October 2020 Issue

Compromise struck on Sun-n-Sand motel demolition the plan, he said. The lodging was built in 1960 by Mississippi entrepreneur Dumas Milner and closed in 2001. When the Legislature legalized liquor in 1965, the reliminary work on the demolition of the Sun 'n' Sand motel in downtown Jackson is un- motel opened one of the first bars in Jackson. Lamar Properties bought the property in 2005 derway. However, the Mississippi Department of Finance and sold it to the state for $1,015,021 in January 2019 and Administration, which owns the motel, has to provide parking for government workers. Kornbrek said that the sign and building reflected struck a compromise. The common areas of the 60,000-plus-square- a sort of “Jetson Americana” style popular in that era. Famed Mississippi writer Willie Morris wrote foot structure will be saved and repurposed, Glenn Kornbrek, deputy executive director of DF&A said some of his posthumous book, “My Cat Spit McGee,” at the motel and noted that it was the site of in an interview. “many years [of] egregious po“They may be prelitical wheelings and dealings, served as large meeting not to mention its secretive rooms and possibly retrysts.” tail,” said Kornbrek, an Morris may get the last word architect with a degree on that, as Kornbrek said there from Carnegie Mellon is room for memorializing University in Pittsburgh. Morris' work there, along with The mid-century Milner as the builder. modern sign will be reThe Mississippi Heritage stored and re-electrified, Trust has championed saving he added. the motel, calling it one of the “We had a lot of dis» Entrepreneur R.E. Dumas Milner launched the hotel “10 Most Endangered Historic cussion with Archives in October 1960, naming it after a landmark Mississippi Places” in the state since 2005. and History” that led to Gulf Coast hotel he owned as well. By JACK WEATHERLY jack.weatherly@msbusiness.com


Photo by Mark Moore

Chicken Salad Chick celebrates opening of second metro area restaurant


hicken Salad Chick, the nation's only southern inspired, fast casual chicken salad restaurant concept, announced today it will be expanding in Mississippi with its newest restaurant in Madison. Following the brand's debut in Flowood in 2018, the Madison restaurant marks Chicken Salad Chick's second Jackson area location and ninth restaurant in Mississippi. Located at 1917 Main Street, Madison on Main celebrated its grand opening on October 20 and offered free chicken salad for a year to the first 100 guests. Those awarded were properly distanced and will receive a desig-

nated return time upon arrival to spread out the number of guests at the restaurant throughout the day. Chicken Salad Chick is closely following Mississippi's state and local guidelines for COVID-19 procedures and will open the Madison on Main restaurant at limited capacity with social distancing measures in place. All employees will be wearing masks and gloves, as well as practicing proper handwashing and food safety protocol, and all guests will be required to wear masks until seated for dining. For guests who prefer to take their chicken salad to-go, Madison on Main has a drive-thru for added convenience.

Junior League of Jackson names board of directors The Junior League of Jackson has announced the 2020-2021 Board of Directors for the organization. The members are, front row, from left, Allison Simpson, Training and Organizational Development Vice President; Katie Browning, President-Elect; Staci McNinch, President; Kaitlyn Vassar, Membership Vice President; Tish Hughes, Sustaining Advisor. Second row: Adriane Louie, Operations Vice President; Jane Harkins, Treasurer-Elect; Kim Porter, Sustaining Advisor; Carmen Gross, Placement Chair; Ellie Word, Fund Development Vice President; Bethany Smith, Community Vice President; Kacey Matthews, Communications Vice President; Jaime Stein, Treasurer; Zonzie McLaurin, Secretary; Barbara Byrd, Member-at-Large; Valerie Linn, Sustaining Advisor; Paige Manning, Nominating Chair. (Courtesy of Junior League of Jackson)

October 2020 Issue

» tourism

Jackson Hilton Garden Inn unveils renovation


Mississippi Business Journal



$160 million invested in Corinth sawmill, creating 130 jobs

Photo by Taggart Sorensen

he Hilton Garden Inn Jackson Downtown, an iconic historic hotel located in the heart of the city center, has completed renovations to its 7,321 square feet of meeting and event space, 186 guest rooms, full-service restaurant and bar, lobby and fitness center. A Mississippi Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and formerly known as the King Edward Hotel, the property is a symbol of Jackson’s downtown Renaissance and continues its legacy of offering classic charm and warm Southern hospitality to today’s travelers from around the world. Completed in July 2020 and designed to retain the hotel’s historical elegance, the renovations infuse a vibrant ambiance that resonates throughout the property. Nine meeting rooms and pre-function spaces, capable of hosting groups up to 300, received new carpeting, wallcoverings, seating, lighting, and window treatments. The venue space was expanded with the addition of a multi-function room on the ground floor featuring a polished look with high ceilings and windows accompanied by the original flooring.


Adorned with new furnishings and wall finishes, the revamped historic lobby houses The Shop, a new all-hours market offering snacks, sandwiches, cold beverages, and a selection of sundries. Guestrooms received new carpeting, wallcoverings, window treatments, updated seating upholsteries, light fixtures, and the addition of new 49” televisions. Rooms are equipped with a refrigerator, Keurig coffee maker, and microwave. The guest bathroom mirrors were refreshed with LED backlighting. King Edward Bar and Grille, the hotel’s destination bar and restaurant, was transformed with new furnishings, carpeting, wallcoverings, floor tiling, window treatments, light fixtures, a fully updated buffet area, and the addition of large screen televisions in the bar. The restaurant serves made-to-order breakfast, lunch and dinner from a menu showcasing Southern cuisine and American classics with a selection of craft cocktail, wine and beer. Catering to leisure and group travelers, the hotel offers complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the property, 24-hour fitness and business centers, valet parking ser-

vice, and an indoor pool and whirlpool. Hilton Garden Inn Jackson Downtown is conveniently located near business and cultural destinations including the Jackson Convention Complex, Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, Mississippi State Museum, Mississippi Museum of Arts, Mississippi Coliseum, Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park, Mississippi Farmers Market, and a plethora of restaurants, bars and lounges. Hilton Garden Inn Jackson Downtown is part of Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 17 distinct hotel brands. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else. Members also enjoy popular digital tools available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors mobile app, where Hilton Honors members can check-in, choose their room and access their room using a Digital Key.

Mission Forest Products, a subsidiary of Timberland Investment Resources LLC, is building a sawmill in Corinth. The project is a $160 million corporate investment and will directly create approximately 130 jobs and indirectly provide additional economic and employment opportunities for forest products firms and workers based in north Mississippi. Mission Forest Products expects to be operating by 2022. Mission Forest Products will be capable of producing 250 million board feet of lumber annually. The state-of-the-art pine sawmill will be financed through capital provided by investors that TIR represents. TIR decided to locate the mill in Corinth due to the rail and road access it offers to growing population centers like Memphis, Nashville, Birmingham and the lower U.S. Midwest. The Corinth area is a prime timber-growing region that currently is underserved with sawmill capacity. The Mississippi Development Authority is providing $4.1 million in grants for infrastructure improvements., site preparation and building construction, in addition to a $3 million loan for public infrastructure and $250,000 for work-force training. — MBJ Staff


Mississippi Business Journal


October 2020 Issue


Merigold: a nice surprise in a small package M ERIGOLD – Two and onehalf hours from Jackson across the Delta, we arrive in this hamlet tucked into the shade of large trees spared in the clearing of the vast farming land. We have come to visit McCarty's Pottery, located on one of JACK WEATHERLY the lanes of this town with its turns and cozied behind 15-foot-tall, board-and-batten cypress fences and even taller bamboo. “We don't believe in signs in Merigold,” says Stephen Smith, a member of the McCarty family who refers to the founders as “Uncle Lee and Aunt Pup.” The pottery and retail shop are a converted mule barn. Great things were destined to come from the commonplace. The first clay that the McCartys used came from a ravine behind the barn at William Faulkner's mansion Rowan Oak. “You can have it,” the legendary writer told the two aspiring potters who were taking a course at Ole Miss. The soil is the essence of the magic of their timeless thrown pottery and sculpted » Jamie Smith takes a break from working at the wheel./Photo by Jack Weatherly pieces, which has found its way into famous whom we hailed. Just around the corner what they like to do. Talk. museums and personal collections. (Including with a Californian, who said from city hall and behind the tall fence and Lee and Pup McCarty set up the pottery in 1954 when a family member said of the more than once she was there to get some- bamboo, he said. After our number came up, we got in and thing special for a “Delta wedding.” mule shed, “You can have it.” That aside, our three-hour wait gave us Jill bought a platter to match a McCarty The couple established the line with what evolved as an earthy glaze and, on the ample time to enjoy the tasty and gener- bowl we have. The purpose of talk, maybe especially so edge of the utilitarian pieces, a small black ous portions in the McCarty tearoom, The squiggle, representing Mississippi the River. Gallery, which we found thanks to person- for Southerners, is to connect. The famous Pup died in 2009 and Lee carried on al directions from the only person on the pre-social media's six degrees of separation till 2015, when he passed away. Godson Ja- downtown streets at midday, a young man shrinks to three degrees in these parts. Facebook Smacebook. mie Smith, who runs the shop along with Like the two couples we met brother Stephen, the business manager, on the rooftop Bar Fontaine at is carrying on the tradition, working long the Cotton House Hotel in days on the wheel, throwing and shaping nearby Cleveland that night. his creations. First the connection was Time does seem to slow down in Misthe word “Memphis,” which sissippi, and even the government has unalways catches our ears because wittingly assisted in that with its mandates it's the hometown for my wife during the plague that the state has strugand me. gled with since March. Then filler talk, however inWe arrive at the entrance of the shop teresting, led to an important (101 St. Marys Street, to be formal) and connection, for me. people are standing and sitting. One of the ladies grew up in No surprise, we suppose. This is, after Blytheville, Arkansas, and, get all, McCarty's. this, knew quite well the pubThen a lady in waiting tells us we need lisher and editor of the local to take a number, that she has been there an paper, The Courier News. hour and a half. Hank Haines was my first Seems that the shop has restricted the newspaper boss and dear lifenumber of customers to five at a time. » McCarty’s had a waiting list to get in./ Photo by Jill Weatherly long friend who passed away a Which gives Mississippians time to do

few years ago. The 95-guestroom Marriott Tribute hotel opened on the last weekend of July of 2019. It is the first luxury hotel in the town, home to Delta State University. Midway in its first 15 months, it was struck, along with everybody else, by the pandemic. Which explains the oddity of offering no breakfast. (Though you might be able to sweet talk the kitchen in the Meat Market restaurant into whipping up some scrambled eggs and bacon.) The virus does nothing to diminish the exquisite décor and furnishings of the hotel – tiles, wood-style laminate flooring and curated local artwork. Like the signed and numbered photo prints in our room – with its plush queen beds and a stylish, well-designed bathroom -- of Robert Cray, Eric Clapton and B.B. King jammin' and Howlin' Wolf smoking a cigarette. All of it – the land, the art and the people – works together to make connections for us. » JACK WEATHERLY is a reporter at the Mississippi Business Journal. He can be reached at jack.weatherly@msbusiness.com.

Jeff 7.0 Lincoln 9.7 7.5 1 Covington Jone 7.7 7.5 Ma Lincoln Lawrence Jeff Davis byAdams CountyFranklin Wilkinson Pike Amite 9.7 7 7.5 10.2 Walthall 15.6 9.6 9.5 11.4 9.0 October 2020 Issue n Mississippi Business Journal n9.5 Marion Lamar Forrest Wilkinson Pike Amite 7.9 Alcorn Unemployment Rates 5.9 8.2 Walthall 15.6 9.6 9.5 Adams 8.2 11.4

Jefferson 20.8

Mississippi Unemployment Rates June 2020 Mississippi » Mississippi - 7.9 | u.s. - 8.5 U.S.

DeSoto 7.6

9.7 11.2

Tunica 17.5

Tate 9.2


Benton 10.3

Marshall 9.6

Lafayette 8.1

Quitman 12.6

Coahoma 14.1

Labor force and employment security data Bolivar 9.8

STATE OF MISSISSIPPI Labor Force Data Civilian Labor Force Unemployed Unemployment Rate Employed UNITED STATES Labor Force Data Civilian Labor Force Unemployed Unemployment Rate Employed STATE OF MISSISSIPPI Unemployment Insurance Data •• Initial UI Claims Continued Claims Benefits Paid Weeks Paid First Payments Final Payments Average Weekly Benefit

August ‘20 1,238,800 97,800 7.9 1,141,000

Sunflower 11.5

July ‘20 1,232,100 124,000 10.1 1,108,100

July ‘20 161,374,000 16,882,000 10.5 144,492,000

August 2020 20,289 554,653 $74,839,997 421,690 9,235 8,638 $177.48

Leflore 12.6

August ‘19 ‘19 Avg. Washington 1,272,600 1,276,100 12.2 71,600 69,200 Humphreys 15.9 5.6Sharkey 5.4 11.5 1,201,000 1,206,900 Issaquena 7.2

August ‘20 160,966,000 13,742,000 8.5 147,224,000

Grenada August 8.7

August ‘19 Warren ‘19 Avg. 164,019,000 10.7 163,539,000 Hinds 6,203,000 6,001,000 11.7 3.8 3.7 Claiborne 157,538,000 157,816,000 18.6

Jefferson 20.3

July 2020 42,618Franklin 8.7 634,327 $96,721,128 Amite Wilkinson 14.1552,998 9.4 24,293 7,034 $174.90 Unemployment Rates Adams 12.4

Copiah 9.4

Attala 9.5

Simpson 7.7

Scott 6.9

38,778 $5,556,479 Pike Walthall 10.4 27,2549.9 1,893 431 $203.88

Marion 8.3

Coahoma 12.5

Winston 11.0

•• Unemployment Insurance amounts presented in this section only represent regular UI benefits, federal program 9.7 -the 14.7 amounts are not included. Labor force amounts are produced in cooperation with Bureau of Labor Statistics. 14.8 - 20.3 Note: Unless indicated state and county data presented are not seasonally adjusted.

— Mississippi Department of Employment Security

Pearl River 7.9

Lafayette 5.9


Quitman 12.7


14.7 Tallahatchie 8.1

Yazoo Clarke 9.6 9.8

Warren 8.8


Hinds 10.3 9.0

Claiborne 15.6

Lamar Forrest 7.3Jefferson 9.9 20.8

Pearl River 8.4 Wilkinson

Lowndes Panola 10.7

Benton 8.7

Tippah 6.4

Union 6.0 Pontotoc 6.5

Hancock 7.9

Alcorn 5.7

Sto 8

Har 8

Tishomingo 6.3

Prentiss 6.3 Source:

Labor Market Dat Design: Labor Market Info

Lee 7.0

Itawamba 5.9

Yalobusha 7.6

Calhoun Chickasaw Monroe 7.3 9.6 8.3 Bolivar Grenada 8.8 7.1 Clay Sunflower Kemper Neshoba Webster 11.5 12.5 13.4 11.8 6.9 Leflore Montgomery 11.1 Carroll Oktibbeha Lowndes 8.2 8.1 Choctaw 7.4 8.4 Washington 6.3 Lauderdale Newton 11.5 9.6 Humphreys 9.0Holmes Noxubee Winston Attala 15.5 15.8 12.9 8.9 8.6 Sharkey 9.7


7.2 - 9.6


Choctaw 7.1

Marshall 8.5

Tate 8.5

Oktibbeha 9.9

Jasper SmithIssaquena 10.1 6.1 8.4

Adams 11.4

13.0 - 20.8 6.7

Clay 14.5 Tunica


Covington Jones 8.8 August 2019 8.4 Lawrence Jeff Davis Lincoln 9.6 11.5 8.5 4,401

6.1 - 7.1

** Average for most recent twelve months, including current month

Moving Avg.** 162,017,000 Rankin 11,144,000 6.3 6.9 150,874,000


4.7 - 6.4

8.5 - -12.9 8.5 12.9 13.0 20.8 13.0 - -20.8

Monroe 11.3 DeSoto


Webster 7.9 8.7

Leake 9.5

Madison 8.2

4.7- -6.4 6.4 Itawamba 7.9 6.5- -8.48.4 6.5

4.7 Lee 10.3

Pontotoc 8.9



Yazoo 12.2


Union 8.2

Calhoun 8.7

Montgomery Carroll U.S. 9.2 Moving 9.0 Avg.**

1,249,400 Holmes 92,800 20.2 7.4 1,156,700

Tishomingo 7.2

Mississippi Unemployment Rates by County Chickasaw 8.5 - 12.9

Yalobusha 10.4

Tallahatchie 8.5


Tippah 8.0

8.0 Unemployment 6.5 - 8.4 Unemployment Rates Rates


Franklin 9.0

Stone 9.0

Amite 9.5

Rankin 4.7


Leake 7.5

Neshoba 8.4

Kemper 9.7

Scott 5.6

Newton 7.6

Lauderdale 7.1

Jasper 9.2

Clarke 9.0

Smith 5.9

Simpson Copiah 7.0 8.2 Greene

Perry 9.3

Franklin 9.0

Madison 5.7

Covington 7.7

Lincoln Lawrence Jeff Davis 9.7 7.5 10.2

George 10.0

Pike 9.6

Harrison Hancock Unemployment 10.9 Rates 9.6

Walthall 9.5

Marion 7.9

Jackson 10.9

4.7 - 6.4 6.5 - 8.4 Source: Labor Market 8.5 -Data 12.9Publication Design: Labor Market Information Department, MDES 13.0 - 20.8

Jones 7.5

Lamar Forrest 5.9 8.2

Pearl River 7.9 Hancock 7.9

Wayne 10.1

Perry 9.2

Stone 8.0

Harrison 8.0

Greene 11.2 George 10.5

Jackson 8.6

Source: Labor Market Data Publication Design: Labor Market Information Department, MDES

Mississippi Labor Market Data — 3

Former city administrator pleads guilty to money laundering

Mississippi Labor Market Data — 3

A former administrator for a Mississippi city has pleaded guilty to money laundering and making false statements on a federal tax return, federal authorities said. Randy James, 56, who was once city clerk of Bay Springs in Jasper County, entered the plea Wednesday before Senior U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett, U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst said in a news release. “I commend local bank employees who spotted this criminal activity, as well as our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners and prosecutors who were diligent in catching this crook and holding him accountable,” Hurst said. “We will continue to do all that we can to root out criminality and corruption in all forms of government.” James faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for money laundering. He also faces up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine for making a false statement on an income tax return. Sentencing is set for Jan. 12.

According to Hurst’s office, James had control over certain financial aspects of the city during 2017 and 2018. Over that period, James embezzled just over $300,000 by creating fake invoices from fictitious companies for services that were never approved or incurred by the city, authorities said. James diverted city funds by cashing city checks at a local bank and wiring those funds overseas to international scammers in hopes of winning money in a lottery scheme, federal prosecutors said. In addition, James made false statements on his personal federal income tax return by under-reporting his income by $193,331. In a plea deal, James agreed to pay a total of $420,562 in restitution. “This loss is massive for a town the size of Bay Springs — over 10% of their annual budget. Our small towns cannot afford to lose a single penny right now,” State Auditor Shad White said.


Mississippi Business Journal


October 2020 Issue

Singing River Hospital, Pascagoula


Singing River and Ochsner introduce Singing River Gulfport

inging River Health System has completed the acquisition of Garden Park Medical Center in Gulfport from HCA Healthcare. Garden Park will now be known as Singing River Gulfport. This facility will be an integral part of the Strategic Partnership between Singing River and Ochsner Health. Singing River and Ochsner both view this as an exciting opportunity to further serve the communities along the Gulf Coast with the exceptional, leading-edge technology and medical expertise of both organizations. “This is another strong step in the progression of our strategic partnership with Ochsner, and together we will build upon our unique strengths and together deliver far more to the people of Mississippi than we can individually. Singing River and Ochsner have likeminded service cultures and share an unwavering commitment to excellence in all that we do and look forward to advancing our Mission to Improve Health and Save Lives through our investment in the people and services at Singing River Gulfport.”

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer, Singing River Health System

“This partnership is an example of two leading organizations coming together to build upon our common vision to lead in a time of change. With the addition of the Gulfport hospital to the Singing River family, we will have even

more opportunities to expand access to high-quality care along the Gulf Coast. Together, our organizations will bring the latest in digital innovation, as well as enhanced services, to patients in Mississippi.”

watchdog organization committed to healthcare and patient safety. The Safety Letter Grade is assigned to all gener-

Warner Thomas, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ochsner Health

Singing River has also announced its Executive Director of Surgical Services, Tiffany Murdock, RN, will be the Administrator for Singing River Gulfport Hospital. “Tiffany is a constant driver of innovation, positive change, and strong team spirit for Singing River. Her managerial talents and expertise in surgical services are going to drive Singing River Gulfport and the entire health system to success well into the future.”

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer, Singing River Health System

Singing River’s three hospitals located in Gulfport, Ocean Springs, and Pascagoula, along with Ochsner Medical Center – Hancock are recognized by the Leapfrog Group with an “A” Hospital Safety Grade. Half a million people now have access to high-quality care at four hospitals along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and surrounding areas. The Leapfrog Group is an independent national

ABBY MCINNIS Joined People Lease in 2020 as a Project Administrative Assistant. Abby is currently a Sophomore at Holmes Community College – Ridgeland Campus. At People Lease, she enjoys taking on new projects, bonding with her co-workers, and improving the flow of data through our network. Abby currently resides in Flora, MS. Abby is also known as our 2021 USA National Miss Mississippi; therefore, in her free time she enjoys working a parttime job at a formal wear store, providing her community a helping hand, and preparing for her national pageant.

al hospitals across the country to assess how well hospitals prevent medical errors and other harms to patients.

October 2020 Issue


Mississippi Business Journal



The sounds of silence on the golf course


here were subtle sounds you didn't hear on the Golf Channel, which was the only way for golf fans to watch the Sanderson Farms Championship. Shots would drop unseen from the sky onto the immaculate greens at the Country Club of Jackson. JACK WEATHERLY With a plop, like acorns. There were virtually no competing noises because fans were not allowed on the course due to the coronavirus pandemic. Aside from the occasional sound of one hand clapping on a clip board in applause, silence ruled the day. Until the 18th green, the 72nd hole. From out of nowhere, a shot dropped two-and-one-half feet from the flag stick. Who made that shot? “Sergio!” came the response from someone sitting nearby on a golf cart. Imagine the crowds this year sans the coronavirus. Thousands and thousands taking in the gifted athletes would've filled the stands and lined the fairways in perfect early-fall weather. But there were no stands and hospitality tents this year. Still, from out of nowhere, fans appeared. Not real fans by PGA rules. People who work for the tournament, and the news media. They flocked around the green and acted their part. Including a roar as best they could when Sergio holed the little putt for the victory by one stroke. Garcia is one of only a few players on the PGA tour who is referred to by his first name. That despite the perception that he has not lived up to his potential. And he turned 40 this year, the point after which most pro golfers have seen their best years. The Sanderson is his first PGA victory since the 2017 Masters, the pinnacle of his career thus far and one of 11 on the tour, though he has won 30 more tourneys on the European Tour and elsewhere around the world.

» Sergio Garcia holds the championship trophy after winning the Sanderson Farms Championships in Jackson.

The coronavirus has not only disrupted many institutions, it has touched many lives. Two of the Spaniard's uncles have died from the virus this year, one only a week before the Sanderson. Thus he dedicated his victory in Jackson to them. He won $1,188,000, out of a total purse of $6.6 milliondivided among the 66 players who finished sin the money. But the question remains as to how much the tournament will mean to its charities, primarily the Mississippi Children's hospital. The tournament has raised more than $7.6 million for Children's since 2013, the year Sanderson Farms became title sponsor. How much will be donated this year remains to be seen, according Steve Jent, executive director of the tournament. With help from the other sponsors, “I'm hoping we can get closer,” Jent said. Who knows? Good things do drop out of the sky sometimes. » JACK WEATHERLY is the senior writer for the Mississippi Business Journal. He can be reached at jack.weatherly@msbusiness.com.

Vicksburg Forest Products to invest $40 million, add 60 jobs By JACK WEATHERLY jack.weatherly@msbusiness.com


icksburg Forest Products has announced that it will expand its lumber mill operation. The project is a $40 million corporate investment and will create 60 jobs. Vicksburg Forest Products, which is headquartered in Jackson, purchased the Vicksburg sawmill from the Anderson-Tully Co. in May 2018 and converted it to a pine lumber operation. Anderson-Tully had produced hardwood lumber for 129 years. Anderson-Tully’s 300,000 acres of hardwood along the Mississippi between Memphis and Natchez were not part of the 2018 sale.

After the purchase, the facility underwent a large-scale transformation and is currently producing 75 million board feet of pine lumber on an annual basis. After the latest expansion, it will be capable of producing 180 million board feet of lumber per year, consisting of a diverse product mix. The upgraded mill will be purchasing approximately 800,000 tons of timber annually from landowners in the surrounding areas. The company has signed a turnkey contract with a leading equipment provider, and construction is scheduled to begin in October and will be complete next summer. “We look forward to working with the local economic community and the state of Mississippi to support further invest-

ment in our facility and the surrounding area,” said Manager Billy Van Devender. “We are excited about the long-term prospects of our Vicksburg operations.” The Mississippi Development Authority is providing a $750,000 grant for building renovations, construction of a log yard and road construction and a $345,000 grant for drainage and erosion control and a railroad expansion. For the initial conversion, the MDA provided a $400,000 grant for site improvements. The city of Vicksburg provided $100,000 in matching funds for public infrastructure. The city of Vicksburg also is providing assistance with infrastructure projects.

Cal-Maine reports loss, but beats consensus Cal-Maine Foods Inc. reported a net loss of $19.4 million, or 40 cents per share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2021, compared with a net loss of $45.8 million, or 94 cents per share, year earlier. Net sales for the first quarter, ending Aug. 31, of fiscal 2021 were $292.8 million, a 21.4 percent increase compared with $241.2 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2020. Cal-Maine shares on the GSNasdaq market benefited from the fact that the company beat the FactSet consensus for a loss of 53 cents a share and sales of $284 million. The Jackson-based company is the largest in-shell egg producer in the nation. Adolph Baker, chairman and chief executive officer of Cal-Maine, stated in the release that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, “total dozens sold were up 3.8 percent over the same period last year, primarily due to continued strong retail demand [while] food service demand is still well below pre-quarantine levels, which we believe has constrained the price of shell eggs in the retail market. “The overall supply of eggs has declined significantly, and overall demand is expected to improve as food service sales return to pre-covid-19 levels. "An important competitive advantage for CalMaine Foods is our ability to offer our customers choice, by providing a favorable product mix in a sustainable manner, including conventional, cage-free, organic and other specialty eggs,” Baker said. Several states, representing 23 percent of the U.S. total population, have passed legislation requiring cage-free eggs by specified future dates, and other states are considering such legislation, the company said in a release, Baker noted. — MBJ Staff


Mississippi Business Journal


October 2020 Issue

» law elevated

Trump administration announces significant changes to H-1B Visa program


visas. The new minimum n Oct. 6, the U.S. Department of Homesalary requirements will land Security and take effect the morning Department of Labor anof Thursday, Oct. 8. nounced new rules for the The DHS rules H-1B program that will imare expected to go pact more than one-third of into effect in 60 days, the H-1B petitions. The changes but are also expected todd photopulos include narrowing the definition of to face challenges in the “specialty occupation,” as well as requircourts, just like the president’s exing companies to offer the roles to U.S. ecutive order issued in June that barred workers first and be subject to worksite the issuance of new foreign work visas inspections to enforce stricter compli- because of the COVID-19 pandemic. ance. In an Oct. 1 ruling, a federal judge ruled In conjunction with DHS, the Depart- the administration overstepped by issument of Labor is also issuing a new rule ing that executive order and temporarirequiring companies to increase the pay ly blocked further implementation. of H-1B visa holders. The changes, which These sweeping changes to further will be issued as final rules, are some of decrease the flow of international talthe most significant immigration restric- ent were foreshadowed in the June tions in the last 20 years and are a con- 2020 executive order and have creattinuation of President Donald Trump’s ed much uncertainty for the numerous 2017 “Buy American, Hire American” U.S. industries and organizations that executive order. rely on international talent. Moreover, Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of the the intended effect of the latest execuU.S. Citizenship and Immigration Ser- tive order may be the opposite of what vices, referred to the current definition of the Trump administration expects. “specialty occupation” as “overbroad” and This latest executive action to try to that it “allowed companies to game the limit lawful immigration may result in system” in a call with reporters on Tues- companies shifting highly skilled jobs to day, Oct. 6. The DHS rule change is in- Canada and other jurisdictions abroad tended to prevent such actions while al- that welcome skilled international lowing for “continuous vetting” of H-1B workers without the same level of reemployers both before and after a visa strictions. petition has been approved. Only time will tell, and we will monThe DOL rule, which was released itor the developments that follow. For that same day on the department’s web- more insights on immigration and othsite, will raise the four salary tiers for em- er labor and employment topics, visit ployees on H-1B and other professional our Workplace blog and register to re-

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» TODD P. PHOTOPULOS is an attorney in

Butler Snow’s Memphis office. He practices with the firm’s Labor and Employment group and focuses his practice on immigration.

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October 2020 Issue


Mississippi Business Journal



Hotel Legends ready to make name for itself on the Coast By JACK WEATHERLY jack.weatherly@msbusiness.com


he staff of the new Biloxi hotel was watching the weather midweek as another Gulf hurricane made its way toward landfall. But the storm started veering west of Biloxi, and so breathing got easier, and rooms were booked. It's a dance that is nothing new on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. But the Hotel Legends is. It opened after it was reclaimed from the hulk of an old building that had housed apartments for senior citizens. It had been a victim since 2005 when Hurricane Katrina devastated the coast. Lodging and Leisure Investments LLC of Biloxi worked for five years to turn an eyesore into a “sapphire blue” eye popper. The hotel and restaurant interiors are decorated with Getty photographs of movie and Vegas stars, including the media crossover Rat Pack, reflecting “vintage Hollywood glamour” from the 1930s through rhe 1950s, said Tessy Lambert, the hotel's publicist. The hotel and restaurant, the Sapphire Supper Club, aspire to no particular Zagat rating, only to be “top tier,” Lambert said. Hotels.com initially rates the hotel » Hotel Legends in Biloxi

Sweetie Pie’s Norman pleads not guilty in murder for hire scheme By JACK WEATHERLY jack.weatherly@msbusiness.com

» Sapphire Supper Club

three stars. There will be lounge singers, but these vocalists, Spencer Racca and Jesse Hill, who entertain on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, offer sounds-just-like versions of songs popularized by Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and even Elvis, who made more than his share of movies in the '60s, and others. Seating in the restaurant is limited to 70, or 50 percent capacity, during the corona-

virus pandemic. Room rates, of course, vary by season and day of the week. It was booked solid for Saturday, Oct. 10. Daily rates throughout the month are $179 weekdays and $219 on weekends. Each suite has a wet bar, a seating area, a large bathroom and shower area and a 50inch flat-screen TV. The exterior's unusual color – sapphire blue – has wowed locals and guests, she said.


ames Timothy “Tim” Norman, owner of Sweetie Pie's Live in Jackson, pleaded not guilty to federal charges alleging he was involved in a murder-for-hire plot that led to the shooting death of his nephew. Montgomery's grandmother’s St. Louis-area soul food restaurant was the setting for the reality show “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s.” Norman and an alleged co-conspirator, Terica Ellis, of Memphis, a stripper, were arrested in August on charges alleging they were involved in a murderfor-hire plot that led to the shooting death of 21-year-old Andre Montgomery in St. Louis. Norman, 41, entered the plea during an appearance Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Missouri. Ellis pleaded not guilty at a hearing in September, KTVI reported. Norman, who is a son of Sweetie Pie’s St. Louis owner Robbie Montgomery, and the victim appeared on “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s,” which ran for five seasons on the Oprah Winfrey Network starting in 2011. Norman took out a life insurance policy in 2014 on his nephew, which named Norman as the sole beneficiary, according to prosecutors. Montgomery was shot to death on March 14, 2016 in St. Louis. Norman was arrested on Aug. 18 in Jackson and detained in Madison County. Magistrate Linda Anderson of he the U.S. District Court for South Mississippi, ordered him turned over to the Missouri court. A detention hearing was held Tuesday and taken under advisement. Bond has not been set for Norman.

PERSPECTIVE October 2020 Issue • www.msbusiness.com • Page 10

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October 2020 Issue | Volume 43, Number 8

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Broken promises, record deficits, and surging debt


ell, if COVID-19 office in 2009 as the rehadn’t come sponse to the Great Realong the “greatcession kicked in, his est economy ever” would be first budget deficit set a well on its way to keeping new record at $1.4 trilPresident Donald Trump’s lion. It was in the middle promise to balance the budget of Trump’s fourth year and eliminate the national debt. that COVID started and No, budget deficits and the na- BILL CRAWFORD added trillions to the 2020 tional debt have increased every year deficit. Already over $3 trillion, since he took office. the projection for year end is a new record What? deficit record of $3.7 trillion, more than The year before Trump took office in double Obama’s highest deficit. 2016 the deficit was $585 billion and total In Obama’s second year, still fighting debt was $19.6 trillion. After Trump’s first the recession, the deficit fell only slightyear, 2017, the deficit grew to $666 billion ly to $1.3 trillion. COVID and recession and debt hit $20.2 trillion. In 2018 and related impacts plus embedded spending 2019 the deficits increased to $779 bil- are expected to keep the deficit above lion and $984 billion and debt increased $2 trillion next year and head total debt to $21.5 trillion and $22.8 trillion respec- toward the $30 trillion level by the next tively. Then, for the first six months of election. this fiscal year before COVID, the defiWell that’s crisis stuff. Trump and Recit reached $691 billion and debt topped publicans have managed deficits better $23 trillion. The deficit was on track to hit than Obama and Democrats. $1.2 trillion by year-end and surpass $24 No, recent budget trends under Obama trillion. and Democrats were better. Well, Trump was doing better than What? Obama. Under Obama deficits moved lower, No, Trump more than doubled Obama’s from the $1.4 trillion high in his first year biggest deficit. to the $585 billion in his last year. Under What? Trump deficits have moved higher each When President Barack Obama took year with an all-time high this year. Under

President Bill Clinton, deficits turned to surpluses his last three years. Under President George W. Bush the first year was a surplus followed by deficits, the last of which set a then record of $459 billion. Well, how did Trump in 2016 think he could end deficits and wipe out $20 trillion in debt? He said he would boost annual economic growth to 6% to generate higher tax revenues and couple that with slower spending growth. Together, these would provide growing annual surpluses to reduce debt. Despite massive tax cuts, historically low interest rates, a Federal Reserve printing money like mad, and annual budget deficits, Trump could only deliver 2.5% average economic growth over his first three years. (Average tax revenues grew 1.9% while average spending grew 4.6%.) The COVID recession will cause a contraction of about 5.6% this year, pushing Trump’s four-year average down below 1%. A balanced budget and debt reduction had already become broken promises before COVID. Now, Trump’s spending and debt record with COVID may be worse than Obama’s with the Great Recession. “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children” – Philippians 13:22. » BILL CRAWFORD is a syndicated columnist from Jackson.

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October 2020 Issue


Mississippi Business Journal



The distractions of working from home


ore than half of emhe states, “My purpose for going to Walden Pond was not to live ployed adults are cheaply nor to live dearly there, currently working but to transact some private from home, according to business with the fewest obstamost of the recent surcles…” The 10’ by 15’ cabin was veys on the subject. One furnished with a bed, a table, a of the biggest drawbacks small desk and lamp, and three of working from home is chairs - “one for solitude, two for distractions. There are some phil hardwick friendship, three for society.” alternatives. Distractions, such as children, pets, Edvard Grieg, the legendary Norweoutside noises, doorbells, or some other gian composer and pianist, also wanted to source, can cause a loss in productivity or get away from distractions. Grieg’s family even embarrassment when using online lived in Bergen, a bustling port city. After meetings. When viewers are attempting to much professional success, in 1885 he built a learn more about the person on their com- summer home on a hill overlooking a beauputer screen by analyzing their background, tiful lake not far from Bergen. He named such as bookcases, paintings, etc., clients and it Troldhaugen. It is now a living museum fellow employees might find it difficult to comprising an exhibition center with a gift accomplish the purpose of the meeting. shop and cafe, concert hall, composers' cabIt seems that every day there are more ar- in. A worldwide traveler and host to disticles about how to design and set up one's tingue visitors from all over the world, he home Office for working in this so-called grew frustrated with the constant visitors new normal. For those who are fortunate and noise in the house. He needed absolute enough to work on projects that do not quiet to compose so in 1891 he had a cabin require constant online meetings and who built down by the lake so he would not be have options other than the home office, distracted when he composed. According to there is the external, or outside the home, the museum’s website, he would go down to place. Be it a backyard shed, a boat, a barn, the “hut” each day to be alone and compose or some other outside structure these plac- his music. The cabin contains a piano, divan, es are escapes from distractions and a haven and desk and chair at the window looking out over the lake. On a personal note, this for creativity. Speaking of creativity, four well-known writer and his wife visited the museum a few creative types who escaped distractions years ago and recommend it highly. Check by stepping out to their place of creativity out the noon concerts offered most days. come to mind. Thus, it is useful to consider George Bernard Shaw, Playwright and the type of place and the work styles of these 1925 Nobel Prize winner for Literature, four individuals. gets the award for the most unusual retreat. Henry David Thoreau wrote his most fa- His writing place looks like a tool shed. mous work, Walden, in a cabin he built in Shaw would walk across the back lawn of 1845 in the woods between Concord, Mas- his home in St. Albans, Hertfordshire of sachusetts, and Walden Pond, a 65-acre lake Ayot St Lawrence, UK to the shed by the the lake that is the name of the title. The garden, retrieve his typewriter from a drawsite is two miles from Concord. In the book, er, place it on the built-in counter/desk and

write away. What was unusual about the shed is that it had a revolving base so that he could change the view or the sunlight. The windows were made of Vitaglass, a new product that allowed UV rays to come into the shed. The manufacturer promoted the idea that it “let health in the building.” That was fine with Shaw, who also promoted sunlight for health. The shed had an electric heater, a telephone, and a buzzer connected to the house. The latter could be used when visitors came and could be told by his wife that Shaw was not home. “People bother me," Shaw once told an interviewer. "I came here to hide from them."


John Grisham writes (at least) a novel a year. How does he do it? He goes to his place free of distractions. His office is outside his home and used to be “…a summer kitchen back in the old days. It’s very dark and quiet, with no phones, no internet, no music.” He explains more about how he writes in this YouTube post. In conclusion, a shed, a cabin, a hut, or any outbuilding can be just what is needed to escape distraction and be more productive. » PHIL HARDWICK is a regular Mississippi Business Journal columnist. His email is phil@ philhardwick.com.

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Mississippi Business Journal


October 2020 Issue


» the spin cycle

U.S. image takes a hit globally


While the perception of China's effort he reputation of the United States in against the pandemic is poorly rated in the eyes of the world continues to the survey, Beijing's ministrations top take a PR hit. Washington's. A recent a 13-nation Pew Research CenInterestingly, all citizens, except those ter survey concluded the reputation of the in the U.S. and U.K., believe their counU.S. in some countries is as low as it's been tries have done well battling the virus. since the popular pollster began examining The World Health Organization, which this subject. Also low are foreign respondents' todd smith President Trump has lambastviews of President Trump – surprise, surprise! ed through the crisis, also receives The U.K. is one of the countries with record low opinions of the U.S. Fewer than half of respondents (41 good grades in the survey. Speaking of the president, he'll not enpercent) had a favorable opinion of America. Just 31 percent of French respondents see the U.S. joy perusing the survey. Even the leaders favorably. That's about the same as of Russia and China, former KGB official French attitudes from March 2003, Vladimir Putin and the autocratic Xi Jinwhen the Iraq War was a source ping, respectively, are more trusted than of Franco-U.S. discord. Only 26 the U.S. president, the survey showed. percent of Germans view the U.S. One of the president's least-favorite leadfavorably, nearly matching Ger- ers, Germany's Angela Merkel, topped the many's 2003 low of 25 percent, trust portion of the survey at 76 percent. Boris Johnson, the U.K. prime minister Pew said. South Korea (59 percent) and Italy and a Trump supporter, has a nearly 50-50 (45) had the most favorable view of the U.S. Respon- trust-no trust split Thus far, the pandemic and resulting global recession dents in Belgium (24 percent), the Netherlands (30) and France (31) joined Germany (26) as those with the have not had a major impact on perceptions about the global economic balance of power among the nations least favorable view of the U.S. The survey was in the field from June 10 through Au- surveyed. Majorities or pluralities in these countries have gust 3, 2020 in 13 countries, not including the U.S. It had named China as the world’s leading economic power in recent years, and that remains true in 2020. The excep13,273 respondents. tions are South Korea and Japan, where people see the U.S. as the world’s top economy. Handling of the Virus Not surprisingly, Pew said Washington's response to the coronavirus pandemic is responsible for part of the slide in the country's image with overseas respondents. "A median of just 15 percent say the U.S. has done a good job of dealing with the outbreak," the study said.

Hershey Aims to Save Halloween from the Pandemic

Hershey is trying to save Halloween from the coronavirus pandemic. The candy maker has worked with public-health experts and retailers to create a website to offer advice on how to trick-or-treat safely in different parts of the U.S., depending on the intensity of local COVID-19 transmission. Hershey is also changing the variety of candies it makes for Halloween this year and introduced them a few weeks earlier than normal, aiming to prop up business during the season that typically drives one-tenth of its $8 billion in annual sales. The pressure on Hershey to protect Halloween sales is indicative of a new stage of disruption for some businesses as the pandemic advances into the fall. Airlines, hotel operators and retailers are also bracing for the pandemic to alter normal travel and shopping patterns around the end-of-year holidays, according to the Wall Street Journal. Since the pandemic hit the U.S. in March, Hershey’s sales have been tempered by social distancing restrictions that lead to fewer parties, vacations and shopping trips-- especially to convenience stores, where a lot of See THE SPIN CYCLE, Page 13


October 2020 Issue

Continued from Page 12

candy is purchased. Economic volatility has put pressure on Hershey for this year’s Halloween and winter holidays season. U.S. candy sales during last year’s Halloween season totaled $4.6 billion, making it the biggest holiday for candy, according to the National Confectioners Association. Other candy makers, such as Mars Inc and Ferrero USA, are gearing up for more online candy sales this year and investing more in digital marketing, according to The Journal. Hershey said the website that it helped develop uses a color-coded map, created by the Harvard Global Health Institute, that details COVID-19 risk level by county to help people assess how they can safely celebrate Halloween. The suggestions range from trick-or-treating with masks in areas that are low risk to Halloween candy hunts at home in areas that are high-risk. The tips are in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s social-distancing guidelines, Hershey said. Hershey said trick-or-treating makes up about half of its Halloween candy sales. The company said it is shifting marketing this year to focus on the other half—candy dishes at home. Retailers placed orders for Halloween in the spring, and they were strong, Hershey said. But retailers can reduce their orders before the candy ships if they sense a slower sales trend

Getting top sellers like Hershey’s Reese’s pumpkin-shaped chocolates on shelves two or three weeks early means consumers are likely to shop for Halloween candy on more than one occasion during the season, Hershey said. Hershey also has been preparing for changed Halloween behavior in part by making less holiday-themed candy, to avoid having loads of leftovers that it would have to sell at a discount. It is also cutting back on really large assorted bags of candy mostly used for trickor-treaters in favor of smaller versions. The candy maker is looking for guidance from its experience during the Easter holiday last spring, according to the company.


Mississippi Business Journal


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Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, follow him @ spinsurgeon and like the ageny on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/deanesmithpartners, and join us on LinkedIn http:// www.linkedin.com/company/deane-smith-&-partners.the ageny on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/deanesmithpartners, and join us on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/company/ deane-smith-&-partners.


» TODD SMITH is co-founder, president and chief executive officer of Deane | Smith, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm – based in Nashville, Tenn. – is also affiliated with Mad Genius.


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Mississippi Business Journal



October 2020 Issue

Medical marijuana Initiative 65 all about money, not medicine W

ill Mississippitheir marijuana busians fall for the nesses in Mississippi,” medical marexplained State Board ijuana scam to be voted on of Health member Jim next week? Perry. BILL CRAWFORD “Initiative 65 is an attempt by a Many argue marijuana is $14 billion industry to scam Mississipharmless and should be legalized. pians,” conservative Republican state But that’s not the issue here. Medical Rep. Randy Boyd of Mantachie wrote marijuana is to be used to treat serious in the Lee County Courier. illness and chronic pain. According to “If you liked BIG TOBACCO, you Perry, the FDA has approved four marare going to love BIG MARIJUANA,” ijuana based drugs “that went through former Gov. Phil Bryant wrote in Sep- blind clinical trials and substantial testtember. “It’s the same scheme – just de- ing to make sure their promised benecades later.” fits were real and that their risks are Actually it’s worse. After its products known.” But the general usage led to millions contracting lung disease proposed by Initiative and nicotine addiction, Big Tobacco had to pay billions of dollars in fines 65 has not been testand settlements. The medical marijua- ed, so, BIG MARna scheme is worse because it gives the IJUANA wants industry an extraordinary free pass. blanket immuni“Section 2 of Initiative 65 specifical- ty to protect its ly gives out-of-state marijuana com- bank accounts. panies and any of its officers, owners, No doubt this is operators, employees, contractors, and why Gov. Bryant agents immunity from any criminal or said, “they are a civil sanctions from anything to do with predatory industry.”

Wow. How often do you hear pro-business conservatives like Bryant attack big industry? There must be something really wrong for him and other state leaders to say this? Hmmm. The makers of the pain drug Oxycontin are also now paying the price for scamming patients. Bryant pointed out backers of Oxycontin and big tobacco are investing in medical marijuana. Follow the money, said Clarke Reed, a founder of the modern Mississippi Republican Party, who almost fell for the scam. “I initially planned to vote for it, but after getting the rest of the story I will vote against Initiative 65,” he told Y’all Politics. “It sounded like a good idea; we all know people who have struggled with cancer and other diseases.” “But it is now clear this is all about making money for the out-of-state mar-


ijuana industry,” he continued. “This is not about medicine, but all about … money, products targeting children, and a sweetheart deal on taxes and zoning.” Perry and his colleagues on the board of health worry about abuse. “Two of the categories in Section 4(3) are so broad that they almost certainly would be abused and would give anyone - including kids with a parent’s signature - the constitutional right to 2.5 ounces of marijuana every 14 days. That equates to approximately 10 joints per day.” “PLEASE! DON’T YOU FALL FOR IT!” urged Boyd. The Legislature put an alternate proposal “65A” on the ballot. Absurdly, a vote for 65A could actually help pass Initiative 65. So, vote “against both” to heed Boyd and most well-informed government and health officials. “The truth will set you free” – John 8:23. » BILL CRAWFORD is a syndicated columnist from Jackson.

October 2020 Issue


Mississippi Business Journal



Record number of small-business bankruptcy filings signal COVID-19 distress By JACK WEATHERLY jack.weatherly@msbusiness.com


record number of small businesses based in Mississippi filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code during the second quarter of 2020. That, of course, was when the coronavirus pandemic struck and the first lockdowns and restrictions were put into place across the nation. Chapter 11 allows businesses to reorganize while reaching an acceptable payout to creditors. There were 29 such filings in the second quarter, compared with six in the year-earlier period, according to U.S. bankruptcy data. Such businesses received a stroke of legislative luck when President Trump signed a bipartisan bill that became known as the Small Business Reorganization Act in August 2019, well before the coronavirus struck in March.

» Quality Welding and Fabrication Inc. in Columbia

The act contains Subchapter V, which was subsequently amended by Congress to increase the maximum debt to $7.5 million, up from $2.75 million for one year, till March 27, 2021 under the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act to benefit debtors, as well as creditors. The number of cases in Mississippi are not big, but they belie a much broader toll on smaller businesses. Dawn Starnes, director of the National Federation of Independent Business in Mississippi, said that “most of our businesses” are family owned and don't file for bankruptcy protection – they just close. Ten or fewer employees is typical of membership, she said. The smallest of businesses keep a tight rein on their balance sheet and manage their inventory closely, though “a lot of folks are just hanging on,” Starnes said in an interview. Thus far, in the lower end of the business community there has not been a noticeable rise in bankruptcies, Starnes said.

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» Quality Welding and Fabrication Inc. in Columbia

The Payroll Protection Program, which granted qualified applicants $605 a week but which expired in early August, was a major help, she said. Efforts to renew the program are being pursued, she said, but action looks doubtful till after the presidential election, she said. Two-thirds of NFIB members file their taxes as individuals, she said. In 2020, 97 percent are privately owned and comprise 47 percent of the private work force. Most of the NFIB members in Mississippi have fewer that 50 employees, she said. One of those small companies that has filed is Quality Welding and Fabrication Inc. in Columbia. At it peak, Quality Welding and Fabrication had 125 employees. That's before crude oil and natural gas prices dropped dramatically and demand for the company's tanks accordingly, said owner Kenny Breakfield. The viral epidemic-induced slowdown in the economy curtailed production of crude oil in Mississippi by 50 percent, compared with a year earlier, according to Dr. Sondra Collins, senior economist for the state Institutions of Higher Learning.

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Mississippi Business Journal


October 2020 Issue

The goodbye wasn’t for forever — Southwest returning to Jackson next year By TED CARTER mbj@msbusiness.com


outhwest Airlines left Jackson in June 2014 over frustration with unsold seats but suggested it would return someday. That “someday” will arrive in the first part of 2021, the low-cost carrier announced recently.

“We are anticipating to begin service in the first half of 2021,” said Ro Hawthorne, spokesperson for the airline that gave up its gate at Jackson Medgar-Wiley Evers International Airport after 17 years serving the market. Hawthorne said the Dallas-based airline has the extra aircraft it will need for Jackson as well as a host of other new small-to-medium size airports such as Colorado Springs

Municipal Airport, Savanah-Hilton Head International and new large markets such as Chicago’s O’Hare International, Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental and Miami International. Southwest has had service at Houston’s Hobby and Chicago’s Midway. It says doubling up on service to and from these big market destinations will boost business and create convenience for customers. A variety of factors went into the decision to come back to Jackson, “including having additional aircraft and other resources ready that have not been previously available,” Hawthorne said. The return comes after Southwest showed a third-quarter loss of $1.2 billion and a drop in revenue of 68.2 percent year-over year. Industrywide, North American traffic was down in the range of 65 percent to 70 percent on average in the last quarter from the same period before the pandemic, Fitch Ratings Service said in a recent industry assessment. The Jackson airport’s governing entity, the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority, declined to provide details of its operating arrangement with Southwest Airlines, includ-

Details of closure of downtown Jackson hotel remain elusive record of an outbreak of coronavirus at the hotel. Continuing efforts to reach management have not been successful, nor have he Jackson Downtown Conattempts to book rooms online at the hovention Center Hotel on Amite tel well into the future. Street at West Street has been The hotel is a Marriott International closed for nearly two weeks, and efforts franchise operation. to delve into the details have not been Marriott International spokeswoman successful. As of about Oct. 15, the entry to the Lucy Slosser said in an email that she was hotel on Amite Street at the intersec- forwarding questions from the Missistion with West Street had a sign that said sippi Business Journal about the hotel to the franchise holders. Calls and emails to the Downtown Jackson Partners, a business improvement district, have not been answered. Full Service was incorporated on May 9, 2019, according to the Mississippi Secretary of State's office. Al Rajabi is listed as registered agent and manager for Full Service, the agency states. Rajabi is chief executive of Sky Capital, which bought the historical Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa in Hot Springs, » The Jackson Downtown Convention Center Hotel in Ark., in 2017. Jackson has this sign on its entry. Photo by Jack Weatherly Inspections by the city of Hot Springs determined that there were structural problems at the hotel that posed safety hazards. “Closed due to Covid-19.” The owner and operator of the hotel is Full However, the city later determined that the Service Hospitality LLC, whose parent is Sky problems were not a hazard. A recent AARP website said: “It's worn Capital Group of San Antonio, Texas. The Mississippi Department of around the edges in a few spots, but given Health said this week that there is no its age that's to be expected and respected.” By JACK WEATHERLY jack.weatherly@msbusiness.com


ing what – if any – incentives on gate and landing fees are part of the arrangement. A spokeswoman for the airport said CEO Paul Brown would not be available for an interview, at least for the time being. The airline’s departure in mid-2014 cut a hole of about $800,000 in annual revenues, forcing the Airport Authority to hike landing fees to remaining carriers first by 18 percent and next by 15 percent. Parking fees also went up by 8 percent. While the coronavirus pandemic has cut deeply into passenger traffic across the airline industry, it has opened new markets for Southwest and reopened previous ones such as Jackson, according to Hawthorne. “The pandemic has created new opportunity for Southwest to reach new and returning customers,” the spokesperson said in an email. Hawthorne declined to say whether the revival of service at Jackson Medgar-Wiley Evers will include non-stop flights to Orlando, formerly one of the carrier’s most popular routes from Jackson. Fitch Ratings Service, which no longer rates bonds issued by the Municipal Airport Authority, said in its industry-wide assess-

ment that the pandemic has created openings for gates at established, major market hubs that were difficult for low-cost carriers such as Southwest to break into in the past. As tenant airlines have scaled back and reduced flights, new carriers have stepped in, taking advantage of access to vacant or underutilized gates, Fitch Ratings said. A further lure is a likelihood that domestic and leisure air travel will rebound more rapidly than international and busines air travel as the pandemic subsides, according to Fitch. “Low-cost domestic and leisure travel are expected to recover earlier than international and business travel,” Fitch noted. “Low cost, domestic airlines are better positioned to compete for leisure travel, and their move into fortress hubs increases domestic origination/destination and leisure traffic at these airports, helping mitigate the loss of business and international travelers.” Jackson and other additional service points on the Southwest Airlines’ map represent “lowrisk opportunities we can provide customers now, all the while better positioning Southwest as travel demand rebounds," the carrier said in its third quarter earnings press release.

STATEMENT REQUIRED BY TITLE 39 U.S.C. 3685 SHOWING OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT AND CIRCULATION OF MISSISSIPPI BUSINESS JOURNAL, publication number 000-222, filed October 1, 2020 Published weekly, 25 issues plus one annual, $109.00 annually, at 132 Riverview Drive, Suite E, Flowood, MS 39232. The General Business offices of the Publishers are at 132 Riverview Drive, Suite E, Flowood, MS 39232. The names and addresses of the Publisher, Editor, and Managing Editor are: William Bronson (Publisher), Tami Jones (Editor), Ross Reily (Managing Editor); 132 Riverview Drive, Suite E, Flowood, MS 39232. Mississippi Business Journal is owned by Journal, Inc., 1242 South Green Street, Tupelo, MS 38804. There are no Bondholders, Mortgages, and Other Security Holders Owning or Holding 1 Percent or More of Total Amount of Bonds, Mortgages, or Other Securities. The average number of copies of each issue during the preceding 12 months is: (A) Total number of copies printed 1,527. (B1) Paid/Requested Outside-County Mail Subscriptions 759. (B2) Paid In-County Subscriptions: 205 (B3) Sales through dealers and carriers, street vendors, counter sales: 500. (B4) Other classes mailed USPS: 0; (C) Total Paid and /or Requested Circulation: 1,464; (D1) Free Distribution outside-county by mail, samples complimentary and other free copies: 0; (D2) In-county free distribution: 0; (D3) Other classes mailed Free Distribution: 0; (E) Free distribution outside the mail: 0; (F) Total Free distribution: 0; (G) Total Distribution: 1,464; (H) Copies not Distributed: 63; (I) Total: 1,527; Percent of Paid: 100%. The actual number of copies of a single issue published nearest to the filing date are: (A) Total number of copies printed 1,408; (B1) Paid/ Requested Outside-County Mail Subscriptions: 713; (B2) Paid In-County Subscriptions: 195. (B3) Sales through dealers and carriers, street vendors, counter sales: 500; (B4) Other classes mailed USPS: 0; (C) Total Paid and /or Requested Circulation: 1,408; (D1) Free Distribution outside-county by mail, samples complimentary and other free copies: 0; (D2) In-county free distribution: 0; (D3) Other classes mailed Free Distribution: 0; (E) Free distribution outside the mail: 1; (F) Total Free distribution: 0; (G) Total Distribution: 1,408; (H) Copies not Distributed: 5; (I) Total: 1,413; Percent of Paid: 100%.

William Bronson, Publisher

October 2020 Issue


Mississippi Business Journal



The West End District grows, and so does the price ing Stetson cowboy hats. Forming the quadrangle are the two-story Statehouse, two architecturally matching hotel wings, the Gin, a meeting and party space made to look like it belonged to the main house on a plantation, the Lyric Hotel, and the Clubhouse, a

By JACK WEATHERLY jack.weatherly@msbusiness.com


he price tag on the 17-acre West End District complex has grown condiderably. Owner Dinesh Chawla gave a tour of the campus last weekend to show off the project, which he said is 75 percent to 80 percent operational. He can operate on a less-than-maximum capacity, he says, because he does not have a “big debt pile,” he said. That is about to change, as bills come due and operations approach full capacity. The $20 million initial cost of the project has risen to $29 million, because he has added "lots of " bells and whistles, he said. Chawla was dividing his time on Friday as he rode herd on the operation while setting aside time for an out-of-state banker who was getting his own tour of the spread. One of the things on Chawla's plate was the sixth wedding during the coronavirus-disrupted year at the Statehouse, which is based on a Natchez mansion. The goal for 2021 is 18 or 19, already 16 haves been booked for next year, he said.

» Wedding guests at the Gin after the wedding. Photos courtesy of Dinesh Chawla.

White folding chairs were assembled on the grassy quadrangle as a cool wind and mist threatened the ceremony, which was carried out by bridesmaids in thin silky ensembles and dark-suited young men, some of whom were wearing match-

» Anna Pieralisi, director of marketing for food & beverage and events.

multifunction building. The Gin is an “homage” to the workers at Staplcoton processing plant who patronized his father's convenience store in Greenwood, which provided a way to build the first motel for the family and eventually to the chain of 18 hotels in the Delta, leading to the vision of the West End and the Lyric Hotel, Chawla said. In an outlying building at the West End are two restaurants, the Mississippi Kitchen and the 8 West Grille, an upscale eatery. The complex includes acreage for concerts, a pond, a creative solution to what would have otherwise been a runoff problem. Wrapping the enterprise and ensuring privacy will be a 1,500-foot-long wooden fence with a mural depicting the history of what is now Mississippi – starting with native Americans and including Spanish explorers, slavery and the Civil War. Chawla is working with Delta State University and the Delta Music Institute to promote what he calls “the integration between entrepreneurship and creativity.”

» The Statehouse

insurance & employee benefits October 2020 Issue • Mississippi Business Journal • www.msbusiness.com



By LYNN LOFTON Daily Journal


ith roots dating back to 1920, the insurance agency of Galloway-Chandler-McKinney is actively involved in the industry of today while focused on future growth. Its present form began in Columbus in 1993 with the partnership of Kyle Chandler III, Steve McKinney, and Jimmy Galloway. They soon opened offices in Amory and Aberdeen with Jack Campbell running those offices. A Starkville location was later added and through an acquisition the firm now has an office in Macon. Today, founders' sons Brandt Galloway and Kyle Chandler

IV are bringing the leadership of a younger generation to the agency. With five locations, agency spokesman Brandt Galloway says of this growth, “We have long desired to be a high level professional agency that is large enough to offer a full array of products and services, yet have a local presence in our communities. We are grateful to serve in our communities and feel blessed to be part of our customers' businesses and lives.” Currently the agency has 48 employees and keeps an eye toward future growth. “Certainly, we'd love to continue steady growth and have planned on such through appropriate levels of staffing and professional development,” Galloway said.

Steve Swedenburg

Galloway-Chandler-McKinney is a fullscale independent insurance agency offering commercial coverage, employee benefits, surety, and personal lines of coverage. They manage insurance plans for customers across the Southeast. “As an independent agency we're able to provide a wide complement of coverages to meet most any business or personal need,” Galloway said. “We're regional in scope and yet can be neighbors in our communities.” The agency has two prestigious designations, Trusted Choice and Best Practices. “Trusted Choice is our national association's branding,” Galloway said. “The Best Practices Designation is awarded annually to agencies throughout the country that

Cecil Vaughn

qualify based on excellence in performance. Only 200 agencies out of more than 20,000 across the country are awarded this designation. We've been blessed to receive the award for the past eight years.” Asked if there have been any effects from the COVID pandemic for the agency and the businesses they insure, Galloway said, “Unfortunately, yes. We've seen a number of customers' businesses that have experienced difficulties associated with the pandemic. Most of them suffered initially and have made rebounds, although some others are slower to return to prior levels. We are committed to working with our customers to help them through the effects it has had on their businesses.”


October 2020 Issue


Mississippi Business Journal



LUBA workers'comp trends

By LYNN LOFTON Daily Journal


s with much of American life, the COVID pandemic is making its presence felt with workers' compensation insurance. According to LUBA Senior Vice President Kelli Bondy Troutman, the company has seen a decrease in the number of claims received and a slight increase in claims severity. “The most likely reasons for the claims decrease is that more people are working from home and the growing use of teleconferencing and other limitations placed on employees because of COVID-19,” she said. “It's also possible that employees may not be reporting minor injuries during this time of uncertainty. “The increase in severity could be for a number of reasons, but may include the additional stress, disruption, and fatigue that are a result of the pandemic. Any time employees begin to lose focus the chances of a severe accident increase. Simply put, people have a lot on their minds right now. It can be an opportunity for employers to check in on their staff and remind workers of safety procedures and remain vigilant.” LUBA originally began as a self-insured fund operating as Louisiana United Businesses Association – Workers' Compensation Fund. It was later converted to a casualty insurance company and began expanding geographically. It now operates with the acronym LUBA in seven states across the southern region. Approximately 20 independent agency partners in Mississippi with more than 55 locations throughout the state work with LUBA. Speaking of current trends in workers' compensation insurance, Troutman says they, like other industries, see the increased use of technology as a leading factor. “In workers' comp this can apply to several aspects of our business from benefits to analytics to safety,” she said. “On the safety side, a very current example is employers implementing protocols to better protect their employees from COVID-19.


We've seen many businesses utilize technology to monitor contact history

and measure employee temperatures.” A recent study by Mitchell, a research firm with a focus on property and casualty insurance, speaks to the overall technology trend. “They asked insurance professionals what developments were going to have the biggest impact on the future of workers' compensation. Telemedicine, artificial intelligence and wearable were all top of the list,” Troutman added. As for how the pandemic is affecting LUBA employees, Troutman said, “We, like much of the world, began working from home in the beginning. Our team quickly rose to the occasion and made sure our agents and policyholders continued to experience the same level of service they received pre-pandemic. “With COVID protocols in place, we are now in back in the office and are

proud of how our team has continued to adapt as things evolve. LUBA is committed to delivering genuine dependability and despite the circumstances our team has continued to do so.” LUBA is also proud of the company's involvement with non-profit groups. “We have always felt that it's our responsibility to give back to the communities that have been so supportive of us,” Troutman said. “We support a number of different organizations and non profits that serve a wide range of needs. We also have an employee engagement program called LUBA Hope that organizes volunteers to participate in community events. It's one of the most rewarding things we're able to do at LUBA.”

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October 2020 Issue

Independent Insurance Agencies

Largest Independent Insurance Agenciesinsurance agencies independent Rank

Agency Address

Phone Website

Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance, Inc. 248 E. Capital St., Ste. 1200, Jackson, MS 39201 SouthGroup Insurance Services 795 Woodlands Parkway Suite 101, Ridgeland, MS 39157 Ross & Yerger Insurance Inc. 100 Vision Drive, Suite 100, Jackson, MS 39211

601-960-8200 fbbins.com 601-914-3220 southgroup.net 601-948-2900 rossandyerger.com

Top Officer Founded


Miss. agents

Scott Woods Business; property/casualty; surety; professional liability; employee 1936 benefits; life; personal home & auto Ronald P. Tubertini Commercial and Personal Insurance; Risk Management; Employee 2 2002 Benefits Dudley Wooley, Eason Leake Business; personal; life; employee benefits; surety bonding; risk 3 1860 management; specialty products for financial institutions Bill Dalton, Allen Maxwell, Robby Renasant Insurance 662-842-1321 Personal; business; client services; investment management; estate 4 Robertson renasantinsurance.com planning 315 Main St., Tupelo, MS 38804 1904 The Nowell Agency Inc. 601-992-4444 Michael A. Nowell 5 Bonds; business; personal; health; employee benefits; home and auto. nowellagency.com 1984 1500 Old Fannin Rd., Brandon, MS 39047 BXS Insurance Markham McKnight 6 601-718-8237 P&C and Benefits 1904 525 E Capitol St. 2nd Floor, Jackson, MS 39201 Mark Kendall Mohler, Scott Lemon Mohler Insurance Agency 228-875-7777 Personal; Commercial; Life/Health; Special Programs; Employee 7 Bradford Lemon lemonmohler.com Benefits 806 Washington Ave., Ocean Springs, MS 39564 1947 Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. 601-956-5810 Stephen Fountain Commercial property; liability insurance; workers' comp; surety bonding; 8 ajg.com 1927 loss prevention; employee benefits 1076 Highland Colony, Ste 300, Ridgeland, MS 39157 John Russell O'Neal, Scott Bishop Insurance Agency, LLC 228-354-0877 9 Mosher, Harry Hamrick Personal Lines, Commercial Lines, Life/Health, Specialty, Benefits bishopins.com 14507 Lemoyne Blvd , Biloxi , MS 39532 2000 HUB International Gulf South 601-707-2050 C. Larry Vance, Brent Tyler Commercial Property & Casualty Insurance; Personal Insurance; 10 hubinternational.com 1945 Employee Benefits; Third Party Administrator; Retirement 300 Concourse Blvd., Ste. 300, Ridgeland, MS 39157 Southern Insurance Group, LLC 601-736-9899 Heather Williamson 11 Property, Casualty, Life, Accident & Health sigins.com 2001 418 Sumrall Road, Suite 5, Columbia, MS 39429 Northwestern Mutual 601-664-1212 Nick Fiorito Financial Planning ridgeland.nm.com 1968 210 Draperton Grove, Ridgeland, MS 39157 MWG Employer Services 800-800-1397 Joel Jasper Insured/self-funded health plans; life; disability; dental; vision; employee 13 morganwhite.com 1987 benefits; HR administration; payroll administration 500 Steed Road, Ridgeland, MS 39157 Insurance Associates 601-849-2271 Danny Moseley 14 Personal, commercial lines and benefits insuranceassociate.com/ms 1978 1663 Simpson Hwy. 49, Magee, MS 39111 Cooke Insurance Center Inc. 662-429-4488 Thomas "TA" Wooten 15 Business owners; workers' comp; auto; home; life; specialty cookeins.com 1915 220 W. Commerce St., Hernando, MS 38632 Debra Littleton, Terrance Myles, FLM Insurance, LLC 601-910-6100 P&C: Auto; Home; Life; Health; Annuities; Surety Bonds; Business 16 Warren Mason flminsurance.com Property; Liability; Workers Comp; Risk Management 2382 Highway 80 West, Jackson, MS 39204 2008 Galloway-Chandler-McKinney Insurance, LLC 662-328-0492 Brandt Galloway Business and Personal Property & casualty. Personal & group health, gcminsurance.com 1983 life, disability, dental. Commercial & contract bonding 2320 Commerce Dr., Columbus, MS 39705 Information provided by company reps and MBJ research. Ranked by number of Mississippi agents. Direct questions to frank.brown@msbusiness.com 1


Trustmark announces leadership changes

he Boards of Directors of Trustmark Corporation (NASDAQ: TRMK) and Trustmark National Bank announced today that Gerard R. Host will become Executive Chairman of Trustmark Corporation and Trustmark National Bank effective January 1, 2021. Duane A. Dewey, President and Chief Operating Officer of Trustmark National Bank, will succeed Mr. Host as President and CEO of Trustmark Corporation and CEO of Trustmark National Bank effective January 1, 2021.

» Duane A. Dewey & Gerard R. Host

Richard H. Puckett, Chairman of the Executive Committee and Lead Director of Trustmark Corporation, commented, “This announcement reflects a thoughtful and deliberate succession planning process overseen by our Board of Directors to ensure a seamless transition of executive leadership at Trustmark. We are pleased to announce Duane Dewey as incoming CEO and look forward to the company’s continued success.” “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Jerry Host for his leadership, integrity and accomplishments during his 36 years at Trustmark. During the last 10 years as CEO, Jerry has successfully expanded the franchise and strengthened Trustmark’s commitment to our customers, our associates and the communities we serve. His strategic vision and commitment have been instrumental to Trustmark’s success.

In his role as Executive Chairman, Jerry will continue to work on issues involving board governance, corporate strategy, corporate development, investor relations, industry engagement and civic leadership,” said Puckett. Gerard R. Host, Chairman and CEO, commented, “It has been an honor to lead Trustmark alongside our executive team and our family of committed associates as Trustmark has grown to become a leading financial services company in the Southeast Region. I am pleased that Duane has been selected as my successor and I am confident that he is well-equipped to lead the company and continue to build value for all of our stakeholders. Duane has a distinguished 35-year career in the financial services industry, including 17 years at Trustmark. He has served in a variety of executive management capacities, including most recently as President and Chief Operating Officer of Trustmark National Bank. Duane is a well-respected leader who understands our organization, its markets and customer base.” Duane A. Dewey, President and Chief Operating Officer, stated, “I want to thank the Board of Directors for the confidence they have placed in me to lead Trustmark as its next CEO and I’m hon-

200 105 90 61 55 50 35 30 26 25 16 16 15 13 12 11 11

ored to assume this leadership role. I also want to thank Jerry Host who has had a positive and meaningful impact on this company and its associates during his tenure. We have built a proven leadership team and a strong franchise that is primed for sustainable growth. I am committed to building upon that foundation and accelerating our pace of progress while sustaining our uncompromising focus on customers, associates, communities and shareholders. As incoming CEO, I look forward to continuing to work closely with Jerry in his role as Executive Chairman, our Board, and our strong executive team to advance Trustmark’s strategic priorities.” Granville Tate, Jr., who serves as Executive Vice President, Chief Risk Officer and General Counsel of Trustmark National Bank, will assume additional responsibilities as the bank’s Chief Administrative Officer effective January 1, 2021. He remains Secretary of the Boards of Directors of Trustmark Corporation and Trustmark National Bank. Mr. Tate joined Trustmark in 2015 following a long and distinguished career representing Trustmark at the Brunini Law Firm.

architects & engineers October 2020 Issue • Mississippi Business Journal • www.msbusiness.com

Construction costs skyrocketing

By LISA MONTI mbj@msbusiness.com


rchitects and contractors have seen the costs of construction materials, particularly lumber, skyrocket this year. The National Association of Home Builders reported in July that lumber prices shot up 50 percent since April. It cited such pandemic related drivers as lumber mills closing because of stay at home orders and producers not being prepared for high demand led by homeowner DYI demand. An AIA survey showed that three quarters of architectural firms had experienced problems with their current projects because of the Covid-19 pandemic, including project cancellations. Thirteen percent of the respondents said they had seen difficulty in getting products and materials or unusual increases in their prices. Architect Shane Germany, a partner in Landry Lewis Germany Architects, P.A. of Hattiesburg, the oldest firm in the state, said he’s seen lumber prices up 2.5 to three times what it cost in the first quarter of 2020. Germany, who has a Master of Archi-

tecture from the University of Southern Illinois - Carbondale, has taught undergraduate architecture and construction courses at the University of Southern Mississippi since 2009. The lumber price increase is the latest occurrence that architects and builders have to deal with, he said. “Obviously it requires some consideration on the front end but that is nothing new to the process,” Germany said. “The market is constantly fluctuating for various reasons both locally, domestic and internationally regarding materials and labor. It is a balancing act all the time. We are always evaluating the (initial) costs of materials versus its suitability for the project, availability and life expectancy.” So what is the impact of fluctuating costs on projects already under construction? It depends on the kind of contract. “For public bid commercial projects, the overall project prices are typically agreed upon up front and it’s on the contractor to navigate the pricing fluctuations after the contract is executed. That said, volatility in the market tends to encourage contractors to pad their bid pricing to account for

potential unknowns.” For cost plus contracts, he said, there may be some increased costs, or savings, with market fluctuations. “But again it really depends on the contract for construction and how it is arranged as well as how far out in advance purchases and deliveries coincide,” Germany said. While prices of some materials are up, others are not, he said. “I see more contractors concerned about lead times on products and materials because of bottlenecks in manufacturing Germany and shipping than I see complaints about high costs.” In the end, Germany said, falling behind on a project could be more costly than high product prices. “When it comes to materials, it costs what it costs, but time is money and delays in the work can really up-end a contractor’s profit margin.” What consumers might expect in the near future, Germany said, “It’s a waiting

game to see how those sectors adapt to the challenges we are all facing. There will be winners and losers. Even improvements at the manufacturing and wholesale level may not necessarily translate to immediate savings to end users.” He said he doesn’t expect prices to “suddenly bottom out” as long as there is a demand, “nor would I expect them to return to what they once were. That said, bid prices are almost never lower tomorrow, next month, or next year and just waiting on a market correction is not a reliable strategy to save costs.” Germany said whether it’s a new house or commercial building, creativity and experience are key. “Whether it’s residential or commercial projects, my advice would always be to let your architect think outside the box and lean into their experience and expertise when it comes to managing costs. Creative problem solving, proposing design alternatives, or evaluating suitable products and materials are all strategies that allow for some flexibility, but these must be approached differently with each project and client. There is no magic bullet.”

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Mississippi Business Journal


October 2020 Issue


Architects and engineers coming up with innovative solutions to pandemic challenges By BECKY GILLETTE mbj@msbusiness.com


he world was unprepared for the first worldwide pandemic seen in 102 years. Now that the U.S. is in the eighth month of battling the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), it is leading the world with 8.3 million cases and 221,428 deaths as of Oct. 22. Cases were soaring in many areas of the country, with about 418,000 new cases in the week prior to Oct. 22. COVID-19 has brought many changes to how people work, attend school and recreate. Architects and engineers in Mississippi have been on the front lines of coming up with solutions to meet the challenges. The way architects are designing new buildings is changing. For example, new buildings are using the most Farr up-to-date technology available to cleanse the air steam. It is also possible to retrofit buildings to address the concerns of the viral spread, said Robert Farr, II, AIA, Principal, Cooke Douglass Farr Lemons, an architecture and engineering firm based in Jackson. Farr said the initial response to the pandemic focused on the surface-based virus transmission in buildings. Efforts began to sanitize elevator buttons, counter surfaces, doorknobs, etc. Farr said the industry is now working to make existing and new buildings safer by using anti-viral materials including copper surfaces, touchless entrances, electronic door openings, touchless toilets and touchless faucets. “Restrooms will be using touchless doorways or doorless entrances in larger units,” Farr said. “Entrances will start to be more automated so that you don’t have to touch the communal surfaces such as door handles. This is going to take time and will be require major modifications in many locations, plus it will be expensive. The simple things are changing faucets out to touchless and automatic toilets values. The custodial services have adapted to address many of the concerns with touch transmission.” While addressing surface contamination is important, Farr said the determination that the virus does spread by aerosol transmission has placed the focus on air quality and circulation.

“We are building new air distribution systems in the air stream of a building’s air-conditioning system using ultraviolet spectrum lights placed in the return air stream that kills the virus,” Farr said. “Ionization units in the air stream make the virus attach to the dust particles and fall out of the air stream. Additional HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters are being used to catch the virus particle as they go through the filter banks.” Another adaptation is additional outside air being introduced into the building’s air stream. Farr said while this requires additional energy to heat and cool the exterior air, it dilutes the air on a more regular basis. Lighting can play a role also by using ultraviolet spectrum lights that kill the airborne and surface virus. Farr said these high-intensity lights can only be used when no one is in the space, but are very effective. They operate at night when offices or rooms are empty of people. Another major COVID-19 factor is the actual design of buildings is being impacted by the need for social distancing. Farr said wider corridors, larger work areas and more space must be dedicated to each individual. “There is also the impact of remote work where we have fewer people in the workplace,” Farr said. “Now, social events are where the changes are going to be the most difficult. You can imagine how football stadiums and movie theaters will be responding.” Just like with other businesses, the Allison way architecture is practiced has had to adapt to a new business model during the pandemic. But architects in general are inherently a tech savvy bunch, so that has not been a major concern, said Shane Germany, AIA, architect\partner at Landry Lewis Germany Architects, Hattiesburg. “Our office had always had some degree of remote capability,” Germany said. “But with the pandemic, we were forced to fully integrate that into our services, which wasn't much trouble. Zoom and Microsoft Teams became additional tools for the toolbox to supplement the process. Collaboration is actually quicker and on demand without travel time lost. It has its benefits.” Hospitals and clinics are scrambling

» David Wallace, manager of Mississippi State University’s Paul B. Jacob High Voltage Laboratory, demonstrates how a battery-powered ventilator can be converted to AC power. The lab is working to convert 550 ventilators to AC power so they can be used in the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by James Carskadon)

to provide more curbside and telehealth services, so architects have been providing a lot of assistance in accommodating those needs. “Infection control, ventilation, and physically moving people through the health system is definitely something that is being reconsidered in that sector of design,” Germany said. “This is being done on-the-fly and long term.” Germany said another challenge has been lumber prices have gone up two to three times what they were pre pandemic, and lead times on equipment and some products are longer than normal. He said that’s just something contractors

have to adapt to and gets reflected in bid prices and schedules. Engineers have also been called upon to address the coronavirus. “One of the great things about engineering is that it teaches you to analyze and solve problems from a variety of viewpoints,” said Philip Allison, communication manager for the Mississippi State University Bagley College of Engineering (BCoE). “Our faculty and students have shown that almost any engineering discipline can use their expertise to help address the coronavirus. We had a team of mechanical engineering stuSee ARCHITECTS, Page 23

Providing Civil Engineering Consulting Services since 1946. www.cookcoggin.com | 1-877-807-4667 Corporate Office, TUPELO, 662-842-7381 Regional Offices in CORINTH, 662-287-2080 | BOONEVILLE, 662-728-1790 FULTON, 662-862-5381 | NEW ALBANY, 662-537-6138 | RIPLEY, 662-837-3205


September Issue


Mississippi Business Journal



classes as an accommodation for the dents convert a truck toolbox into coronavirus, but they a device to disinfect personal proaren’t classified as distective equipment. We had a team tance students. Many from our electrical engineering deof them are underpartment retrofit ventilators so that graduate students they could be used as part of the who still count as state’s medical response. We also “on-campus” students had a multi-disciplinary team from even if they are taking industrial and systems engineering, some online classes. agricultural and biological engineerThe BCoE has ing and the Center for Advanced some of the most afVehicular Systems work together to fordable and highly 3D print face shields.” ranked online gradAllison said from a class-delivery uate engineering destandpoint, the university has made grees in the country. immediate efforts to keep the classMost students obtain room environments as safe as posthe advanced degree » Ryden Smith, right, and Wesley Cameron work to » Abdullah Al Mamun, an MSU industrial and systems engineering doctoral sible with physical distancing, facial while working fullconvert a truck toolbox into a UV sterilization device at student from Bangladesh, works to 3D print face shields in McCain Hall. covering requirements, sanitization time. Allison said Mississippi State’s Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems. (Photo by Logan Kirkland) of surfaces in between classes, and while they have seen Smith is a graduate student in mechanical engineering modification of HVAC systems to an increase in people from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Cameron is a senior mechanical provide increased air flow. asking for informaengineering major from Richton. (Photo by Logan Kirkland) “We are also teaching classes tion about the gradthrough online (both synchronous uate-level distance program, it’s perhaps too early for and asynchronous delivery modes), as well as hybrid currently discussing how to continue to provide edu- that to have translated into increased enrollment at this formats,” Allison said. “Student groups that normally cation through multiple delivery modes for future se- point. He said that may change in coming semesters, would do all their work face-to-face are working to- mesters.” though. Allison said they have more students taking online gether on classroom design projects. The university is Continued from Page 22

Oldest Engineering Firms

engineering firms Oldest Engineeringoldest firms Rank

Company Address



Top officer

Allen & Hoshall 601-977-8993 allenhoshall.com Edwin K Dedeaux, Charles Bunniran 1675 Lakeland Drive, Suite 207, Jackson MS 39216 Engineering Service Charles S. Parker, Richard A Scott, C. Tim Parker, 2 601-939-8737 engservice.com Christopher S Bass 115 Aerosmith Dr., Richland MS 39218 Cook Coggin Engineers, Inc. Kenneth P. Geno Jr, Jack Daniel Farmer, William Jess Wiygul, 662-842-7381 cookcoggin.com John Mark Weeden, James Matthew Estes 703 Crossover Rd., Tupelo MS 38802-1526 Eustis Engineering L.L.C. 228-575-9888 eustiseng.com Gwendolyn P. Sanders, Chad L. Held, Brian A. Deschamp 14368 Creosote Road, Gulfport MS 39503 Stantec Consulting Services Inc. 5 601-354-0696 stantec.com John E. McKee 200 N. Congress St., Suite 600, Jackson MS 39201 Jordan, Kaiser & Sessions, LLC 601-442-3628 jksllc.com C. Hayden Kaiser III 279 Lower Woodville Rd., Natchez MS 39120 Schultz & Wynne, P.A. 7 601-982-3313 Stanley D. Schultz, John M. Wynne 4523 Office Park Drive, Jackson MS 39206 Cooke Douglass Farr Lemons Architects & Engineers, P.A. Gene Crager, Robert Farr II, David Burnet, Ron Fender, 8 601-366-3110 cdfl.com Newell Watkins 3221 Old Canton Road, Suite 200, Jackson MS 39216 Shows, Dearman & Waits Kyle Wallace, Nicholas Connolly, Shea McNease, John 601-544-1821 sd-w.com 9 Weeks 301 Second Ave., Hattiesburg MS 39401 Southern Consultants Inc. 601-957-0999 mscivilengineers.com Susan H Lunardini 10 5740 County Cork Rd., Jackson MS 39206 Terracon Consultants Inc. 601-956-4467 terracon.com Richard M. Simon, Ryan P. Steiner 11 859 Pear Orchard Rd., Ridgeland MS 39157 Chas. N. Clark Associates, Ltd. 601-649-5900 clarkengineers.com Lawrence R. Clark, Jeff Graves 12 714 Hillcrest Drive, Laurel MS 39440 Brown, Mitchell & Alexander Inc. 228-864-7612 bmaengineers.com Dax Alexander, Ben Smith 13 401 Cowan Road Suite A, Gulfport MS 39507 Willis Engineering Inc. 662-226-1081 willisengineering.net Robert Willis 133 S. Mound St., Grenada MS 38901 Kemp Associates, LLC 15 662-724-2303 J. W. "Jimmy" Kemp 11 E. Main St. / P.O. Box 304, Noxapater MS 39346 Batson & Brown Inc. 601-947-8619 batsonandbrown.com Bob Diamond, Aron Chesney, Rodney Davis 11267 Old 63 South, Lucedale MS 39452 Michael Baker International, Inc. 17 601-607-8700 mbakerintl.com Ray Balentine 310 New Pointe Dr., Ridgeland MS 39157 Compton Engineering 18 228-762-3970 comptonengineering.com L. David Compton 1969 Market St., Pascagoula MS 39567 Elliott & Britt Engineering, P.A. 662-234-1763 elliottbritt.com Larry L Britt 823 N. Lamar Blvd., Oxford MS 38655 List is ranked by year Mississippi office opened. Information provided by company reps and MBJ research. Direct questions to frank.brown@msbusiness.com. 1

Licensed Engineers



























1967 1967








1973 1973

banking & finance October September 2020 Issue Issue • Mississippi • Mississippi Business Business Journal Journal • www.msbusiness.com • www.msbusiness.com

Dan Rollins - A man of many talents By NASH NUNNERY mbj@msbusiness.com


an Rollins toiled at a plethora of jobs as a youngster growing up in southeast Texas. He pedaled an afternoon newspaper route for the Houston Chronicle, scooped ice cream for Baskin-Robbins, worked the counter at Whataburger and bagged groceries for multiple grocery stores. “I was a goal-setter and always had a job from an early age,” said Rollins. “My


parents said they’d pay for half of everything I wanted, but I was expected to furnish the other half.” But Rollins’ lone career aspiration was to become a banker. Mission accomplished for the industrious BancorpSouth chairman and chief executive officer. “My father worked with a lot of bankers in his career with IBM, so I grew up around banking,” said Rollins. “I went to college and never changed my major.” Working for Austin National Bank while a student at the University of Texas, Rollins served in a variety of entry-level roles that further piqued his interest in the financial services industry. “The experience at Austin National was a tremendous opportunity to learn about banking,” he said. “At the time (late 1970s), the state of Texas still operated under a unit banking system. Banks

weren’t allowed to have branch banks. In Texas, branch banking was illegal until around 1988 when the laws changed the old unit system and allowed branches.” Following his graduation from Texas, the energetic Rollins got his first fulltime banking job at a small community bank in Port Lavaca, a small coastal burg located near the Gulf of Mexico. Prior to joining BancorpSouth, Rollins served for 18 years as president and chief operating officer with Houston-based Prosperity Bank. “I’ve only been with four banks my entire (44-year) career,” said Rollins. “In my younger days at Port Lavaca, I participated in a lot of local civic clubs. I learned a lot about community relationships, especially if banks aren’t healthy then the community isn’t healthy, either.” Asked to describe his leadership style, Rollins answers succinctly. “Direct, transparent, engaged and involved,” he said. “I always want people (employees and clients) to know where we are going. It’s not healthy to not ‘row the boat’ in the same direction. I need people to tell me what I need to hear, not what they think I want to hear.” A recent Accenture Global Consumer Pulse survey suggests that 33 percent of banking customers abandoned a banking relationship because personalization was lacking. Simply stated, banking is about relationships and problem-solving, said Rollins. “Problem resolution – that’s when you’ve built a customer for life,” he said. “Some larger banks have lost the ability to be on a personal level with their customers. (BancorpSouth) serves the largest and the smallest of markets - we have to be personalized and offer the products and services that they need, as well.” Rollins is actively engaged in community activities around the Tupelo area. He serves on the board of North Mississippi Health Services and is a member of the finance and major gift committees for the Healthcare Foundation of North Mississippi. In leading BancorpSouth’s volunteerism programs, Rollins also serves

as co-chair of the “Hope and a Future” capital campaign for the Salvation Army in Tupelo. Additionally, he is a member of the board of directors of the Mississippi Economic Council and the Mississippi Bankers Association board. Earlier this year, Rollins joined more than 900 CEOs – across 85 industries – to implement a commitment pledge called “CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion” to create workplaces where diverse perspectives and experiences are welcome and respected. Rollins said the bank in recent years has made significant efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion within the workplace. “The commitment (to diversity and inclusion) has always been there. We weren’t reacting to the ‘news of the day’

but decided to make a public declaration of our position,” said Rollins. “At BancorpSouth, we have supportive employees who share an open dialogue. We listen to what’s working and what’s not working (in the workplace).” A huge college football fan, Rollins confesses he’s enthralled with Southeastern Conference football despite his life-long passion for University of Texas Longhorns football. “I like to say I’m an SEC free agent and my fandom for a particular team is up for bid,” he said, smiling. “My wife and I have been to games all over the SEC, including to Oxford and Starkville. We have a great time, and really enjoy SEC football.”


October 2020 Issue


Mississippi Business Journal



keesler growing brand in southeast By LYNN LOFTON Daily Journal


eesler Federal Credit Union, Mississippi's largest credit union, is growing and expanding its membership base, recently opening a branch in Mobile, Alabama. CEO Andy Swoger says the financial institution has been able to increase its membership base because they've opened new markets. “That has enabled more people to take advantage of Keesler Federal membership benefits — lower loan interest rates, higher deposit rates and competitively lower fees,” he said. “Our real estate loan portfolio has been growing beyond our expectations. We attribute this growth to our dedicated employees who, even during a pandemic, provide stellar member service as indicated by our high member satisfaction score of 91.” He adds that while there are no immediate plans to expand into other states, the primary focus is on refining existing processes and systems to continue improving member experience. “In April, we launched a new online and mobile banking platform,” he said. “In the coming months we will launch new enhancements to this platform, such as a financial wellness program within the

online banking system.” Addressing the unprecedented pandemic and economic slow down, Swoger said, “ From the onset, Keesler Federal swiftly put measures in place to protect members and staff, which allowed us to keep branches open, including Plexiglass protection shields, limited number of members in the branches, encouraging drive-through usage and promoting the use of our online appointment system.” Furthermore, Swoger said Keesler Federal works with members who have lost income, relieving some of the financial stress with programs such as loan payment deferrals. “The economic slowdown has not stunted Keesler Federal's strong financial position.” In competing with banks, credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives. “Our members are our only shareholders and there are no outside investors, so it's important that we provide the best return possible for our members' money,” Swoger said. “We do this in a number of ways, such as offering lower loan interest rates and higher yields on saving accounts. This is confirmed by a report by DataTrac and the Credit Union National Association that compares interest rates with other financial institutions.”

He adds that Keesler Federal provided $58,125,979 to its 243,692 members in direct financial benefits in the 12 months ending in March 2020. “That's an average savings of $239 per member and $501 per member household,” he said. “In addition, our Member Giveback program rewards 36 members with cash prizes each month through drawings conducted of members who used a particular type of financial service; more than $100,000 has been given back to members since the program began.” Keesler Federal has extensive community involvement that includes sponsorships of school functions, the arts, assorted local charities and initiatives organized this year. Some of the specific programs are Backpacks for Bright Futures that provides backpacks and school supplies to every public school kindergarten student in Harrison, Hancock, Pearl River, Stone, George and Jackson counties; Combat Wounded Veterans of South Mississippi for which $32,000 was raised; program honoring first responders; Grub for Good at the Louisiana branches to

collect non-perishable food donations; and purchasing $2,400 in gift cards from local restaurants that will be given away in a drawing of members who contributed to the food drive. There are many ways people can join Keesler Federal even though it originally only served Keesler Air Force Base. “Now, one does not have to be military to take advantage of Keesler Federal's wide range of products and services,” Swoger said. “Anyone who lives, works, worships or attends schools in the counties of Harrison, Hancock, Pearl River and Forrest in Mississippi; large sections of Jackson and Hinds counties; many areas of Orleans and St. Tammany parishes in Louisiana; and Mobile County in Alabama may join. We have also partnered with over 400 employers who offer membership as an employee benefit.”

Solutions for your business needs today and beyond. Given today’s market challenges, working with a dedicated team driven by a shared vision can make all the difference. Regions Commercial Relationship Managers know that developing a strong understanding of your business and its unique operations helps us provide highly responsive, personalized solutions. Let us leverage our capabilities and create a comprehensive financial strategy to help guide and strengthen your business.

Commercial Banking | Treasury Management | Capital Markets Specialized Industries Robert Leard | 601.790.8397 Metro Jackson Market Executive regions.com/commercial-banking

Š 2020 Regions Bank. Banking products provided by Regions Bank. Only banking deposit products are FDIC insured. All loans and lines subject to credit approval. | Regions and the Regions logo are registered trademarks of Regions Bank. The LifeGreen color is a trademark of Regions Bank.


October 2020 Issue

Registered Investment Advisors


Mississippi Business Journal

state registered investment advisors Registered Investment Advisers



Assets under management


Company Name





1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Smith Shellnut Wilson, LLC Trustmark Investment Advisors Inc. The Molpus Woodlands Group Hardy Reed, LLC Barnes Pettey Financial Advisors Medley & Brown, LLC Ballew Advisors Inc. Financial Concepts Trinity Capital Investors MAG CAP CCG Asset Management

661 Sunnybrook Rd, Suite 130, Ridgeland, MS 39157 1701 Lakeland Drive, Jackson, MS 39216 654 N. State Street, Jackson, MS 39202 101 S. Front Street, Tupelo, MS 38804 252 Sunflower Ave., Clarksdale, MS 38614 795 Woodlands Pky., Ste. 104, Ridgeland, MS 39157 4800 I-55 North, Ste. 21, Jackson, MS 39211 1121 2nd Ave. N., Columbus, MS 39701 1675 Lakeland Drive, Suite 400, Jackson, MS 39157 4500 I-55 North, Ste 291, Jackson, MS 39211 1880 Lakeland Drive, Ste C, Jackson, MS 39216

601-605-1776 601-208-7663 601-948-8733 662-823-4722 662-627-2225 601-982-4123 601-368-3500 662-327-1480 601-956-3511 601-362-5872 769-257-5039

1995 1925 1996 2006 1976 1989 1988 1988 2000 2019 2007

ssw1776.com trustmarkinvestmentadvisors.com molpus.com hardyreed.com barnespettey.com medleybrown.com ballewwealth.com fincon.net

12 13

Peregrine Investment Advisors Sound Financial Strategies Group

101 Webster Circle, Suite 201, Madison, MS 39110 579 Lakeland East Dr., Flowood, MS 39232

769-216-3232 601-856-3825

2013 1993

peregrineinvest.com soundfsg.com

$285,652,017 $270,860,742

14 15

Element Wealth Optimum Financial Services Inc.

800 Woodlands Parkway, Ste. 201, Ridgeland, MS 39157 1817 Crane Ridge Dr., Ste. 200, Jackson, MS 39216

601-957-6006 601-981-5900

2006 2001

myelementwealth.com optimumfsi.com

$253,118,414 $226,485,818

16 17

Legacy Wealth Management EFP Advisors

300 Concourse Blvd, Ste 102, Ridgeland, MS 39157 1501 Lakeland Dr., Suite 250, Jackson, MS 39216

601-499-1970 601-206-0006

2018 2012

mylegacy.ms mcanielregister.com

$214,590,373 $214,183,540

18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34

Wealthview Capital Mascagni Wealth Management Woodmont Advisory Group Inc. Abridge Partners Coker & Palmer E.T. George Investment Management McAllister Capital Management New Perspectives, Inc. AVL WealthCare, LLC Easley Investment Consultants, Inc. Olive Branch Capital Davenport, Watts & Drake Investment Advisors, LLC Oxford Investment Advisors Centerpoint Advantage, LLC Lee-Way Financial Services Inc. Addicus Advisory Bergland Wealth Management Inc.

4500 I-55 North, Ste. 263, Jackson, MS 39211 205 E. Main Street, Clinton, MS 39056 301 Boler Estates Drive, Brandon, MS 39042 124 One Madison Plaza, Ste 1200, Madison, MS 39110 1667 Lelia Drive, Jackson, MS 39216 102 S. Jackson St., Starkville, MS 39759 1907 Dunbarton Drive, Ste. E, Jackson, MS 39216 303 Highland Park Cv., Ste. B, Ridgeland, MS 39157 9490 Three Rivers Rd., Gulfport, MS 39503 420 Liberty Park Ct. Ste A, Flowood, MS 39232 6208 Blocker St., Olive Branch, MS 38654 234 W. School Street, Ridgeland, MS 39157 2086 Old Taylor Road, Ste 1013, Oxford, MS 38655 12 River Bend Place Ste 101, Flowood, MS 39232 1711 S. 28th Ave, Hattiesburg, MS 39402 333 W. Franklin St., Tupelo, MS 38804 213 Draperton Drive, Ste B, Ridgeland, MS 39157

601-981-4040 601-925-8099 601-724-1926 601-718-0000 601-354-0860 662-323-8045 601-362-1000 601-991-3158 228-863-0437 601-992-4101 901-338-3400 601-898-8069 662-550-4554 601-969-3456 917-952-4262 888-398-8156 601-956-5181

2009 1990 2006 2007 1991 1974 1995 1993 1999

wealthviewcapital.com mascagniwealth.com

$208,589,994 $201,379,225 $180,184,402 $178,852,333 $173,240,554 $155,076,166 $139,985,303 $139,500,000 $121,260,081 $115,000,000 $81,320,000 $69,651,419 $66,870,064 $63,819,672 $62,300,000 $53,500,000 $52,555,626

35 36

Vector Money Management Inc. Newsong Capital Management

750 Woodlands Pkwy, Ste.201, Ridgeland, MS 39157 10 Bellegrass Blvd., Hattiesburg, MS 39402

601-981-1773 601-909-6117

37 38

Renaissance Advisors W.A. Wimberly & Associates Inc.

602 Steed Road, Suite 110, Ridgeland, MS 39157 1650 Lelia Drive, Ste. 105, Jackson, MS 39216

601-720-4357 601-982-8000

39 40

Wealth Management, LLC Simplified Wealth Management

6311 Ridgewood Rd., Ste. W402, Jackson, MS 39211 6668 U.S. 98, Suite A, Hattiesburg, MS 39402

601-991-0230 601-297-8719

41 42

William Denton Hartman BankPlus Wealth Advisors

108 Sherwood Cove, Batesville, MS 38606 1200 Eastover Drive, Suite 300, Jackson, MS 39211

662-934-6501 601-607-4290

43 44

Chatham Investment Counsel, LLC Movement Capital

6311 Ridgewood Road, Suite W 403, Jackson, MS 39211 622 Duling Ave. Suite 220, Jackson, MS 39216

601-899-4404 601-259-4668

45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65

GranthamPoole Proctor Investments Sovereign Capital Vantage Legacy Financial Advisors, LLC Pathway Planning Inc. Langford Investment Company Elevated Retirement Financial Services Inspired Financial Planners Lewis Capital Management Jager Wealth Management Delta Hedge Financial LeFleur Financial Varner CPA, P.A. RL2 Advisors Surgo Asset Management, LLC Akin Investments, LLC Guaranty Private Wealth Crown Financial Harmon Financial Advisors Heart to Heart Financial Services HWS Client Services

1062 Highland Colony Pkwy, Ste 201, Ridgeland, MS 39157 815 Spring St., Waynesboro, MS 39367 232 Goodman Road W. Suite 200, Southaven, MS 38671 423 Weathersby Road, Ste 100, Hattiesburg, MS 39402 123 S. Railroad Ave., Brookhaven, MS 39601 4418 Deercreek Dr., Jackson, MS 39211 736 Waters Dr., Madison, MS 39110 9211 Point Aux Chenes Road, Ocean Springs, MS 39584 1200 Mill Road No. 137, Gulfport, MS 39507 5 Cimarron Dr., Hattiesburg, MS 39402 5779 Getwell Road, Building D, No. 5, Southaven, MS 38672 3000 Old Canton Road, No. 445, Jackson, MS 39216 325 Cotton Row, Cleveland, MS 38732 131 Glennwood Bend, Madison, MS 39110 120 N. Congress St., Suite 620, Jackson, MS 39201 770 Water St, Ste 415, Biloxi, MS 39530 601 Crescent Blvd. Ste 300, Ridgeland, MS 39157 915 3rd Ave. N., Columbus, MS 39701 1061 Lake Village Circle, Suite 2, Brandon, MS 39047 3420 Hardy St, Ste 5, Hattiesburg, MS 39402 661 Sunnybrook Rd, Suite 100, Ridgeland, MS 39157

601-499-2400 601-735-6562 662-510-8977 601-261-2655 601-833-2129 601-982-2268 601-668-8565 228-200-8750 228-896-4414 601-260-0548 901-870-7187 601-956-5600 662-846-6636 601-714-1037 601-953-2761 228-229-5020 601-605-7070 662-329-9908 601-955-7554 662-392-0127 601-326-1000

2019 2003 2009 1974 1991 1982 1988

magcapadvisors.com comercapital.com

abridgepartners.com cokerpalmer.com etginvest.com mcallistercapital.com newper.com avlwealthcare.com easleyinvest.co obcap.net davenportwattsdrake.com oia-ria.com thecenterpointgroup.com leewayfinancial.com weareaddicus.com berglandcapital.com

$3,093,797,958 $2,634,692,556 $1,093,423,293 $1,051,684,566 $925,482,356 $786,830,211 $743,302,848 $586,583,594 $500,184,006 $325,608,357 $324,929,588

vectormm.com newsongcapital.com

$50,325,770 $47,000,000


$34,627,940 $26,974,872


Wealthmanagementria.com mysimplifiedwealth.com

$24,022,953 $22,826,080



$21,623,600 $21,016,663


$18,750,283 $16,181,665


1977 2019

granthampoole.com tamberproctor.com scvwealthmanagement.com myadvisors.us

1992 2018

elevatedretirement.com inspiredfin.com


jagerwealth.com deltahedgefinancial.com lefleurfinancial.com

2015 2005 2013 2019

2011 2018 2019

akininvestmentadvisory.com guarantyprivatewealth.com harmonfa.com

66 Stonehenge Private Client Group 574 Highland Colony Pkwy, Ste 320-E, Ridgeland, MS 39157 601-707-8952 2018 stonehengepcg.com List ranked by assets under management. Data provided by Mississippi Secretary of State's office as of Oct. 12, 2020. Direct questions to frank.brown@msbusiness.com.

$13,376,110 $13,000,000 $12,610,977 $11,223,380 $11,000,000 $10,065,800 $7,068,410 $6,669,922 $5,150,000 $2,900,000 $2,700,000 $2,556,729 $1,935,533 $1,665,000 $557,289 $100,000 $0

small business September October 2020 Issue Issue • Mississippi • Mississippi Business Business Journal Journal • www.msbusiness.com • www.msbusiness.com

Restaurants keep fighting By LISA MONTI mbj@msbusiness.com


or the Mississippi restaurant industry, like those nationwide, the early shelter-in-place months of the Covid pandemic were costly and uncertain. Fortunately for them, Mississippians never really lost their taste for dining out, even if that meant burgers and fries. “Restaurant tax collections saw a decline for shelter in place in March and April. Beyond that, the decrease in tax collections is not significant. It’s pretty much at a level that it was last year,” said Pat Fontaine, executive director of the Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association which has 1,200 member locations. There are a total of 4,800 food services establishments in the state. Fontaine said the positive sales tax col-

lections indicate people still patronize restaurants, just not in the traditional dine-in way. Even during the shelter in place phase, he said, “people were patronizing fast-food restaurants.” Member restaurants were quick to offer pick up and delivery service and to focus their marketing on the safety aspect of dine-in service, he said. “Those operations have somewhat maintained a high level of sales compared with the year prior. Richard Chenoweth, owner of Scranton’s in Pascagoula, used the shelter in place downtime to reconfigure his 38-year-old restaurant into a fast-casual dining destination. He recapped the project’s progress regularly on Facebook to keep his customers in the loop. “With chaos comes opportunity,” Chenoweth said of the upgrades he made, including the addition of a market for grab

Offices in Oxford, Canton and Ridgeland 601.898.1085 | 601.407.6161

and go sandwiches and family meals. “We updated from 1982 to 2020.” Fo n t a i n e said some m e m b e r restaurants in the 19 Leisure and Recreation Districts throughout the state “are actually ahead of last year’s numbers.” Restaurants and » Richard Chenoweth, owner of Scranton's in Pascagoula. bars within Early on, unemployment benefits did the boundaries of a Leisure and Recreation District make it difficult for owners to find workare allowed to serve mixed drinks to their ers “We are fortunate that the majority of customers who can leave with a to-go cup but they have to stay inside the LRD restaurants continued operating,” Fontaine said. But with the current 75 perboundaries. During the pandemic emergency, the cent occupancy restriction, the concern state is allowing alcohol drinks in the "to is how long owners can keep going. “There is a need for restaurants and go" orders for curbside pick-up if the restaurant or bar is in a designated LRD. all small businesses to get some further Fontaine said the city of Jackson ex- relief in another round of PPP loans panded its leisure district to take in the from the federal government,” he said. If entire incorporated area. “It’s been very that doesn’t happen, “we may start to see more closures.” helpful to Jackson restaurants,” he said. Even with the federal funding boost, Some restaurants in smaller communities also are seeing sales at the same owners whose restaurants have weak level or a little better now. “They’ve done sales volumes may soon have to decide if what’s necessary to capture what market they can or will stay open. “We’re looking toward end of year for those who are there is,” Fontaine said. There have been some restaurant clos- only at 50 or 60 percent sales volumes to ings, though there’s not an exact count. make a decision. Do I have funds to con“We’re not contacted when that decision tinue and do I want to,” he said. The biggest question now is what is made,” Fontaine said. “We find out consumer behavior is going to be like in through our travels around the state and the future. “There is still a segment of our billing online.” Fontaine cited a Japanese steakhouse the population that is fearful to return in the Jackson area that had been in busi- to dine in. It’s people who have yet to ness for decades that shut down because have a meal out, picked up or delivered,” of the effect distancing requirements had Fontaine said. “We’re all hopeful we’ll be on sales. A seafood restaurant chain in back unrestricted sometime in the first the state also closed. Still, Fontaine said, quarter of next year. It might be Febru“We’ve seen some close but not to the ary or March but the hope is we will be extent we anticipated early on.” Federal unrestricted and entering the new normal.” funds kept many open. A majority of restaurant association members received Paycheck Protection Program loans to continue operating.


October 2020 Issue


Mississippi Business Journal



Delta Fresh Foods initiative aims to develop local food system by encouraging young farmers been doing with the Bolivar County Good Food Revolution with the aim to rebuild a robust, sustainable, equitable local food system in Shelby, Mound Bayou and Winstonville. That is a much more focused effort in one area as compared to the work we were doing in various counties. Even though the work is similar, it is more comprehensive because we are working on the supply side with the demand side, helping connect growers with buyers, and helping consumers understand the benefits of local food so the market increases.” A component of that has been to develop youth leadership. Belue said young people on local farms are being mentored to become an integral part of a local food system. “They operate a mobile market built on a 16-foot trailer,” Belue said. “It can be moved from one community to the next. We take it from Shelby to Mound Bayou. Farmers markets are another way for the young farmers to connect with buyers. Farm-to-school is another way. The growers produce the kind of foods the schools want in quantities designed to meet the need. Another way to develop markets and connect consumers with local food is to develop a private route of customers. We

health. I do believe people are beginning to better connect what we eat with our health. We kind of got lost espite the Mississippi Delta having in convenient, fast foods and some of the most fertile soils in the takeout. And now people are world, it is estimated that about more concerned about where 90 percent of the food consumed in Mistheir food comes from, and sissippi is imported from other states and what chemicals are used to countries. Fruits and vegetables may be grow it. So, it is a good time several days to more than a week old before to be building local food systhey even make it to the stores in the state. tems.” But the Delta Fresh Foods group is Belue said by providing working to turn that around one small economic benefits to the farmer at a time. The group has an initiagrowers, money is turning tive called the Bolivar County Good Food over in the community inRevolution that has established a program stead of going out of state. including a Youth Farm as part of its ef“We say we are doing this forts to help teach young people the skills project for the economic and to not just grow, but market locally-grown health benefits,” she said. products. “But a third component we “We started out with a broad brush have seen is to re-invigorate working in ten of the Delta counties doa community. It has been ing things that suited our partners in those amazing to see how pleased counties,” said Judy Belue, executive direc» Earl Phillips, Jr., a participant in Delta Fresh Foods, is shown with a people are to see young peotor, Delta Fresh Foods. “In some counties, basket of food that could be used to make a healthy meal for a family ple out there growing and that was community and school gardens. of four. (Photo courtesy of Delta Fresh Foods). marketing food. It builds Then, four years ago, the board decided to community.” focus our energies in one location to see are hoping when things open up more to The project has also influenced the if we could actually build or rebuild the sell to restaurants and hotels in small quan- thinking of many of the youth involved. entire food system. That is what we have tities. It is evolving and Three of the participants want to learn growing.” how to cook. Two college students have The participants changed their majors to agriculture. One are mostly high school wants to get into food safety and the othstudents, but include er wants to become a grower. some as old as 21. They The Youth Farm has a type of growing are working in produc- structure known as high tunnels that altion, marketing and low year-around production. The tunnels leadership training. are covered with plastic and are heated “We think that is go- only with the power of the sun. They are ing to make this proj- less expensive than heated conventional ect sustainable,” Belue greenhouses. said. “We are doing more production in high There has also been tunnels than in the field,” Beleu said. “We movement across the have tunnels fully planted now with tocountry towards pur- matoes, cabbage, broccoli, peppers and chasing local food greens. You can grow throughout the both because it is winter. We will be harvesting these crops fresher and because in December.” it provides jobs and Participants are also learning about local economic de- how to make value-added products. For velopment. Since the example, they will be taking Britonya beginning of the pan- Gort’s Canning with Class workshop that demic, the movement will teach them how to make chow-chow towards local food has relish. accelerated. “One of the businesses likely to come “A side effect of the out of this is preserving food so you have pandemic is people things to eat later in the winter when you are looking to local wouldn’t normally have them,” Belue said. sources of food with a greater level of trust,” Belue said. “COVID shows we need to take better care of our » Participants in Delta Fresh Foods are working to grow not just fruits and vegetables, but small businesses that can help the local economy. (Photo courtesy of Delta Fresh Foods). By BECKY GILLETTE mbj@msbusiness.com


30 n

Mississippi Business Journal


October 2020 Issue

Employment Agencies n

Employment Agencies employment agencies Company




ResourceMFG 101 Public Square, Batesville, MS 38606 662-563-9617 resourcemfg.com Wise Staffing Group 154 Hwy. 6 West, Batesville, MS 38606 662-712-6337 wisestaffinggroup.com Express Employment Professionals 979 Tommy Munro Drive, Biloxi, MS 39532 228-868-5447 expresspros.com Wise Staffing Group 100 Ridgemont Villa, Booneville, MS 38829 662-720-1932 wisestaffinggroup.com Elwood Staffing 1149 Old Fannin Road, Suite 21, Brandon, MS 39047 769-524-7197 elwoodstaffing.com Onin Staffing 175 N. Union St., Canton, MS 39046 769-972-3070 oninstaffing.com Service Specialists 157 North Union, Canton, MS 39046 601-407-6161 servicespecialistsltd.com Qualified Staffing 2500 Military Rd. Ste. 8, Columbus, MS 39705 662-327-8230 q-staffing.com The CPI Group, LLC 112 Fifth St. N., Columbus, MS 39701 662-328-1042 cpi-group.com Wise Staffing Group 125 Chubby Drive, Columbus, MS 39705 662-327-2505 wisestaffinggroup.com Wise Staffing Group 1525 U.S. 72, Corinth, MS 38834 662-594-1138 wisestaffinggroup.com Adcock Employment Service 660 Lakeland East Dr., Ste. 108, Flowood, MS 39232 601-936-9315 adcockemployment.net Express Employment Professionals 4220 Lakeland Dr., Ste. D & E, Flowood, MS 39232 601-355-7000 expresspros.com/flowoodMS Kelly Services - Jackson 4211 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, MS 39232 601-939-4113 kellyservices.us Professional Staffing Group, LLC 2475 Lakeland Drive, Suite C, Flowood, MS 39232 601-981-1658 prostaffgroup.com Staffing Solutions, Ltd 5719 Highway 25, Suite 201, Flowood, MS 39232 601-965-9401 staffltd.com Wise Staffing Group 4345 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, MS 39232 769-524-4378 wisestaffinggroup.com Onin Staffing 319 S. Main St, Forest, MS 39074 601-469-2123 oninstaffing.com Professional Staffing Co. 301 S. Broadway Loop, Greenville, MS 38701 662-332-8458 pscstaffing.com Professional Staffing Solutions / Adult Day Care 749 Main St., Greenville, MS 38704 662-335-5554 EMI Staffing P.O. Box 2210, Grenada, MS 38902 662-230-0300 emistaffing.com Automation Personnel Services 12259 U.S. 49 Suite A , Gulfport, MS 39503 228-896-4432 apstemps.com Kelly Services - Gulfport 15118 Crossroads Pkwy., Gulfport, MS 39503 228-831-0295 kellyservices.com Labor Force LLC 1223 30th Ave Ste C, Gulfport, MS 39501 228-867-6262 People Ready 10585 Three Rivers Rd, B-3, Gulfport, MS 39503 228-831-8109 peopleready.com Spherion Staffing 3415 Washington Ave., Ste. A, Gulfport, MS 39507 228-868-9191 spherion.com Elwood Staffing 560 Weathersby Rd Suite 180, Hattiesburg, MS 39402 601-544-7990 elwoodstaffing.com Express Employment Professionals 4700 Hardy St., Suite P, Hattiesburg, MS 39402 601-264-9060 expresspros.com/hattiesburgms Kelly Services - Hattiesburg 123 S 27th Ave, Suite D, Hattiesburg, MS 39401 601-268-3895 kellyservices.us People Ready 1608 Broadway Dr., Ste. 50, Hattiesburg, MS 39401 601-579-6466 peopleready.com Pridestaff 5910 US Hwy 49 Suite 5, Hattiesburg, MS 39401 601-329-9109 pridestaff.com Wise Staffing Group 1012 West Quitman St, Iuka, MS 38852 662-593-3081 wisestaffinggroup.com Allegiance Staffing 305 W. Lorenz Blvd., Jackson, MS 39213 601-362-3627 allegiancestaffing.com Kinetic Staffing, LLC 4266 I-55 N, Suite 102, Jackson, MS 39211 601-362-4545 kineticstaffing.com Mississippi Department of Employment Security 1235 Echelon Pkwy, Jackson, MS 39213-8220 601-321-6000 mdes.ms.gov Onin Staffing 4915 I-55 N., Ste. 300-C, Jackson, MS 39206 601-982-0694 oninstaffing.com Staffers Inc. 1437 Old Square Rd., Ste. 107, Jackson, MS 39211 601-362-1010 staffersinc.com Staffing Innovations Inc. 407 Briarwood Dr., Ste. 207, Jackson, MS 39206 601-714-1225 www.sicorp.online TempStaff Inc. 962 North St., Jackson, MS 39202 601-353-4200 tempstaff.net Onin Staffing 2261 Highway 15 N., Laurel, MS 39440 601-398-9625 oninstaffing.com Working Solutions PO Box 3802, Meridian, MS 39303 601-483-9111 workingsolutionsusa.com Wise Staffing Group 1106 Wesson Tate Dr., New Albany, MS 38652 662-534-0042 wisestaffinggroup.com Adecco 7164 Hacks Cross Road, Olive Branch, MS 38654 662-932-5040 adeccousa.com Instaff 7721 Hacks Cross Road, Olive Branch, MS 38654 662-890-9513 instaff.com ResourceMFG 4850 Goodman Rd, Ste 105, Olive Branch, MS 38654 662-712-3470 resourcemfg.com Staffmark 6399 Goodman Road, Olive Branch, MS 38654 662-890-8691 staffmark.com Wise Staffing Group 10790 Old Highway 178, Olive Branch, MS 38654 662-895-4413 wisestaffinggroup.com PeopleReady Inc. 397 Roberts St., Pearl, MS 39208 601-420-2042 peopleready.com Working Solutions 1016 Saxon Airport Rd #109., Philadelphia, MS 39350 601-389-9675 workingsolutionsusa.com Aerotek 201 Northlake Ave, Ste 207, Ridgeland, MS 39211 601-790-3232 aerotek.com Capitol Staffing Inc. 661 Sunnybrook Road, Ridgeland, MS 39157 601-957-1755 capitolstaffing.com Southern Healthcare Agency, Inc 301 New Pointe, Ridgeland, MS 39157 601-933-0037 southernhealthcare.com Staffing Solutions, Ltd. 356 Hwy. 51, Ste. A, Ridgeland, MS 39157 601-853-5025 staffltd.com Staffmark 900 E. County Line Rd., #240B, Ridgeland, MS 39157 601-957-1633 staffmark.com Working Solutions 6712 Old Canton Rd Suite 3, Ridgeland, MS 39157 601-856-9200 workingsolutionsusa.com Wise Staffing Group 1661 Highway 45, Saltillo, MS 38866 662-869-2784 wisestaffinggroup.com Allegiance Staffing 8869 Centre St., Southaven, MS 38671 662-393-4561 allegiancestaffing.com Brannon Professionals, LLC 7165 Getwell Rd., Bldg. E, Southaven, MS 38672 662-349-9194 brannonprofessionals.com Express Employment Professionals 5740 Getwell Rd, Bldg 6, A&B, Southaven, MS 38672 662-420-7047 expresspros.com/desotocountyms Instaff 7090 Malco Blvd Ste 111, Southaven, MS 38671 662-536-4071 instaff.com Randstad Work Solutions 470 Church Rd E., Southaven, MS 38671 662-349-1825 randstadusa.com Express Employment Professionals 301 Academy Dr, Stes A&B, Starkville, MS 39759 662-323-4070 expresspros.com/starkvillems AAA Employment 144 S Thomas St No. 209-2, Tupelo, MS 38801 662-844-8448 Aaaemployment.net Express Employment Professionals 810 Garfield St., Tupelo, MS 38801 662-842-5500 ExpressPros.com/TupeloMS Kelly Services - Tupelo 100 Parkgate Ext, Suite A 1-B, Tupelo, MS 38801 662-842-9602 kellyservices.us Pediastaff 398 E Main St, Tupelo, MS 38804 866-733-4278 ResourceMFG 1794 Cliff Gookin Blvd, Tupelo, MS 38801 662-844-2250 resourcemfg.com Snelling Staffing 108 E. Main St., Ste. B, Tupelo, MS 38804 662-842-1045 snelling.com/tupelo The Pace Group P.O. Box 1502, Tupelo, MS 38802 662-397-1955 thepacegroup.com Wise Staffing Group 414 N. Gloster St., Tupelo, MS 38804 662-841-2964 wisestaffinggroup.com Wise Staffing Group (Corporate) 432 Magazine St., Tupelo, MS 38804 662-680-5062 wisestaffinggroup.com Express Employment Professionals 1105 Mission Park Drive, Vicksburg, MS 39180 601-661-0435 expresspros.com/vicksburgms Staffing Solutions, Ltd. 2566 S. Frontage Road, Suite C, Vicksburg, MS 39180 601-630-9966 staffltd.com Gulfstaff LLC 129C US Highway 90, No 18, Waveland, MS 39576 877-216-1392 gulfstaff.com Onin Staffing 224 Russell Dr., Waynesboro, MS 39367 601-671-2203 oninstaffing.com Onin Staffing 6683 U.S. 45 Alt. S., West Point, MS 38773 662-524-3175 oninstaffing.com Data provided by company representatives and MBJ research. List is alphabetical by city. Send questions frank.brown@msbusiness.com.

Top Officer Dana Beckum Ryan Daniels Ashley Hurt Amanda Ford Deborah W. Martin Leslie Hutchins Kennedy Mark Smith Deb Frasher Dakota Stevens Curtis Adcock

Brenda A Barron Nathan Smith LaToya Lewis Meloney Bramlett Pandora Redmond Natalie Bement Kristie Molsbie Bryan Southwick Sue Themis Christy A. Strawbridge Jimmy Renfroe

Gary Carmichael Rejeana Brown Jeff Booth Alan Lange Jacqueline A. Turner Beth Henry Carolyn Boteler Brad Bounds Lance Gordon Cierra Fulton Laura Ambriz Veronica Gates Charity Washington Scott Bounds Lane Purvis Josh Young David W. Smith Brad Bounds Katie Thompson Jeff Booth Susan Brannon Reich Diego Lejwa Cierra Fulton Scott Dodd Agnes Davis Julianne Goodwin, Jim Goodwin Brenda Adams Stephen Klitze Rhonda Chrestman John Lovorn Blair Corbett Marc Clegg Mike Smith Frank J. Yacenda

health care September October 2020 Issue Issue • Mississippi • Mississippi Business Business Journal Journal • www.msbusiness.com • www.msbusiness.com

COVID-19 epidemic has taken a big toll on health-care workers By LYNN LOFTON mbj@msbusiness.com


t times during the pandemic, Mississippi has experienced some of the highest rates of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) in the country. The pandemic has impacted not just the people infected, but health-care workers called upon to care for very ill patients with a highly infectious disease. Early on, this work had to be done without having adequate supplies of personal protection equipment (PPE). As of Sept. 7—the latest information available--data from the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) showed a total of 5,351 cases of COVID-19 in state health-care workers with 32 deaths. “COVID-19 has taken a big toll on our healthcare workers,” said Dr. Claude Brunson, executive director, Mississippi State Medical Association. “When the pandemic first

started, we were not prepared. Most of the states were not. We didn’t know much about the virus and one of the major problems was we didn’t have enough PPE.” Brunson said healthcare workers were obligated by their training and ethical responsibilities to take care of patients despite the lack of PPE. But, fortunately, now in the eighth month of the pandemic, Brunson said both treatments for patients and protection for healthcare workers have improved dramatically. Many health-care workers have taken great care to prevent bringing the virus home to family members, including those who might be in high-risk groups because of their age and existing health conditions. Brunson said some health-care workers tried to social distance in a different part of the home, which is difficult to do. Others moved out into separate lodgings. “Many had to make a lot of sacrifices to protect their families,” Brunson said. “We are reminding the general

public that we are seeing transmission now mainly from families. We are also seeing transmission from football parties.” Brunson said there are currently adequate supplies of PPE in the state, and the past couple of months since the statewide mask mandate was put in place, the state has experienced a significant decline of spread in the community. However, there is concern about rates of illness picking up again in the winter when people spend most of their time indoors. “By no means do we have an oversupply of PPE,” Brunson said. “If we have a very bad increase in cases, we could be at risk of getting low and running out of PPE again.” In hospitals with intensive care units (ICUs) designed to treat infectious patients, there are negative pressure rooms that expel the virus rather than keeping it circuSee HEALTH-CARE, Page 34

Physicia ns s l a t i p s e i s t l a i c o e p S H

FOCUSED onYour Health We are Mississippi Health Partners Quality healthcare is about focus and attention to detail. For nearly 30 years, Mississippi Health Partners has put businesses and their employees at the center of a network of Mississippi’s most respected doctors and hospitals – each committed to providing the services and value you’ve come to expect. With 700 physicians as part of our team of more than 1,000 healthcare professionals; and 13 hospitals, including Baptist Medical Center and St. Dominic Hospital, we make sure that your healthcare needs are met every day. Mississippi owned and managed, our reputation is built on placing you at the forefront of an organization with an eye toward offering the finest care. Focused on quality, Dedicated to earning your trust. Mississippi Health Partners.



October 2020 Issue


Mississippi Business Journal



» law elevated

EMPLOYERS BEWARE: OSHA ‘Coronavirus-related’ inspections, citations on the rise in late 2020 By JAY BOLIN AND ANNA MORRIS


mployers across multiple industries (not just health care!) are being cited by OSHA for failing to protect employees from COVID-19, and the number of inspections and citations will likely continue to grow in the foreseeable future.

More Coronavirus-Related Complaints to OSHA

OSHA inspections are triggered by various events, including (but not limited to) fatalities or “catastrophes;” referrals of hazards from other government agencies, individuals, organizations, or the media; and employee complaints. Given the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic around the country (and the world), coronavirus-related complaints and referrals to OSHA have surged.As of Oct. 9, 2020, OSHA has received over 10,500 complaints and referrals, while state agencies have received over 43,000.

More Coronavirus-Related OSHA Inspections

Since April 20, 2020, OSHA has opened 1,091 “coronavirus-related” workplace inspections. In that same time frame, state level agencies have opened 3,061 “coronavirus-related” inspections. That’s an average of nearly 200 new federal inspections and over 510 new state inspections per month in the last six months. No information is available regarding the industries most frequently inspected, but based on data available for the federal program, complaints are most common for “essential” industries. The highest number of complaints have derived from the health care, retail trade, restaurant and construction industries in that order.

More Coronavirus-Related OSHA Citations

Since late July, OSHA has cited 62 different employers with coronavirus-related violations, and proposed penalties now total nearly a million dollars. It is important to note, however, that there are no OSHA regulations or standards specific to COVID-19 – yet. Instead, OSHA points employers to its general standards and directives that may be most applicable to reduce worker exposure to the coronavirus. As a result, each coronavirus-related citation issued by OSHA to date has alleged violations of some combina-

tion of OSHA’s general regulations concerning personal protective equipment (PPE) standards, recording and reporting requirements, or the General Duty Clause. Notably, the General Duty Clause can almost always serve as a basis for a citation. This “catch-all” provision requires employers to furnish “a place of employment which is free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm” to employees, and to comply with all standards, rules, regulations, and orders promulgated under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. In other words, an employer may arguably be in violation of the General Duty Clause when the hazard is COVID-19, no less than any other hazard. OSHA’s PPE standards, recording requirements, and the General Duty Clause seem to be the most relevant provisions for a coronavirus-related inspection. However, nothing prevents OSHA from issuing citations for any violation observed during an inspection, even if those violations are unrelated to the coronavirus. Thus, as the number of OSHA inspections rises, so too we expect the number of OSHA citations imposed upon employers will rise – whether those citations are related to the coronavirus or otherwise.

What Employers Need to Know

While no coronavirus-specific OSHA regulations or standards have been promulgated to date, OSHA has published general COVID-19 guidance for all workers and employers, as well as interim guidance for specific industries. Industries addressed to date include security, travel, construction, corrections, janitorial, food services, farming, health care, home repair, manufacturing, oil and gas, postmortem care, retail operations, and waste management. OSHA also refers employers to the CDC and other agencies for both general and industry-specific coronavirus guidance. Therefore, employers should stay in-the-know on all available general and industry-specific coronavirus guidelines, not only those issued by OSHA

but also those issued by the CDC and other federal and state agencies. Further, employers must remember that a coronavirus inspection permits OSHA entry onto your workplace site, where it can issue citations for any violation – not just violations that are coronavirus related. Although OSHA has the authority to cite any violation during an inspection, employers can limit the scope of an OSHA inspection to specific areas of the facility. For those areas of the facility which you allow OSHA to access during an inspection, OSHA has the right to issue citations for any violations that may be observed “in plain view.” While employers have the right to refuse an OSHA inspection, this is generally not advisable and should never be done without advice of legal counsel. Finally, if an employer has been cited by OSHA following an inspection, there are avenues for negotiation, settlement, and appeal to potentially decrease or eliminate OSHA liability and penalties. The citation does not have to be the final word.

Some Good News

While the frequency of inspections and citations currently is on the rise, the good news is that the weekly rate of coronavirus-related complaints submitted to OSHA is trending downward. However, the ultimate impact of COVID-19 on OSHA (and related state agency) regulations, inspections, and citations remains to be seen. Employers must stay on guard to protect their employees and their business. » JAY BOLIN is an attorney in Butler Snow’s litigation department and practices with the Product Liability, Toxic Tort & Environmental Group. He focuses his practice on product liability, toxic tort, environmental, catastrophic events and major claims, incident response and evidence preservation, OSHA and general litigation defense. » ANNA MORRIS is an attorney in Butler Snow’s Products Liability and Commercial Litigation practice groups. Her practice spans from defending manufacturers in product liability, personal injury and breach warranty cases to representing clients in complex commercial disputes concerning breach of contract, personal injury and breach warranty cases to representing clients in complex commercial disputes concerning breach of contract, breach of warranty and business torts.

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Mississippi Business Journal



October 2020 Issue

Women's Medical Care Centers

women's Women's Medical Care Centers medical care centers Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

9 10 11 12

Name & Address

Phone /Website


Services Offered

University Women's Care 2500 N. State St., Jackson, MS 39216 Merit Health Woman's Hospital 1026 N. Flowood Drive, Flowood, MS 39232 NMMC Women's Hospital 4566 S. Eason Blvd., Tupelo, MS 38801 Memorial Women & Children Services 4500 13th St., Gulfport, MS 39501 28th Place 421 S. 28th Ave., Ste. 200, Hattiesburg, MS 39401 Baptist for Women 1225 N. State St., Jackson, MS 39202 Merit Health Central Women's Services 1850 Chadwick Drive, Jackson, MS 39204 Merit Health River Region Women's Services 2100 Hwy 61 N , Vicksburg, MS 39183 Jackson Healthcare for Women, P.A. 291 E. Layfair Dr., Flowood, MS 39232 The Woman's Clinic of Mississippi 501 Marshall St., Ste. 400, Jackson, MS 39202 Merit Health River Oaks Women's Services 1030 River Oaks Drive, Flowood, MS 39232 Southwest Mississippi Regional Women's Center Maternity Suites 215 Marion Ave., McComb, MS 39648 Merit Health Madison Women's Services 161 River Oaks Drive, Canton, MS 39046 East Lakeland OB/GYN Associates, P.A. 1020 River Oaks Dr., Ste. 320, Flowood, MS 39232 Southern Women's Health 1020 River Oaks Dr, Ste 310, Flowood, MS 39232

601-984-1000 umc.edu 601-932-1000 merithealthwomanshospital.com 662-377-3000 nmhs.net 228-575-2299 gulfportmemorial.com 601-268-5640 hattiesburgclinic.com 601-948-6262 baptistonline.org/birthplace

Martin Tucker

Roselynn Middleton

OB/GYN, maternal-fetal medicine, urogynecology, gynecologic reproductive endocrinology, infertility and gynecologic oncology. Delivery, breast imaging, robotic and general surgery, urology, surgical oncology, NICU Labor & Delivery; Emergency Dept; Mother-Baby Unit; Neonatal ICU; Maternal Fetal Medicine; Surgery; Newborn Followup Clinic; Lactation Deliveries, breastfeeding center, classes, pediatrics, gynecological inpatient and NICU. The Breast Center, OB-GYN, Plastic Surgery, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Lab, Pathology Deliveries, breast health, surgery, NICU, OB-GYN, Urogynecology, gynecologic oncology, specialists-asthma, allergy, cardiology, surgery.



Barry Moss

Labor and Delivery, NICU, Breast Cancer Surgery, GYN Surgery



Ben Richaud

Labor and Delivery, OB/GYN surgery, breast health


601-936-9190 jhcfw.com 601-354-0869 twc-ms.com 601-932-1030 merithealthriveroaks.com/

Janice Keyes

Obstetrics and Gynecology, Genius 3D Mammography, Hormone Pellet Therapy, OShot, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, Ideal Protein, Counseling


Vickie Fant

601-249-5500 smrmc.com

Kim Pace

Heather Sistrunk Ellen Friloux Amy Haulsee Tommy Thornton



Continued from Page 31

lating in the room. The problem has been more Covid-positive patients than negative pressure rooms available. Some patients are being treated in regular ICUs or hospital rooms. In addition to the danger of becoming ill with the virus and spreading it to others, there has been a major emotional toll on healthcare workers from taking care of so many seriously ill patients, some who don’t make it. “Most people don’t know that physicians and other health-care workers don’t get accustomed to their patients dying,” Brunson said. “We are trained to do everything we can to get our patients cured. We all have patients die on us. But to have as many patients die as we have seen with COVID-19 is well out of the range of what we have normally experienced. When people with lung disease can’t breathe, it is a terrifying thing to watch.” Earlier that was compounded by feelings of helplessness in there being little known about how to treat the illness. Brunson said that, fortunately, there are now some therapeutics such as highdose steroids and the anti-viral drug Remdesivir recently approved by the FDA for treating COVID-19.

“We have seen the death rate decrease from the beginning when we had nothing to treat COVID-19,” Brunson said. “Now we are trying to keep the rate of transmission down, and use whatever therapies we have available as a bridge to when we have an effective vaccine.” Brunson said a major point to make is the public can help protect health-care workers by wearing masks and social distancing to prevent getting ill and then getting treatment that puts healthcare workers at risk. Hospitals have implemented strategies to protect health-care workers at all risk levels--low, medium, high and very high, said Joyce Pearson, RN-BC, MSN, director, Office of Healthcare Emergency Preparedness, Mississippi Hospital Association (MHA).Strategies include temperature checks and illness questions for staff and visitors before entering the hospital, limiting visitation, and maintaining adequate PPE. Those things protect all employees. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency continues to provide PPE deliveries to healthcare facilities as necessary. “Reports of hospital and vendor shortages have decreased,” Pearson said. “MHA also joined PPE Exchange to help our members meet their PPE needs. Adequate PPE is the best way to pro-

350 300 213 134

OB/GYN, 12 physiciansl; clinic in Madison.


Labor and Delivery, OB/GYN surgery, Newborn care, breast health, NICU, Micro NICU, surgical oncology


Labor, delivery, recovery, post-partum unit nursery, NICU


601-855-4000 Brit Phelps Labor and Delivery, OB/GYN surgery, Newborn care, breast health merithealthmadison.com/ 601-936-1400 Obstetric care, Gynecology, surgery, noninvasive surgery, mammography, 14 Ginny Lloyd eastlakelandobgyn.com ultrasound, and hormone therapy. 601-932-5006 Birth control, Well-woman exam, GYN surgery, Menstrual disorders, Obstetrics, 15 Dawn Adams swhealth.net Abnormal Pap Smears, Infertility, Ovarian cancer screening 601-200-4935 St. Dominic Hospital Center for Women's Health Mammography, breast stereotactic and ultrasound minimally invasive biopsies and 16 stdom.com/services/womens/ bone density. 970 Lakeland Dr., Jackson, MS 39216 mammography-center/ Panola Women's and Children's Clinic 662-563-2163 Care for normal and high risk pregnancies, well woman exams, gynecologic 17 Andrea Byars panolamedicalcenter.org.com procedures, routine testing, surgical procedures, delivering babies 255 Medical Center Dr, Batesville, MS 38606 Data provided by company representatives and MBJ research. Direct questions to frank.brown@msbusiness.com. 13


tect those healthcare workers who have contact with COVID-19 patients. Hospitals also protect those caring directly for COVID patients through enhanced environmental cleaning protocols. Dedicated staff for COVID units versus non-COVID units has also helped prevent the spread of the disease.” Mississippi State Department of Health Director of Health Protection Jim Craig said to make sure there is adequate availability of PPE, routine and emergency shipments are made to counties, hospitals and long-term care centers weekly as needed from the state logistics team. Based on need, there are weekly deliveries of PPE from federal and state stockpiles. Some health-care facilities have reported increased availability of PPE through the regular supply chain, as well. Craig estimated there is currently a 60day stockpile of PPE in Mississippi. Other steps to reign in the pandemic include additional infection control surveys of long-term health-care facilities to improve infection control efforts. There have been 366 surveys to date. Craig said another improvement is rapid COVID point-of-care testing support for healthcare workers in long-term care settings. Another fallout of the epidemic is that some health-care workers, particularly those who are older and\or have risk

50 35 32 25 14

factors such as diabetes that make them more at risk for serious illness and death, are choosing to leave the profession. There were already shortages of some professionals such as doctors and nurses, particularly in rural parts of the state. Craig said they have received reports about staffing shortages from hospitals and long-term care facilities. “Facilities are reporting various strategies to address staffing shortages through recruitment, contracting, and retention,” he said. The National Nurses United (NNU) union estimates that 1,700 healthcare workers have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Union President Zenei Cortez, RN, said in a statement that these deaths were avoidable and unnecessary due to government and employer willful inaction. "Nurses and health-care workers were forced to work without PPE they needed to do their job safely,” Cortez said. “It is immoral and unconscionable that they lost their lives.”

leading private companies September October 2020 Issue Issue • Mississippi • Mississippi Business Business Journal Journal • www.msbusiness.com • www.msbusiness.com


Top 100 about how we are doing as a state

lished annually for 31 years. Others would t started as a routine call, one of many rather protect their data, citing competition I make while researching the MBJ’s and security concerns. annual Mississippi 100, a ranking by This year, almost three-fourths of the revenue of the top private companies in Mississippi 100 companies openly provided the state. information about their operations -- a 50 But after pleasantly updating his compercent jump from just three years ago. Othpany data, Bob Dunlap, CEO of Dunlap & ers did not return requests for information for Kyle, Inc., in Batesville, flipped the script: “So, Frank brown various reasons — some technical, some forgetful, how is Mississippi doing this year?” he asked. and some who just didn’t participate. I’ve been a researcher for five years and a journalist At that point, we studied online analysts, company web for almost 40 years, but by no means am I an economist. “Well, overall I think the state’s businesses are growing,” pages, published articles and phone calls for guidance in I replied, grasping for answers like a magician pulling a determining estimates. Is every estimate correct? We wish. Maybe someday. But rabbit out of his ... hat. “But, I think the growth is slow, my goal for the list is to spotlight firms especially for businesses near the bottom of the top 100.” A closer look somehow supported my thoughts. I compared the earnings of firms who submitted actual numbers (no MBJ estimates) the last two years. About 62 percent showed growth, while 38 percent showed loss. That sounds good on the surface, but should over a third of a state’s Top 100 businesses be losing money? But that analysis is on a small sample and unscientific. Besides, evaluating the economy isn’t the purpose of the Mississippi 100. We publish this list for a couple of reasons. It’s data that can educate Mississippians about state businesses, and it’s information that is difficult to find. We use annual revenue as the list criteria because we feel it illustrates company activity better than profit and loss. Some businesses cooperate, and some take pride in being on a list that has been pub-

List of state's top private companies for 2020

that belong in the Mississippi 100, even if their revenue estimate is off by a few dollars (or a few million dollars). Companies on the list also change through mergers and acquisitions. In the spirit of the list, we continue to acknowledge some companies owned by out-of-state equity firms that still have Mississippi headquarters and still meet the criteria. After all, it is about Mississippi businesses, and some people want to know how Mississippi is doing. Right, Bob? » FRANK BROWN a list researcher with the Mississippi Business Journal, compliled the Mississippi 100.

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October 2020 Issue


Mississippi Business Journal



Duff brothers open about the secret of their success By NASH NUNNERY mbj@msbusiness.com


sk brothers Jim and Thomas Duff the secret to growing Southern Tire Mart into the largest commercial tire dealer and retread manufacturer in North America, and you’ll likely get the same answer. Frankly, the secret to their success is no secret. Hardworking employees, enthusiastic brand partners and loyal customers make a winning combination for the Duffs and Southern Tire Mart, which sells approximately three million truck tires and retreads another two million. With a reported $1.8 billion in annual sales, Southern Tire Mart ranks third in this year’s Mississippi Business Journal’s “Top 100 Private Companies in Mississippi” list. “Being included in the Top 100 Companies in Mississippi is truly an honor for us, to be sure, but it’s true testament to the hard work of each and every individual who works at Southern Tire Mart,” said Jim Duff. The Duff brothers father Ernest founded Columbia-based Southern Tire Mart in 1973 and was a Bandag-only dealer for several years. Jim and Thomas grew up in the family business until their father sold the company in 1997. Five years later, the brothers bought Southern Tire Mart from Bridgestone/Bandag and expanded the retread operation. Today, the company offers full service options for commercial trucks and fleets, and passenger and light trucks. They sell a variety of tire brands, including Bridgestone, Firestone, Continental, General, Yokohama, Bandag, Michelin, Goodrich and Toyo tires. However, the retread business is Southern Tire

» Jim and Thomas Duff

Mart’s bread-and-butter. For the uninitiated, retread tires are those that have been refurbished through a process that replaces worn tread on tires that have been inspected, repaired and declared safe. Retread tires have proven cost-effective and fuel efficient, and remain at the heart of Southern Tire Mart’s identity. Currently, STM operates 19 Bandag manufactur-

» Southern Tire Mart offers full service options for commercial trucks and fleets, and passenger and light trucks.

ing facilities and 140 retail and commercial locations while employing over 3,600 throughout the company’s 15-state footprint. Each Southern Tire Mart location is independently operated by a store manager and he or she runs the store as they see fit with corporate support. “At every level of Southern Tire Mart, we have adopted the philosophy of ‘owning and growing’ what we do,” Jim Duff said. “It’s about taking responsibility in every situation and making it better.” Aside from creating hundreds of jobs for Columbia and surrounding south Mississippi counties, maintaining a family atmosphere around the business is priority one for the Duff brothers. Both say Columbia is a great place to live and do business. “We never take for granted how blessed we are to be able to work with neighbors and friends every day and to have the support of so many people across the state who have been instrumental in our success, “ said Thomas Duff. Philanthropy is an important element to the brothers’ success in the corporate world. The Duffs support several charitable organizations and are ardent supporters of Mississippi’s major universities. They recently donated state-of-the-art tractor-trailers to the football programs at Southern Miss, the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University. See BROTHERS, Page 43

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Mississippi Business Journal



October 2020 Issue

BankPlus taking long-term view for the future By LYNN LOFTON Daily Journal


ankPlus has 100 years of history and has grown from a community bank to a regional financial institution serving communities in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. The bank now has 1,000 employees and 80 locations and is listed on the Mississippi Business Journal's Top 100 Private Companies. “Our growth is a direct result of our efforts to establish a culture of empowerment at BankPlus throughout all levels of our organization. Through this effort, we define and continuously communicate what being a high-performance organization means, and every team member is focused on those goals,” says President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Ray. “We work hard, but we also make it a key point to have fun and celebrate our wins along the way.” On April 1, BankPlus' parent company, BancPlus Corporation, acquired State Capital Corp., the parent company of State Bank & Trust Company. That merger combined with traditional growth over the last year helped grow the bank's balance sheet to include approximately $4.5 billion in assets and $4 billion in deposits. “BankPlus has grown organically at a very good pace over the last several years. The merger with State Bank & Trust was strategic for a variety of reasons,” Ray said. “ First, their culture was similar to the culture we have at BankPlus. Second, State Bank & Trust helped BankPlus fill out our service footprint throughout Mississippi and into Louisiana and Alabama. “Finally, BankPlus was able to provide State Bank & Trust customers with new technologies and products as well as in-house mortgage and wealth management services.”

He says culture is something the company studies, applies and openly communicates. “It's also a philosophy we define with our core purpose and our vision. It’s all about empowering employees to make decisions they feel are in the best interest of our customers and our company. “You can’t build a culture during a pandemic. It has to be in place before that and BankPlus has been working for years to create a workplace where employees enjoy coming to work and feel they are making a difference.” BankPlus has been recognized by American Banker magazine as one of the best banks to work for in America for eight years. This surRay vey is open to all banks and relies on employee feedback from all levels of the organization to determine which banks are selected and recognized. “When that sort of culture is in place, it makes providing superior customer service second nature, and it makes recruiting top talent much easier,” Ray said. In 2017, BankPlus launched The Source, a network for professional women at any given age or stage, regardless of their industry. “Despite incredible growth of female-owned businesses throughout Mississippi and our nation, women continue to face challenges attaining access to capital and utilizing business networks,” Ray said. “The program’s unique mission is to connect, educate, and empower the

female workforce, at no fee or cost to members. While the pandemic has changed how we gather and network, our members have embraced our on-demand content like our blog, social media, event videos, and monthly podcast.” BankPlus has a core purpose of community involvement. “We are specifically known in the areas we serve for giving time, resources and money to the causes and charities that matter most in the lives of our community members,” Ray said. “We feel this philosophy helps strengthen our communities at their roots, and it establishes the BankPlus brand as being a true community partner.” Ray says the pandemic has caused unique challenges as well as opportunities for BankPlus customers. “We have been a full participant in the relief and special assistance programs created by the federal government. For example, we made more than 4,200 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for approximately $300 million to small businesses through the very last day of the program.” He acknowledges that there is still an economic downturn today, but banks have to take a long-term view and try to predict how this will affect customers, certain business segments and local economies in the future. “BankPlus is preparing for near-term and long-term effects of the pandemic while maintaining superior customer service and communication. We will weather this together with our customers and with our communities,” he said.


October 2020 Issue


Mississippi Business Journal



Merchants continues to overcome By LISA MONTI mbj@msbusiness.com


erchants Foodservice, in business since 1904, has faced down a string of challenging historical events - world wars, the Spanish Flu, the Great Depression and countless natural disasters. But Andy Mercier, president and CEO of the Hattiesburg-based distributor, said the Covid-19 pandemic stands out for its abrupt impact. “There has been nothing that has so quickly affected our business as dramatically as this pandemic,” he wrote in a letter to customers. “In one week over 50 percent of our customers closed due to government mandates. In 2 weeks’ time another 10 percent closed. Meanwhile our inventory ballooned from the pre pandemic purchasing we were doing based on the business we had.” More than a third of its workers and cut back hours for those remaining. The size of the Merchants operation compounds the challenges. It is the 12th-largest foodservice distributor in the United States with operations in 12 states and 800 employees serving more than 6,000 customers. They include all the military bases in Mississippi and Louisiana and the state’s public schools. When the schools and restaurants shut down, the company was suddenly overstocked with $10 million worth of food bought weeks in advance. “We would normally sell that in a couple of weeks but nobody was buying it,” Mercier said. “There were massive problems.” The challenge then was finding a place to store the perishable food products or sell them to retail outlets. Some was donated to nonprofits. It took nearly two months to stabilize the inventory. On the supply chain side, Mercier said, Merchants had to do another balancing act in getting all the supplies to school cafeterias, restaurants and other customers who needed gloves, take-out containers, bleach and utensils. Those supplies were cut off immediately, just when there was a great demand, he said. Meanwhile, meat packers and poultry plants were closing down because of Covid outbreaks among workers at the same time grocery retailers were seeing surging demand. Compounding things further were the mandated closings and then reopenings. “It was chaotic,” he said.

Regions Bank and Regions Foundation announce $12 million to go toward racial equity and economic empowerment

Still, Mercier said, Merchants remained focused on serving its nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospitals, child nutrition feeding centers and military customers. Mercier said he has never experienced anything like the pandemic. He told the Wall Street Journal that “Hurricane Katrina was really bad but the storm hit and we knew what we need to do to survive and move on. There’s so much uncertainty and unpredictability.” He compared the experience to riding a roller coaster but in the dark. “Everybody is making decisions affecting business but we have no control over it.” Now, seven months into the pandemic, two things keep Mercier worried: packaging and trucks. He said homebound consumers are shopping more online and all those orders “are sucking up cardboard supplies to nothing. Our manufacturers and suppliers can’t get enough packaging material to box up food for delivery. Packaging and plastics are pushed to the limit and they have Covid issues too.” Mercier said there aren’t enough truck drivers to deliver all the goods

ordered online and the shortage has created a crisis last seen in 2008. Back then, he said, one driver would deliver a load and there would be six loads that needed to be hauled back. “Today there are 10 loads to every truck. It’s just all kind of spiraling.” Before the pandemic, Mercier said Merchants would get 95 to 99 percent of their orders from their suppliers filled. Now it’s 85 percent. “We sell to 120 nursing homes, to almost every school in the state and to restaurants that can’t be out of food. People are relying on us, so we buy more than we need to carry over a week or two.” Mercier said he doesn’t expect the supply chain to settle down until next summer, aided by a new vaccine. For now, he said, “Every day is a new day.” What keeps him up at night besides the uncertainty is the safety of his employees. “I can’t say enough about our drivers who are putting their lives at risk just providing nutrition to Mississippians.” He added, “We have a mission to serve, to provide nutrition and we can’t back off on that."

Regions Bank and the nonprofit Regions Foundation on Tuesday announced a $12 million commitment to advance programs and initiatives that promote racial equity and economic empowerment for communities of color while creating more inclusive opportunities for success. The $12 million commitment will be allocated by Regions Bank, the Regions Foundation and the Regions Community Development Corporation over the next two years. Initial allocations will include: • $1,000,000 from the Regions Foundation for the National Urban League. • $2,000,000 allocated through deposits in Minority-Owned Banks and investments in Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). • Additional portions of the $12 million will be allocated based on needs identified in conjunction with community partners. Specifically, these investments will seek to: •Advance minority business development •Increase minority homeownership rates •Reduce the digital divide by increasing web accessibility in underserved communities

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Mississippi Business Journal


October 2020 Issue


Vertex Aerospace continues to grow its business around the world providing support, repair and maintenance services By BECKY GILLETTE mbj@msbusiness.com


ertex Aerospace based in Madison is entering only its second year as a stand-alone company, and yet is now one of the top ten largest private companies in Mississippi. In the rankings compiled by the Mississippi Business Journal, Vertex Aerospace ties as being the ninth largest private company in Mississippi with annual revenues of $1 billion. “Since becoming a stand-alone company, we have greatly improved and automated many of our processes to provide uninterrupted services at an expedited rate, maintaining or improving our customers' readiness levels,” said Vertex Aerospace President & CEO John “Ed” Boyington. “Having the inhouse competencies of depot-level reach back, systems engineering, full supply chain support, and manufacBoyington turing capabilities now makes Vertex a one-stop-shop for all aftermarket aerospace services.” Vertex has operations around the world providing aftermarket aerospace services including support, repair, and maintenance of aircraft and aircraft components to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and military standards. The company has about 3,500 employees worldwide, in-

cluding a 50 percent veterans’ population, and has opera- customer providing quick responses to ensure accelerated tions in 65 U.S. and 35 international locations. It has 700 readiness. employees in Mississippi. “We saw this as an opportunity to reposition ourself as Boyington said their company considers the work they do as a leader in the mid-level aerospace market. With AIP's a defense contractor not just a job, but a noble cause support- support, we integrated two businesses into our company ing our military members in the defense of our nation. For the as part of the deal - Crestview Aerospace in Crestview, Fl., defense sector, the main challenge they have seen across the and TCS Aerospace in Warner Robins, Ga. These comboard is maintaining the military's readiness levels. Vertex has also grown its credit ratings. In May, S&P Global Inc. upgraded the company’s credit rating to B+ with a stable outlook. “They cited our improved profitability since a year earlier, which they attributed to our strong liquidity position, growing profitability, and continuous credit improvement,” Boyington said. “We’re honored to have such a reputable external source, such as S&P, note our strong performance with the expectation it will continue. Receiving this credit rating upgrade after becoming a stand-alone company reflects the success of our integrated business strategy and gives the collective Vertex team a great sense of accomplishment.” The credit-rating firm Moody’s Investors Service also recently examined Vertex and predicted » Vertex employees performing T-6 Aircraft maintenance the company will generate about $30 million in free cash flow this year. Boyington said this is a reasonable panies equipped us to provide the forecast as their earnings before interest, taxes, depreciaadditional services and products of tion, and amortization (EBITDA) growth as a percentage engineering, manufacturing, and of sales has increased by more than 60 percent since they systems integration, allowing Vertex were purchased by Amerto offer customers a complete oneican Industrial Partners. stop-shop solution for aftermarket Another significant aerospace services.” achievement for Vertex Vertex initially started in Jackson in 2019 was being selectin the 70's as a production support ed out of 13,000 compa- Miller division of the Beechcraft Company nies as the 2019 recipient focused on the King Air twin-turof the James S. Cogswell boprop aircraft. The company then shifted to a subsidiary Outstanding Industrial of Beech Aircraft Corporation, which was purchased by Security Achievement Raytheon in 1980. In 1988, they moved into their current Award. Boyington said Madison headquarters. In 1995, the company was renamed less than 1 percent of de- as Raytheon Aerospace. The company was ramed Vertex fense contractors to re- Aerospace and purchased by L3 in 2003. L3 sold Vertex, ceive the honor. along with its subsidiaries, to AIP in 2018 and now oper“Our in-depth count- ates as a stand-alone company. er-intelligence program Boyington said they made Madison their headquarters beallows us to directly in- cause there’s such great talent and a strong work ethic there. terface with government “It’s also a good transportation hub with our proximity partners, setting us apart to the Coast, Interstate 20, and an international airport,” from our competitors,” he said. “Mississippi also has ready access to excellent eduBoyington said. “The cational institutions and such a good quality of life, which safety of our customers is important for a good work-life balance.” and employees and the Vertex Aerospace Senior Vice President of Aerospace integrity of their data re- Logistics Tom “Kelly” Miller said as a mid-level aftermarmains our top priority.” ket aerospace defense contractor, it is sometimes surprisBoyington said a big ad- ing to people to learn the company has operational sites vantage of being a stand- around the world. “We’re able to maintain those operations and provide alone company is agility. Private equity firm AIP logistic services at the same expedited rate at all Vertex purchased Vertex as a locations due to our long-term relationships with global stand-alone company for suppliers,” Miller said. “We are strong supporters of small, $540 million in June 2018. minority, and veteran businesses, and spend approximately “That makes us small $130 million annually with those business types to support enough to be agile, but our various programs. These partnerships have enabled us large enough to be glob- to successfully complete more than 88,000 domestic and al,” Boyington said. “We 6,500 international logistic shipments annually.” have the ability to make Miller said they are extremely proud of Vertex’s mission quick decisions. We can interact directly with the See VERTEX, Page 471


October 2020 Issue


Mississippi Business Journal



Mississippi’s top private companies continue to grow and prosper By BECKY GILLETTE mbj@msbusiness.com


ississippi’s top ten private companies continued to grow in 2019 including a nearly $500 million increase in annual revenues and the addition of 700 employees for the state’s largest private company, Ergon, Inc. Ergon refines and markets specialty naphthenic and paraffinic products for niche markets and fuel products that are sold around the world. The company has a number of Ergon subsidiaries which specialize in crude oil gathering and stabilization, truck, rail and barge transportation and storage terminals. Ergon Refining Inc. (ERI) operates a refinery in Vicksburg with the production capacity of up to 26,500 barrels per day of severely hydrotreated naphthenic specialty products. Ergon also owns about 500 wells, mostly located in Louisiana and in East Texas. Ergon’s listing for 2020 indicates it has 3,000 employees with annual revenues of $3.5 billion. That compares to the 2019 listing of 2,300 employees and sales of $3 billion. The company based in Jackson was founded in 1953. Second on the list is the construction services powerhouse The Yates Companies Inc. based in Philadelphia. The Yates Companies are the second largest private company in the state with 2019 revenue listed at $2,758,200,000 compared to $2,254,200,000 in the pre-

vious year, a gain of about $500 million. The Yates Companies founded in 1963 have grown to be one of the largest construction and engineering services firms in the country. “We are financially sound with a significant bonding ca-

pacity, as well as vast personnel and equipment resources,” states a spokesperson for Yates. “Our portfolio includes projects from various sectors including arts and culture, civil, commercial, education, entertainment and gaming, federal, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, municipal, retail, and technology. We work hard to understand our client’s business needs and continually look for opportunities to provide additional value to our clients and their projects.” Southern Tire Mark (STM) based in Columbia also continues to be one of the top private companies in the state with annual revenues of $1.6 billion and employment 3,500 employees the 2020 list compared to $1.5 billion in annual revenues and employment of 3,500 in the previous year. STM has gone up from fifth largest private company in 2019 to third in the 2020. Jim and Thomas Duff say when they bought STM in 2003, their goal was to be THE solutions provider to the transportation industry. “Whether we were providing tire products and services to commercial fleets across the nation or passenger and light truck vehicles at one of over 140 locations in 15 states, we knew we could deliver more service and value than anyone else,” Thomas Duff said. “We have always felt strongly about understanding our customers’ definition of service, while recognizing our customers’ wants and needs. We have built our business ethos on always catering our See TOP PRIVATE, Page 43


DE Com

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Mississippi Business Journal



Continued from Page 37

Earlier this year, they donated $26 million to Ole Miss for the construction of a new science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) facility. The Jim and Thomas Duff Center for Science and Technology innovation is expected to become one of the nation’s leading student-centered learning environments for STEM education. Additionally, the Duffs pledged collective gifts of $30 million to


October 2020 Issue

Southern Miss, representing one of the largest bequests in school history. “Jim and I understand that we have a sacred responsibility to be good stewards and we always want to see our community and Mississippi prosper and succeed,” said Thomas Duff.

Continued from Page 41

services to meet our customers’ needs.” The Duffs said they could have located their corporate headquarters for STM anywhere in the U.S., but chose to build in their hometown of Columbia. Several of their other business are also located in the small town including TLWallace Construction, DeepWell Energy Services, Southern Insurance Group, Magnolia Grille and Magnolia Inn and Suites. Jim Duff sums up the mission of STM saying, “We simply takze care of customers better than anyone else.” Two Southern Farm Bureau insurance companies rank as the fourth and fifth largest private companies in the state. In the rankings for 2020, Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Co. founded in 1947 based in Ridgeland reports annual revenues of $1.58 billion. That compares to about $1.5 billion in the 2019 listings. Employment has remained steady at has 1,610 employees. Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co. based in Jackson has seen employment remain steady at 650. Revenues have grown from $1.46 billion in the 2019 listings to $1.5 billion in 2020. Both Southern Farm Bureau companies benefit from the long association with members of the Southern Farm Bureau. Hood Companies based in Hattiesburg comes in sixth in the top ten largest private companies’ listings. Employment has remained stable at about 1,350 people while revenues have grown to $1.4 billion from $1.1 billion in the previous year. Hood Companies moved up in the rankings two places from the previous year. Hood Industries started out by merging plywood manufacturing plants in Beaumont and Wiggins in 1986, and grew with acquisitions of lumber manufacturing plants in Waynesboro and Silver Creek, Bogalusa, La., and Metcalfe, Ga. The companies said these plants have allowed Hood Industries to enjoy phenomenal growth. Hood also operates 14 specialty wood product distribution operations located in thirteen states. The demand for wood products has increased during the pandem-

» Southern Tire Mart operates 19 Bandag manufacturing facilities and 140 retail and commercial locations while employing over 3,600 throughout the company’s 15-state footprint.

ic, resulting in premium prices that should be a bonus for Hood. Irby, a lighting company based in Jackson, is another constructed-related company that is one of the top private companies in Mississippi. It comes in seventh on the list with revenues of $1.27 billion compared to compared to $1.15 billion a year previously. Irby Utilities President Joe LeNoir said they are one of the ten largest electrical distribution companies in the U.S. providing material and fulfillment solutions in the utility, contractor and industrial markets. “We employ more than 900 employees operate across more than 60 branches in 26 states,” LeNoir said. “Irby has experienced incredible growth over the past five years, collectively evolving into one of the leading distributors throughout the U.S, offering our customers corporate strength combined with solid regional/local management and execution.” Staplcotn, a cotton marketing and warehousing business located in Greenwood, is the eighth largest private company in the state with annual revenues of $1.26 billion.

That was an increase from the previous year’s total of about $1.08 billion. Employment has remained steady at 170. Staplcotn has been successful because it has a loyal membership, said President & CEO Hank Reichle. “We have always strived to retain the trust and confidence of both our grower-owners as well as our textile customers,” Reichle said. “We are committed to servicing and enhancing the supply chain through working smartly and honestly with unsurpassed dedication toward a focused mission of marketing and warehousing cotton on behalf of our farmers.” Reichle said their more than 7,000 growers located throughout the Mid-south and Southeast are the owners of this company. They deliver between 2–3 million bales to us annually to market globally on their behalf. “Staplcotn has been blessed with a strong working board, a loyal membership, a talented and committed staff, and are well respected in the industry, Reichle said. “This has been the formula for our success for nearly 100 years now.”

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Tech giant C Spire in Ridgeland and Vertex Aerospace in Madison tie for ninth on the list with annual revenues estimated at $1 billion. C Spire has about 1,700 employees and operates largest privately-held wireless communications company. It is the 6th largest in the U.S. wireless industry. C Spire President and CEO Hu Meena said they are laser-focused on being and becoming known as the best wireless provider, internet service provider and business services provider in these industries. “That’s how we’ve remained competitive, successful and continue to grow and expand our telecommunications and technology products and services,” Meena said. “We refuse to lose.” Vertex Aerospace in Madison also had $1 billion in sales for the 2019 and 2020 lists. The company employs 3,500 worldwide. For an in-depth profile on Vertex, see the article titled “Vertex Aerospace continues to grow its business around the world providing support, repair and maintenance services.”

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Mississippi Business Journal


October 2020 Issue

Mississippi 100

Mississippi 100


the mississippi top 100

2020 Rank

2019 Rank

2018 Rank

Company Corporate Address

Phone / Website Products/Services

Top Officer Founded


Annual Revenue




Ergon Inc. P.O. Box 1639, Jackson, MS 39215

601-933-3000 / ergon.com Refining, chemicals, emulsions, oil & gas,

Emmitte Haddox 1954






The Yates Companies Inc. P.O Box 385, Philadelphia, MS 39350

601-656-5411 / yatescompanies.com Construction services

Bill Yates, William Yates 1963




Southern Tire Mart, LLC 800 Hwy 98, Columbia, MS 39429

601-424-3200 / stmtires.com Commercial tire sales & service

Thomas Duff, Jim Duff 2003






Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Co. 1800 E. County Line, Ridgeland, MS 39157

601-957-7777 / sfbcic.com Property/Casualty Insurance

Duff Wallace 1947






Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co. 1401 Livingston Lane, Jackson, MS 39213

601-981-7422 / sfbli.com Life insurance

Randy Johns 1946






Hood Companies Inc 15 Professional Parkway, Hattiesburg, MS 39402

601-264-2962 / hoodindustries.com Packing & Container, Atlas Roofing

Warren Hood 1999






Irby 815 Irby Dr., Jackson, MS 39201

601-969-1811 / irby.com Lighting

Tyler Mitchell, Joe LeNoir 1926






Staplcotn 214 W. Market St., Greenwood, MS 38930

662-453-6231 / www.staplcotn.com Cotton marketing & warehousing

Hank Reichle 1921






C Spire 1018 Highland Colony Pkwy., Ridgeland, MS 39157

855-277-4732 / cspire.com Mobile, data, voice, Internet, TV, cloud services

Hu Meena 1988






Vertex Aerospace 555 Industrial Dr. S., Madison, MS 39110

601-856-2274 / vtxaero.com

John "Ed" Boyington Jr. 1975






Howard Industries Inc. 3225 Pendorff Rd., Laurel, MS 39440

601-425-3151 / howard.com Transformers; computers; lighting; transportation

Billy W. Howard Sr. 1968






KLLM Transport Services, LLC 135 Riverview Dr., Richland, MS 39218

601-932-8616 / kllm.com Temperature-Controlled Carrier

James M. Richards Jr 1963




Dunlap & Kyle Co Inc. 280 Eureka St., Batesville, MS 38606

662-563-1143 / dktire.com Tires; tubes

Robert H. Dunlap 1956




Merchants Foodservice 1100 Edwards St., Hattiesburg, MS 39401

601-584-4046 / merchantsfoodservice.com Foodservice distributor




Cooperative Energy 7037 U.S. 49, Hattiesburg, MS 39402








$936,000,000 1,500


Andrew B. Mercier 1904



601-268-2083 / cooperativeenergy.com Generation & Transmission of Wholesale Electricity

Jeff C Bowman 1941



Taylor Group Inc. 3690 N. Church Ave., Louisville, MS 39339

662-773-3421 / thetaylorgroupofcompanies.com Manufacturing

W. A. Taylor III 1927




Farmers Grain Terminal Inc. P.O. Box 1796, Greenville, MS 38702

662-332-0987 / fgtcoop.com Grain marketing & storage

Steven F. Nail 1968





Yak Access 2438 Highway 98 E, Columbia, MS 39429

601-633-6584 / yakaccess.com Total access company providing matting solutions

Jonathan Duhon 2017






UFI/Lane 5380 Hwy 145 South, Tupelo, MS 38801

662-447-4000 / LaneFurniture.com Furniture manufacturing

Larry George 2000






Southern Pipe & Supply 4330 Hwy. 39 North, Meridian, MS 39301

601-693-2911 / southernpipe.com Plumbing, HVAC, industrial, mechanical

Jay Davidson 1938






Irby Construction Company 318 Old Highway 49 South, Richland, MS 39218

601-709-4729 / irbyconstruction.com Transmission, distribution, substation const.

Lee M Jones 1946






Southern Motion Inc 298 Henry Southern Drive, Pontotoc, MS 38863

662-488-4007 / southernmotion.com Reclining & stationary furniture

Roger Bland 1996






Herrin-Gear Automotive Group 1685 High St., Jackson, MS 39205

601-354-3882 / herringear.com Automobile dealership

Jack T. Herrin 1968






Viking Range, LLC 111 Front St, Greenwood, MS 38930

662-455-1200 / vikingrange.com Consumer & commercial appliances

Kevin Brown 1984






Blossman Companies 809 Washington Ave, Ocean Springs, MS 39564

228-875-2261 / blossmangas.com Propane Gas and Appliances

Stuart E Weidie 1951






Jones 16 Office Park Drive, Ste 5, Hattiesburg, MS 39402

844-500-2438 / jones.com Industrial Services Company

Jonathan Jones 1949






Deepwell Energy Services, LLC. 4025 Hwy 35 North, Columbia, MS 39429

601-522-2300 / dwservices.com Oilfield services

Austin Morgan 2014






Franklin Corporation 600 Franklin Dr., Houston, MS 38851

662-456-4286 / franklincorp.com Upholstered furniture

Hassell H. Franklin 1970






Island View Casino Resort 3300 W. Beach Blvd, Gulfport, MS 39501

877-774-8439 / islandviewcasino.com Gaming, Entertainment, Restaurants, Hotel

Lindsey Inman 2006






Newk's Eatery 2680 Crane Ridge Drive, Jackson, MS 39216

601-982-1160 / Newks.com Food & Beverage

Chris Newcomb 2004






White Construction Company 613 Crescent Cir., Ste. 100, Ridgeland, MS 39157

601-898-5180 / whiteconst.com Construction; Management; Design Build

Guy H. White, Steve Burch 1971






Southern Ionics Inc. 579 Commerce St, West Point, MS 39773

662-494-3055 / southernionics.com Manufacturer of specialty inorganic chemicals.

Milton Sundbeck 1980




October 2020 Issue


Mississippi Business Journal

Mississippi 100

Mississippi 100



the mississippi top 100

2020 Rank

2019 Rank

2018 Rank

Company Corporate Address

Phone / Website Products/Services

Top Officer Founded


Annual Revenue




Lyle Machinery Co. Ergon Inc. 650 US 49 Jackson, South, Richland, MS 39218 P.O. BoxHwy 1639, MS 39215

601-939-4000 / ergon.com lylemachinery.com 601-933-3000 Equipmentchemicals, Dealer, Parts, Service, Refining, emulsions, oil Sales & gas,and Rental

Daniel A Haddox Lyle Emmitte 1995 1954

195 3,000

$210,000,000* $3,500,000,000

34 2

36 3

37 2

Butler Snow LLP The Yates Companies Inc. 1020 Highland Colony #1400, P.O Box 385, Philadelphia, MSRidgeland, 39350 MS 39157

601-948-5711 601-656-5411 / butlersnow.com yatescompanies.com Law firm Construction services

Christopher R. Maddux Bill Yates, William Yates 1954 1963


$196,019,000 $2,758,200,000

3 35

5 37

5 36

SouthernInc. Tire Mart, LLC JESCO, 800 Hwy 98, Columbia, 39429 2020 McCullough Blvd., MS Tupelo, MS 38801

601-424-3200 / jescoinc.net stmtires.com 662-842-3240 Commercial tire sales &Mechanical service Construction General Construction,

Thomas Duff, Jim Duff Jerry Maxcy 2003 1941

3,500 500

$1,600,000,000 $190,000,000*

36 4

38 4

39 4

37 5

42 6

54 3

38 6

2 8

40 7

39 7

35 7

37 8

40 8

41 9

45 6

41 9

54 10

55 11

42 9

50 11

52 NR

662-289-3646 / iveymechanical.com 601-957-7777 / sfbcic.com Ivey is a full service mechanical contractor Property/Casualty Insurance 662-843-4046 / qualitysteelcorporation.com 601-981-7422 / sfbli.com Pressure vessels for propane, anhydrous ammonia Life insurance 601-898-8300 / BankPlus.net 601-264-2962 / hoodindustries.com Community & Business Banking Packing & Container, Atlas Roofing 228-832-4000 / rpmpizza.com 601-969-1811 Pizza carryout /&irby.com delivery Lighting 601-825-4323 / communitybank.net 662-453-6231 / www.staplcotn.com Banking & financial services Cotton marketing & warehousing 662-647-5802 / sayleoil.com 855-277-4732 / cspire.com Fuel oil and fuel; c-stores; quick lubes; propane Mobile, data, voice, Internet, TV, cloud services 6019143401 / mcclainsonics.com Sonic Drive-In /franchisee 601-856-2274 vtxaero.com

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Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Ivey Mechanical Company, LLC Insurance Co.W. Washington St., Kosciusko, MS 39090 134 1800 E. County Line, Ridgeland, MS 39157 Quality Steel Corp. Southern Bureau Life Insurance Co. P.O. Box 249,Farm Cleveland, MS 38732 1401 Livingston Lane, Jackson, MS 39213 BancPlus Corp./BankPlus Hood Companies Inc Ridgeland, MS 39157 1068 Highland Colony Pkwy., 15 Professional Parkway, Hattiesburg, MS 39402 RPM Pizza, LLC Irby 5th St., Gulfport, MS 39503 15384 815 Irby Dr., Jackson, MS 39201 Community Bancshares/Community Bank Staplcotn 1255 W. Government St., Brandon, MS 39402 214 W. Market St., Greenwood, MS 38930 Sayle Oil Company C 327Spire Main St., Charleston, MS 38921 1018 Highland Colony Pkwy., Ridgeland, MS 39157 MVP Sonic Group Vertex Aerospace P.O. Box 2128, Ridgeland, MS 39158 555 Industrial Dr. S., Madison, MS 39110 Mississippi Ag Co. Howard Industries Inc. 441 Haley Barbour Parkway, Yazoo City, MS 39194 3225 Pendorff Rd., Laurel, MS 39440

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43 12


Puckett Machinery Company KLLM Transport Services, LLC 100 Riverview Caterpillar Dr., Dr, Flowood, 135 Richland, MS MS 39232 39218

601-969-6000 / kllm.com puckettmachinery.com 601-932-8616 Caterpillar equipment, rental & engine dealer Temperature-Controlled Carrier

13 45

15 45

15 48

662-563-1143 / dktire.com 662-365-9485 Tires; tubes / hmrichards.com

14 46

15 46

14 49

15 46

14 46

12 46




48 17

51 17

62 13

49 18

48 20

47 18

50 19

53 22

50 19

51 20

48 18

51 16

52 21

40 23

34 22

53 22

43 25

42 23

54 23

52 24

76 21

55 24

56 29

35 25

56 25

59 62

44 64

57 26

71 21

81 30

58 27

61 26

56 20

Dunlap & Kyle Co Inc. H.M. Richards 280 Eureka St., Batesville, MS 38606 414 CR 2790, Baldwyn, MS 38824 Merchants Foodservice Community Eldercare Services, LLC 1100 Edwards St., Hattiesburg, MS 39401 2844 Traceland Dr., Tupelo, MS 38801 Cooperative Energy American Furniture Mfg 7037 U.S. 49, Hattiesburg, MS 39402 604 Pontotoc County Industrial Park Road, Ecru, MS Taylor 38863 Group Inc. 3690 N. Church Ave., Louisville, MS 39339 Waters Truck & Tractor / Waters International Farmers Grain 96 E. Plymouth Rd.,Terminal Columbus, Inc. MS 39705 P.O. Box 1796, Greenville, MS 38702 Eutaw Construction Co., Inc. Yak Access P.O. Box 2482, Madison, MS 39130 2438 Highway 98 E, Columbia, MS 39429 F.L. Crane & Sons Inc. UFI/Lane 508 S. Spring St., Fulton, MS 38843 5380 Hwy 145 South, Tupelo, MS 38801 Jones Logistics Southern & Supply 6184 Hwy 98Pipe W, Suite 210, Hattiesburg, MS 39402 4330 Hwy. 39 North, Meridian, MS 39301 Peavey Electronics Corp Irby Construction Company 5022 Hartley Peavey Dr., Meridian, MS 39305 318 Old Highway 49 South, Richland, MS 39218 Pearl River Resort Southern Motion Inc 13541 Hwy 16 W. , Choctaw, MS 39530 298 Henry Southern Drive, Pontotoc, MS 38863 Century Construction Group Herrin-Gear Automotive Group 705 Robert E. Lee Dr., Tupelo, MS 38802 1685 High St., Jackson, MS 39205 Consolidated Catfish Producers, LLC Viking Range, LLC 299 South St., Isola, MS 38754 111 Front St, Greenwood, MS 38930 Morgan White Group Blossman Companies 500 Steed Road, Ridgeland, MS 39157 809 Washington Ave, Ocean Springs, MS 39564 Pine Belt Motors Jones 7300 HWY 98, Hattiesburg, MS 39402 16 Office Park Drive, Ste 5, Hattiesburg, MS 39402 America's Catch Inc Deepwell Energy Services, LLC. P.O. Box Itta Bena, MS 38941 4025 Hwy584, 35 North, Columbia, MS 39429

601-584-4046 / merchantsfoodservice.com 662-680-3148 Foodservice distributor Assisted living, skilled nursing, rehab care, ther 601-268-2083 / cooperativeenergy.com 662-489-2633 / americanfurn.net Generation & Transmission of Wholesale Electricity Uphosltered products: sofas, sectionals, recliners 662-773-3421 / thetaylorgroupofcompanies.com Manufacturing 662-328-1575 / waterstruck.com 662-332-0987 / fgtcoop.com Truck and Trailer Dealerships, Wrecker Services Grain marketing & storage 601-855-7474 / eutawconstruction.com 601-633-6584 / yakaccess.com Highway & heavy civil construction Total access company providing matting solutions 662-862-2172 / flcrane.com 662-447-4000 / LaneFurniture.com Drywall, Plaster, Acoustical, Ext. Metal Panels Furniture manufacturing 800-956-1151 / joneslogistics.com 601-693-2911 / southernpipe.com Logistics Plumbing, HVAC, industrial, mechanical 601-483-5365 / peavey.com 601-709-4729 / irbyconstruction.com Sound equipment; musical instruments Transmission, distribution, substation const. 866-447-3275 / pearlriverresort.com 662-488-4007 / southernmotion.com Gaming; hospitality Reclining & stationary furniture 662-844-3331 / centurycr.com 601-354-3882 / herringear.com General;Highway Road Bridge demolition; Automobile dealership 662-962-3101 / countryselect.com 662-455-1200 / vikingrange.com Catfish processing & sales Consumer & commercial appliances 800-800-1397 / morganwhite.com 228-875-2261 / blossmangas.com Insurance and administrative services Propane Gas and Appliances 601-264-8500 / mypinebeltchevy.com 844-500-2438 / jones.com Automotive Industrial Services Company (662) 254-7207/ dwservices.com / catfish.com 601-522-2300 Fresh &services frozen catfish Oilfield

Larry Terrell Duff Wallace 1947 1947 Sean Wessel Randy 1957 Johns 1946 William A. Ray Warren 1909 Hood 1999 Glenn A Mueller Sr Tyler Mitchell, Joe LeNoir 1981 1926 Charles Nicholson Jr. Hank 1905 Reichle 1921 Ike Sayle Hu Meena 1947 1988 Buddy McClain John 1984 "Ed" Boyington Jr. 1975 Kyle Fulcher Billy 1947W. Howard Sr. 1968 Richard H. Puckett, Hastings James PuckettM. Jr.Richards Jr 1963 1982 Robert H. Dunlap Joey Tarrant 1956 1997 Andrew B. Mercier Douglas Wright Jr. 1904 2000 Jeff C Bowman Steve Lindsey 1941 1998 W. A. Taylor III 1927 Mike Waters III Steven 1938 F. Nail 1968 1980 Jonathan Duhon

375 1,610

$189,500,000 $1,576,000,000

375 650

$188,865,000 $1,499,144,781

950 1,350

$182,161,000 $1,400,000,000*

3,800 950

$180,000,000* $1,267,500,000

811 170

$171,124,000 $1,263,824,566

380 1,700

$160,000,000* $1,000,000,000*

4,500 700

$155,869,000 $1,000,000,000*

265 4,000

$150,000,000* $1,000,000,000*


$936,000,000* $150,000,000

1,500 1,100

$900,000,000 $150,000,000*

900 1,750

$785,000,000 $150,000,000*

500 450




240 120

$143,242,857 $525,000,000

2017 Chip Crane Larry 1946 George 2000 Brian E Haynes Jay 1999Davidson 1938 Hartley Peavey Lee 1965M Jones 1946 William "Sonny" Johnson Roger Bland 1994 1996 Colin Maloney Sr Jack T. Herrin 1997 1968 Richard Stevens Kevin Brown 1967 1984 David R. White Stuart E Weidie 1987 1951 Jared Waldrop Jonathan Jones 2013 1949 Solon A. Scott III Austin Morgan 1987 2014

412 802

$141,000,000 $495,800,000

600 2,000

$136,000,000 $342,000,000*

291 645

$134,000,000 $335,000,000*

277 150

$130,000,000* $325,000,000*

2,000 2,100

$130,000,000* $325,000,000

275 300

$125,000,000 $300,000,000*

610 800

$125,000,000* $300,000,000*

100 945

* $120,000,000 $285,000,000

200 585

$115,000,000 $275,000,000

400 2,000

$112,000,000 $250,000,000

59 28

63 30

64 27

60 29

56 27

56 26

Hol-Mac Corporation Corporation Franklin P.O.Franklin Box 349,Dr., BayHouston, Springs,MS MS38851 39422 600 Jackson/ Newell Paper Companies Island View Casino Resort 4400 W. Magnum Flowood, 3300 BeachDr., Blvd, Gulfport,MS MS39232 39501

601-764-4121 // franklincorp.com hol-mac.com 662-456-4286 Refuse Collection Equip, Forklifts, Hydraulics Upholstered furniture 601-360-9620 // islandviewcasino.com jacksonpaper.com 877-774-8439 IndustrialEntertainment, paper & printingRestaurants, Hotel Gaming,

Jamie V.H.Holder Hassell Franklin 1963 1970 Bill AllenInman Lindsey 1921 2006

600** 1,100

* $110,000,000 $240,000,000

195 1,850

$105,000,000** $228,000,000

61 30

54 34

63 29

MMC Materials, Newk's Eatery Inc. 133 New Ragsdale Road,Jackson, Madison,MS MS39216 39110 2680 Crane Ridge Drive,

601-898-4000 // Newks.com mmcmaterials.com 601-982-1160 Ready&Mixed Concrete Food Beverage

Judd Beech Chris Newcomb 1927 2004

410 987

* $100,000,000 $226,906,889

62 31

56 28

76 24

Reed'sConstruction Metals White Company 19 ECrescent Lincoln Rd. MS 39601 613 Cir.,NE, Ste.Brookhaven, 100, Ridgeland, MS 39157

601-823-6516 // whiteconst.com reedsmetals.com 601-898-5180 Metal Roofing,Management; Metal Buildings, PoleBuild Barns Construction; Design

Bernie ReedSteve Burch Guy H. T. White, 1998 1971

300 120

$220,000,000* $100,000,000

63 32

59 30

61 56

Total Transportation Southern Ionics Inc. of Mississippi, LLC 125 Commerce Riverview Dr., MSMS 39218 579 St, Richland, West Point, 39773

601-942-2104 / southernionics.com totalms.com 662-494-3055 Trucking company Manufacturer of specialty inorganic chemicals.

John Stomps Milton Sundbeck 1990 1980

575 314

$214,000,000* $100,000,000




Delta Industries, Inc. 100 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave., Jackson, MS 39213

601-354-3801 / delta-ind.com Ready Mix Concrete and Construction Materials

J. Thomas Evans Jr. 1945




601-326-1000 / hornellp.com

Joey D. Havens

662-746-6208 / agup.com 601-425-3151 / howard.com John Deere Agriculture and turf equipment Transformers; computers; lighting; transportation










42 46 n

1255 W. Government St., Brandon, MS 39402

601-825-4323 / communitybank.net Banking & financial services

Charles Nicholson Jr. 1905



Sayle Oil Company 327 Main St., Charleston, MS 38921

662-647-5802 / sayleoil.com Fuel oil and fuel; c-stores; quick lubes; propane

Ike Sayle 1947



MVP Sonic Group

6019143401 / mcclainsonics.com Sonic Drive-In franchisee

Buddy McClain 1984

662-746-6208 / agup.com John Deere Agriculture and turf equipment

P.O. Box Ridgeland, MS 39158 Mississippi Business Journal n 2128, October 2020 Issue

Mississippi 100




Mississippi Ag Co. 441 Haley Barbour Parkway, Yazoo City, MS 39194

Mississippi 100 44







the mississippi top 100

Puckett Machinery Company 100 Caterpillar Dr, Flowood, MS 39232


601-969-6000 / puckettmachinery.com Caterpillar equipment, rental & engine dealer

Phone / Website



Kyle Fulcher 1947



Richard H. Puckett, Hastings Puckett Jr. 1982



Employees 1,100

Revenue* $150,000,000

3,000 1,750

* $3,500,000,000 $150,000,000


$2,758,200,000 $150,000,000*





1,610 412

$1,576,000,000 $141,000,000

650 600

$1,499,144,781 $136,000,000

1,350 291

* $1,400,000,000 $134,000,000

Top Officer


Rank 45

Rank 45

Rank 48

H.M. Richards Corporate Address 414 CR 2790, Baldwyn, MS 38824

Products/Services 662-365-9485 / hmrichards.com

Joey Tarrant Founded 1997




Ergon Inc. Eldercare Services, LLC Community P.O. 1639, Jackson, MSMS 39215 2844 Box Traceland Dr., Tupelo, 38801

601-933-3000 662-680-3148 / ergon.com Refining, chemicals, oil & gas, Assisted living, skilledemulsions, nursing, rehab care, ther

Emmitte Douglas Haddox Wright Jr. 1954 2000

2 46

3 46

2 46




The Yates Furniture Companies Inc. American Mfg P.O Pontotoc Box 385, County Philadelphia, MS Park 39350Road, Ecru, MS 604 Industrial 38863 Southern Tire Mart, LLC




800 Hwy 98, Columbia, MS 39429 Waters Truck & Tractor / Waters International 96 E. Plymouth Rd., Columbus, MS 39705 Insurance Southern Farm Bureau Casualty

Bill Yates, William Yates Steve Lindsey 1963 1998 Thomas Duff, Jim Duff 2003 Mike Waters III

4 49

4 48

4 47

Co. Eutaw Construction Co., Inc. 1800 E. County Line, Ridgeland, MS 39157 P.O. Box 2482, Madison, MS 39130

601-656-5411 / yatescompanies.com 662-489-2633 / americanfurn.net Construction services Uphosltered products: sofas, sectionals, recliners 601-424-3200 / stmtires.com Commercial tire/ waterstruck.com sales & service 662-328-1575 Truck and Trailer Dealerships, Wrecker Services 601-957-7777 / sfbcic.com 601-855-7474 / eutawconstruction.com Property/Casualty Insurance Highway & heavy civil construction




Southern Bureau F.L. CraneFarm & Sons Inc. Life Insurance Co. 1401 Livingston Lane, Jackson, MS 39213 508 S. Spring St., Fulton, MS 38843

601-981-7422 662-862-2172 // sfbli.com flcrane.com Life insurance Drywall, Plaster, Acoustical, Ext. Metal Panels

Randy Johns Chip Crane 1946 1946




Hood JonesCompanies Logistics Inc 15 Professional 6184 Hwy 98 W,Parkway, Suite 210,Hattiesburg, Hattiesburg,MS MS39402 39402

601-264-2962 800-956-1151 // hoodindustries.com joneslogistics.com Packing Logistics& Container, Atlas Roofing

Warren Brian E Hood Haynes 1999 1999

7 52

7 40

8 34

950 277

$1,267,500,000* $130,000,000



601-969-1811 // peavey.com irby.com 601-483-5365 Lightingequipment; musical instruments Sound 662-453-6231 866-447-3275 // www.staplcotn.com pearlriverresort.com Cotton & warehousing Gaming;marketing hospitality

Tyler Mitchell, Hartley PeaveyJoe LeNoir 1926 1965


Irby Peavey Electronics Corp 815 Irby Dr., Jackson, MSMeridian, 39201 MS 39305 5022 Hartley Peavey Dr., Staplcotn Pearl River Resort 214 W.Hwy Market St.,, Greenwood, 38930 13541 16 W. Choctaw, MSMS 39530

Hank WilliamReichle "Sonny" Johnson 1921 1994

170 2,000

$1,263,824,566* $130,000,000


10 52

11 76

855-277-4732 662-844-3331 // cspire.com centurycr.com Mobile, data, voice, Internet, TV, cloud services General;Highway Road Bridge demolition;

1,700 275

* $1,000,000,000 $125,000,000

9 55

11 56

NR 35

700 610

$1,000,000,000** $125,000,000

11 56

13 59

10 44

4,000 100

$1,000,000,000** $120,000,000

12 57

12 71

9 81


$936,000,000 $115,000,000

13 58

15 61

15 56

1,500 400

$900,000,000 $112,000,000

14 59

15 63

14 64

900 600*

$785,000,000 $110,000,000*

15 60

14 56

12 56

500 195

$759,000,000 $105,000,000*

16 61

19 54

17 63

1,235 410

$621,500,000 $100,000,000*

17 62

17 56

13 76

120 300

$525,000,000 $100,000,000*

18 63

20 59

18 61

802 575

$495,800,000 $100,000,000*

19 64

22 63

19 64

2,000 345

$342,000,000* $100,000,000

20 65

18 71

16 71

645 870

$335,000,000* $95,000,000

21 66

23 75

22 72

150 480

$325,000,000* $95,000,000

22 68 67

25 70 63

23 84 67

C Spire Construction Group Century 1018 Highland Colony Pkwy., Ridgeland, MS 39157 705 Robert E. Lee Dr., Tupelo, MS 38802 Vertex Aerospace Consolidated Catfish Producers, LLC 555 Industrial Dr. S., Madison, MS 39110 299 South St., Isola, MS 38754 Howard Industries Inc. Morgan White Group 3225 Pendorff Rd., Laurel, MS 39440 500 Steed Road, Ridgeland, MS 39157 KLLM Transport Services, LLC Pine Belt Motors 135 Riverview Dr., Richland, MS 39218 7300 HWY 98, Hattiesburg, MS 39402 Dunlap & Kyle Co Inc. America's Catch Inc 280 Eureka St., Batesville, MS 38606 P.O. Box 584, Itta Bena, MS 38941 Merchants Foodservice Hol-Mac Corporation 1100 Edwards St., Hattiesburg, MS 39401 P.O. Box 349, Bay Springs, MS 39422 Cooperative Energy Jackson/ Newell Paper Companies 7037 U.S. 49, Hattiesburg, MS 39402 4400 Magnum Dr., Flowood, MS 39232 Taylor Group Inc. MMCN.Materials, 3690 Church Ave.,Inc. Louisville, MS 39339 133 New Ragsdale Road, Madison, MS 39110 Farmers Grain Terminal Inc. Reed's Metals P.O. Box 1796, Greenville, MS 38702 19 E Lincoln Rd. NE, Brookhaven, MS 39601 Yak Access TotalHighway Transportation of Mississippi, LLC 2438 98 E, Columbia, MS 39429 125 Riverview Dr., Richland, MS 39218 UFI/Lane DeltaHwy Industries, 5380 145 South, Inc. Tupelo, MS 38801 100 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave., Jackson, MS 39213 Southern Pipe & Supply HORNE 4330 Hwy.LLP 39 North, Meridian, MS 39301 661 Sunnybrook Rd, No. 100, Ridgeland, MS 39157 Irby Construction Company T.L.Old Wallace Inc.MS 39218 318 HighwayConstruction 49 South, Richland, 4025 Highway 35, Columbia, MS 39429 Southern Motion Inc

2,100 1,400 29

$325,000,000 $90,000,000* $90,000,000

23 69

24 90

21 74

300 100

24 70

29 78

25 79

$300,000,000* $90,000,000* $300,000,000*

25 71

62 69

64 68
















74 29

76 27

70 26

75 30

74 34

NR 29

76 31

77 28

77 32

1938 Duff Wallace 1947 1980

The High Blackburn Group, LLC 1685 St., Jackson, MS 39205 310 Enterprise Dr.,LLC Oxford, MS 38655 Viking Range,

662-962-3101 / vtxaero.com countryselect.com 601-856-2274 Catfish processing & sales 601-425-3151 / howard.com 800-800-1397 / morganwhite.com Transformers; computers; lighting; transportation Insurance and administrative services 601-932-8616 / kllm.com 601-264-8500 / mypinebeltchevy.com Temperature-Controlled Carrier Automotive 662-563-1143 / dktire.com (662) 254-7207 / catfish.com Tires; tubes Fresh & frozen catfish 601-584-4046 / merchantsfoodservice.com 601-764-4121 / hol-mac.com Foodservice distributor Refuse Collection Equip, Forklifts, Hydraulics 601-268-2083 / cooperativeenergy.com 601-360-9620 / jacksonpaper.com Generation & Transmission of Wholesale Electricity Industrial paper & printing 662-773-3421 / thetaylorgroupofcompanies.com 601-898-4000 / mmcmaterials.com Manufacturing Ready Mixed Concrete 662-332-0987 / fgtcoop.com 601-823-6516 / reedsmetals.com Grain marketing & storage Metal Roofing, Metal Buildings, Pole Barns 601-633-6584 / yakaccess.com 601-942-2104 / totalms.com Total access company providing matting solutions Trucking company 662-447-4000 / LaneFurniture.com 601-354-3801 / delta-ind.com Furniture manufacturing Ready Mix Concrete and Construction Materials 601-693-2911 / southernpipe.com 601-326-1000 / hornellp.com Plumbing, HVAC, industrial, mechanical CPA; business advisory services 601-709-4729 / irbyconstruction.com 601-736-4525 distribution, / tlwallace.com Transmission, substation const. Construction 662-488-4007 / southernmotion.com 601 / youngwilliams.com Reclining & stationary furniture 228-832-1899 / newmanlumber.com BPO for Gov. Human Services Agencies Specialty lumber 601-354-3882 / herringear.com Automobile dealership 662-513-4194 / blackburngroup.net Real Estate development, General construction 662-455-1200 / vikingrange.com

Hu Meena Colin Maloney Sr 1988 1997 John "Ed" Boyington Jr. Richard Stevens 1975 1967 Billy W. Howard Sr. David R. White 1968 1987 James M. Richards Jr Jared Waldrop 1963 2013 Robert H. Dunlap Solon A. Scott III 1956 1987 Andrew B. Mercier Jamie 1904 V. Holder 1963 Jeff C Bowman Bill Allen 1941 1921 W. A. Taylor III Judd Beech 1927 1927 Steven F. Nail Bernie T. Reed 1968 1998 Jonathan Duhon John Stomps 2017 1990 Larry George J. Thomas Evans Jr. 2000 1945 Jay Davidson Joey D. Havens 1938 1962 Lee M Jones Austin Morgan 1946 1975 Roger Bland Rob 1996 DougWells Newman 1994 1947 Jack T. Herrin 1968 David B Blackburn 2006 Brown Kevin

111 Front St,Plastics Greenwood, MS 38930 McNeely 1111 IndustrialCompanies Park Dr., Clinton, MS 39056 Blossman

Consumer & commercial appliances 601-926-1000 / mcneelyplastics.com Plastic bags and films for packaging applications 228-875-2261 / blossmangas.com

1984 Greg McNeely 1983 E Weidie Stuart

809 Washington Ave, Ocean Springs, MS 39564 Hotel & Restaurant Supply 5020 Arundel Rd, Meridian, MS 39307 Jones 16 Office Park Inc. Drive, Ste 5, Hattiesburg, MS 39402 Corinthian

Propane Gas and Appliances 601-482-7127 / www.hnrsupply.com commercial/industrial food service equipment 844-500-2438 / jones.com Industrial Services Company 662-287-7835 / corinthianfurn.com

1951 Jerry R Greene, Mason R Greene 1953 Jonathan Jones 1949 Vick Etheridge

41 Henson Road, Corinth, MS 38834 Deepwell Energy Services, LLC. 4025 Hwy Manufacturing 35 North, Columbia, MS 39429 Golden

Furniture 601-522-2300 / dwservices.com Oilfield services 662-454-3428

1995 Morgan Austin 2014 James Fennell

125 Highway 366, Golden, MS 38847 Franklin Corporation 600 Franklin Dr., Houston, MS 38851 People Lease

Military uniforms 662-456-4286 / franklincorp.com Upholstered 601-987-3025furniture / peoplelease.com

1978 H. Franklin Hassell 1970 Larry L. Lewis

689 Towne Center Blvd., Ridgeland, Island View Casino Resort MS 39157 3300 W. Beach Blvd, Gulfport, MS 39501 Minact Newk's Eatery 5220 Keele St., Jackson, MS 39206 2680 Crane Ridge Drive, Jackson, MS 39216

Payroll; benefits; human resources 877-774-8439 / islandviewcasino.com Gaming, Entertainment, Restaurants, Hotel 601-362-1631 / minact.com 601-982-1160 / Newks.com Academic and Skills Training Food & Beverage

1984 Inman Lindsey 2006 Reuben V. Anderson, Augustus L. CollinsNewcomb Chris 1978 2004

NR 24

TimberConstruction Lake Foods Inc. White Company 2605Crescent Old Belden MS 38801MS 39157 613 Cir.,Cir., Ste.Tupelo, 100, Ridgeland,

1-800-804-0662 / timberlakefoods.com 601-898-5180 / whiteconst.com Meat trading Management; Design Build Construction;

68 30

NR 56

Heartland Ionics CatfishInc. Co. Southern 55001 U.S. 82 W., Bena, MSMS 38941 579 Commerce St, Itta West Point, 39773







YoungWilliams, P.C. Newman Lumber Co Pontotoc, MS 38863 298 Henry Southern Drive, P.O. Box 23458, Ridgeland, MS 39157 11367 Reichold Rd., Gulfport, MS 39503 Herrin-Gear Automotive Group

800 160


945 223

$285,000,000 $87,179,172


$275,000,000 $85,000,000*

334 2,000

$250,000,000 $85,000,000*

400 1,100*


19 1,850


1,250 987

$80,229,281 $226,906,889

Joseph D Estess Guy H. White, Steve Burch 1994 1971

18 120

$220,000,000 $80,000,000*

(662) 254-7100/ southernionics.com / heartlandcatfish.com 662-494-3055 Various cuts ofoffresh and frozen catfish Manufacturer specialty inorganic chemicals.

DannySundbeck Walker, Ric Perkins Milton 1996 1980

400 314

$214,000,000 $77,000,000*

Treasure Bay Casino & Hotel 1980 Beach Blvd., Biloxi, MS 39535

800-747-2839 / treasurebay.com Gaming, hotel, dining

Susan Varnes 1993



Neel-Schaffer, Inc.

601-948.3071 / neel-schaffer.com

W. Hibbett Neel Jr.










41 Henson Road, Corinth, MS 38834



Golden Manufacturing 125 Highway 366, Golden, MS 38847

662-454-3428 Military uniforms

James Fennell 1978

People Lease 689 Towne Center Blvd., Ridgeland, MS 39157

601-987-3025 / peoplelease.com Payroll; benefits; human resources

Larry L. Lewis 1984 October 2020 Issue

601-362-1631 / minact.com Academic and Skills Training

Reuben V. Anderson, Augustus L. Collins 1978

Timber Lake Foods Inc. 2605 Old Belden Cir., Tupelo, MS 38801

1-800-804-0662 / timberlakefoods.com Meat trading

Joseph D Estess 1994




Mississippi 100




Minact 5220 Keele St., Jackson, MS 39206

Mississippi 100 76






the mississippi top 100


Phone / Website


Top Officer

77 Rank

68 Rank

NR Rank

Heartland Catfish Co. Corporate Address 55001 U.S. 82 W., Itta Bena, MS 38941

(662) 254-7100 / heartlandcatfish.com Products/Services Various cuts of fresh and frozen catfish

Danny Walker, Ric Perkins Founded 1996




Treasure Ergon Inc.Bay Casino & Hotel P.O. 1639, Jackson, 1980 Box Beach Blvd., Biloxi, MS 39215 39535

800-747-2839 / ergon.com treasurebay.com 601-933-3000 Refining, chemicals, Gaming, hotel, diningemulsions, oil & gas,

Susan Varnes Emmitte Haddox 1954 1993




The Yates Companies Inc. Neel-Schaffer, Inc. P.O BoxCongress 385, Philadelphia, MS 39350 125 S. St., Ste. 1100, Jackson, MS 39201

601-656-5411 yatescompanies.com 601-948.3071 / neel-schaffer.com Construction servicesWater, Environmental eng. Civil, Transportation,

Bill Yates, William W. Hibbett Neel Jr.Yates 1963 1983




Southern Tire Mart, SDT Solutions, LLC LLC 800 98, Columbia, MS 39429 130 Hwy N. Second St., Brookhaven, MS 39602

601-424-3200 601-823-9440 / stmtires.com www.sdt-1.com Commercial tire sales&&utility service Telecommunications infrastructure

Thomas JimJames Duff Ezell Jr. Charlie L.Duff, Smith, 2003 1993

81 4

83 4

86 4

82 5

87 6

87 3

83 6

82 8

73 7

84 7

NR 7

91 8

85 8

89 9

89 6

86 9

88 10

80 11

87 9

83 11


601-649-4111 / dunnroadbuilders.com 601-957-7777 / sfbcic.com Heavy Highway Construction Property/Casualty Insurance 601-939-6288 / miskellys.com 601-981-7422 / sfbli.com Furniture Retail; 7 locations in Mississippi Life insurance (228) 863-5525 / butchoustalet.com 601-264-2962 / hoodindustries.com New/used automobiles, parts and service Packing & Container, Atlas Roofing 601-825-8967 / thrashco.com 601-969-1811 / irby.com General contracting; design-build Lighting 228-326-2830 / halfshelloysterhouse.com 662-453-6231 / www.staplcotn.com Half Shell Oyster House / Rackhouse Cotton marketing & warehousing 601-353-9118 / tec.com 855-277-4732 / cspire.com IP Voice Services and High Speed Internet Mobile, data, voice, Internet, TV, cloud services 601-833-4291 / dickersonandbowen.com Highway construction; asphalt paving 601-856-2274 / vtxaero.com

88 11

86 13

NR 10

89 12

NR 12

85 9

90 13

NR 15

NR 15

91 14

NR 15

NR 14

92 15

90 14

93 12

Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Dunn Roadbuilders, LLC Co. 411 W. Oak St., Laurel, MS 39441 1800 E. County Line, Ridgeland, MS 39157 Miskelly Furniture Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co. 101 Airport Rd., Pearl, MS 39208 1401 Livingston Lane, Jackson, MS 39213 Butch Oustalet Autoplex Hood Companies 9274 U.S. 49, Gulfport, Inc MS 39503 15 Professional Parkway, Hattiesburg, MS 39402 Thrash Commercial Contractors Inc. Irby 211 Commerce Drive, Brandon, MS 39042 815 Irby Dr., Jackson, MS 39201 Gulf Coast Restaurant Group Staplcotn 12068 Intraplex Parkway, Gulfport, MS 39503 214 W. Market St., Greenwood, MS 38930 TEC C Spire 700 S. West St., Jackson, MS 39201 1018 Highland Colony Pkwy., Ridgeland, MS 39157 Dickerson & Bowen, Inc. Vertex Aerospace 669 Industrial Park Rd. NE, Brookhaven, MS 39601 555 Industrial Dr. S., Madison, MS 39110 Affordable Furniture Mfg Co Howard Industries Inc. 6496 Redland Sarepta Rd, Houlka, MS 38850 3225 Pendorff Rd., Laurel, MS 39440 Jackie's International KLLM Transport Services, LLC 1554 W. Peace St., Canton, MS 39046 135 Riverview Dr., Richland, MS 39218 Parish Tractor Company Dunlap & Kyle Co Inc. 7065 US 49, Hattiesburg, MS 39402 280 Eureka St., Batesville, MS 38606 Wilson Auto Group Merchants Foodservice 4200 Lakeland Dr., Flowood, MS 39232 1100 Edwards St., Hattiesburg, MS 39401 Deepwell Equipment Rentals, LLC. Cooperative Energy 4025 U.S. Hwy 49, 35 North, Columbia, MS 39429 7037 Hattiesburg, MS 39402

662-563-1143 601-261-2670 / dktire.com parishtractor.com Tires; tubes 888-380-1763 / wilsonautogroup.com 601-584-4046 / merchantsfoodservice.com KIA & Hyundai franchises & used cars Foodservice distributor 601-522-2300 / dwservices.com 601-268-2083 / cooperativeenergy.com Oilfield Services Generation & Transmission of Wholesale Electricity

Clifton L. Beckman Jr. Duff Wallace 1878 1947 Oscar Miskelly Randy 1978 Johns 1946 A.J. Oustalet III Warren 1984 Hood 1999 Josh Thrash Tyler 2001 Mitchell, Joe LeNoir 1926 Bob Taylor Hank 2006 Reichle 1921 Joey F. Garner Hu Meena 1923 1988 Lester Williams John 1947 "Ed" Boyington Jr. 1975 Jim Sneed Billy W. Howard Sr. 2004 1968 S.L. Sethi James M. Richards Jr 1973 1963 Lee Parish Robert H. Dunlap 2012 1956 Doug Wilson Andrew B. Mercier 1988 1904 Kade Comeaux Jeff C Bowman 2014 1941

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601-373-4162 // thetaylorgroupofcompanies.com fountainconstruction.com 662-773-3421 Construction & maintenance Manufacturing

Brad W. A.Fountain Taylor III 1959 1927

94 17

92 17

83 13

601-483-5381 // fgtcoop.com sssvc-inc.com 662-332-0987 Fabricated structural metal Grain marketing & storage

Tommy F. E.Nail Dulaney Steven 1975 1968

Fountain Construction Co., Inc. Taylor Group Inc. 5655 N. Hwy. 18 W., Jackson, MS 39209 3690 Church Ave., Louisville, MS 39339 Structural Steel Services Farmers Grain Terminal Inc. 6210 Box Saint1796, LouisGreenville, St., Meridian, MS 39307 P.O. MS 38702

662-568-7981 / affordablefurniture.ms/ 601-425-3151 / howard.com Upholstered Stationary and Motion Furniture Transformers; computers; lighting; transportation 601-855-0146 / jackiesinternational.com 601-932-8616 / kllm.com Restaurants; hotels; c-stores; construction Temperature-Controlled Carrier







Mississippi Business Journal







400 Employees

Revenue* $77,000,000

3,000 650

$3,500,000,000 $75,000,000*


$2,758,200,000 $74,100,000

3,500 200

$1,600,000,000 $63,500,000

175 1,610

$60,000,000 $1,576,000,000

225 650

$60,000,000 $1,499,144,781

76 1,350

$58,193,469 $1,400,000,000*

52 950

$56,741,000 $1,267,500,000

1,100 170

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155 700

$52,000,000 $1,000,000,000*

285 4,000

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135 1,235

$46,166,000 $621,500,000

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Cathy Bailey, Jonathan Jonathan Duhon 802 $495,800,000 Hollingshead 87 $45,000,000 2017 1993 UFI/Lane 662-447-4000 / LaneFurniture.com Larry George 19 22 19 2,000 $342,000,000* Fusion 662-205-4031 / fusion-hospitality.com Bruce R Patel Furniture manufacturing 2000 5380 HwyHospitality 145 South, Tupelo, MS 38801 596 $43,000,000 96 95 96 Hospitality Management 2010 1020 N Gloster St; No.110, Tupelo, MS 38804 Southern Pipe & Supply 601-693-2911 / southernpipe.com Jay Davidson 20 18 16 645 $335,000,000* Mid State 601-956-9500 / msconst.com William S. Ware, P G Bernheim Plumbing, HVAC, industrial, mechanical 1938 4330 Hwy. 39Construction North, Meridian, MS 39301 50 $40,000,000 97 94 NR Building construction 1958 300 Briarwood West Dr., Jackson, MS 39206 Irby Construction Company 601-709-4729 / irbyconstruction.com Lee M Jones 21 23 22 150 $325,000,000* Freshwater Farms Products, 662-247-4205 distribution, / freshwatercatfish.com Dean Kiker Transmission, substation const. 1946 318 Old Highway 49 South, Richland, LLC MS 39218 98 NR 95 190 $37,200,000 Fresh and frozen fish 2004 4554 State Hwy. 12 East, Belzoni, MS 39038 Southern Motion Inc 662-488-4007 / southernmotion.com Roger Bland 22 25 23 2,100 $325,000,000 Orocon LLC MS 38863 228-432-5922 / oroconllc.com John Oropesa Reclining & stationary furniture 1996 298 Henry Construction, Southern Drive, Pontotoc, 99 NR NR 30 $36,420,000 General Contractor, Construction Mgr & Design-Buil 2006 325 Reynoir St., Biloxi, MS 39530 Herrin-Gear Automotive Group 601-354-3882 / herringear.com Jack T. Herrin 23 24 21 300 $300,000,000* Central Supply 601-939-3322 / centralpipe.com Sheriee Townsend, Nyle Luke Automobile dealership 1968 1685 HighPipe St., Jackson, MSInc. 39205 100 100 NR 65 $35,000,000 Pipe Valves and fittings 1975 P O Box Range, 5470, Pearl, MS 39288 Viking LLC 662-455-1200 / vikingrange.com Kevin Brown * 24 29 25 800 NR-not ranked. The Mississippi111 100, the Mississippi-based private companies, ranked by revenue in the latest fiscal year, 1984 is compiled by the Mississippi Business Journal$300,000,000 from data Consumer & commercial appliances Front St,top Greenwood, MS 38930 submitted by companies and MBJ research. Some data is estimated, and may be based on market calculations and industry analysis. Submit comments to frank.brown@msbusiness.com. Blossman Companies 228-875-2261 / blossmangas.com Stuart E Weidie * MBJ estimate 25 62 64 945 $285,000,000 Propane Gas and Appliances 1951 809 Washington Ave, Ocean Springs, MS 39564 18 95

20 98

18 NR

Yak Access Business Communications Inc. 2438 HighwayColony 98 E, Columbia, MS 39429 442 Highland Pkwy., Ridgeland, MS 39157




Jones 844-500-2438 / jones.com 16 Office Park Drive,are Ste 5,mostly Hattiesburg, MS 39402 require specialized Industrial skills, Services such Company a new

601-633-6584 601-898-1890 // yakaccess.com bcianswers.com Total accessTechnology company providing matting solutions Information and Managed Services

Jonathan Jones



Miller said the people are what makes office at the Naval Air1949 Station Pax aviationLLC. heavy maintenance601-522-2300 activities, River in Maryland. Vertex also recent- Vertex so successful. Deepwell EnergyasServices, / dwservices.com Austin Morgan 27 26 20 $250,000,000 Continued 40 Columbia, Oilfield services 2014new vice “Our employees’2,000 professionalism and chemical aircraft condition in- ly welcomed Leon Bacon as the 4025from HwyPage 35 North, MSprocessing, 39429 spections, and aviation quality and control. president of Business Development forFranklin the dedication to our customers and their Franklin Corporation 662-456-4286 / franklincorp.com Hassell H. 28 30 27 1,100*mission$240,000,000 serving the nation’s warfighters. commitment to our is beyond “Our positions in the field where we supUpholstered furniturecompany’s U.S. Navy programs. 1970 600 Franklin Dr., Houston, MS 38851 “Our talent teams search the world over port customers with on-site services are compare,” Miller said. “This has been “Regarded as an expert in the total craIsland View Casino Resort 877-774-8439 / islandviewcasino.com Lindsey Inman * 27 skillsets 26 needed to support 1,850 to29find the right $228,000,000 particularly evident in their outstanding dle-to-grave lifecycle support of major also specialized because the maintenance Gaming, Entertainment, Restaurants, Hotel 2006 3300 W. Beach Blvd, Gulfport, MS 39501 our complex Department of Defense pro- conducted is specific to a certain type of air- aviation weapon systems, Leon will be a response in maintaining continuity of supNewk's Eatery 601-982-1160 / Newks.com Chris Newcomb grams,” Miller 30 34 said. “We 29 have found that 987 $226,906,889 It port during the COVID-19 pandemic. craft,” Miller said. “Since we have many true asset for Vertex,” Boyington Foodso & Beverage 2004said. “He 2680 Crane Ridge Drive, Jackson, MS 39216 diversity in experience and background specialized positions, our average company is uniquely capable and strategically posi- is an honor and privilege to have the opWhite Construction Company 601-898-5180 / whiteconst.com Guy H. White, Steve Burch increases innovation and 31 28 24 helps with con120this great $220,000,000 team, and tioned to oversee Vertex’s naval aviation portunity to work with annual pay is about $72,000 andConstruction; we’re proud Management; Design Build 1971 613 Crescent Cir., Ste. 100, Ridgeland, MS 39157 tinuous improvement initiatives and cost to maintain a 90 percent retention rate.” portfolio and we look forward to the new I’m extremely proud of our many successes Southern Ionics Inc. / southernionics.com Milton Sundbeck effectiveness.” company.” business opportunities he’ll manage from since becoming a stand-alone Due to growth from several 662-494-3055 recent con32 30 56 314 $214,000,000 Manufacturer of specialty inorganic chemicals. 1980 579 Commerce St, West Point, MS 39773 Miller said the jobs they have in Madison tract awards, the company recently opened our Pax River site.”


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Mississippi Business Journal


October 2020 Issue

Developing his own personal brands, Mabus turns to leather

With careful attention to detail, Josh Mabus pulls a stitch though a leather work apron in his workshop a couple of blocks away from his marketing firm, the Mabus Agency in downtown Tupelo. The warehouse is mainly empty, save for a table and work station set up in a corner where he can tune out the rest of the world as he enters another one, working with his hands. It's an outlet for Mabus, who has actually created two leather-making brands for himself. "I realized while growing up on a farm that I've been working with leather all my life, when you ride horses and raise horses," he said. "A bridle breaks, a saddle malfunctions. One day, I just ordered some leather, even though I didn't have a plan to make anything with it." Along with the leather, he bought an inexpensive leather-making tool kit. "It looked interesting, and I made a pen pouch," Mabus said. "Then I didn't touch the stuff for another year." The needles, thread, leather and punches just sat there. But after seeing a YouTube video about making a leather wallet, Mabus decided to give it a try. But it wasn't just any leather wallet – it was an alligator (i.e., expensive) leather wallet. Instead, he chose to make a caiman skin wallet, and after posting a few Facebook updates on its progress, Mabus sold the wallet before he could even finish it. The buyer was from Alabama, and one of his favorite wallets was a caiman skin one. So he had a personal link to the one Mabus was making. "To this guy it was important that he opened his wallet even day and he knew the person he was familiar with made it," he said. "So I said there may be something to this, an interest in this craftsman thing." And thus, Brokkr Leather was born, Mabus' personal high-end leather goods company. All this happened during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. With more people staying at home and with more time on their hands, it was a perfect time for Mabus to build the brand. "My core business day job serves banks and it looked like there would be a future in it, but who knows – another day was not guaranteed," he said. "I didn't want to wallow in fear and worry and I just picked up some stuff and made another wallet. So far I've sold five. They're a labor of love and take a lot of time, and they're espensive just for my time and the

» Josh Mabus sews one of handcrafted leather wallets together at his workshop. Mabus' high-end leather band is called Brokkr, while a more rustic band is called Corvid Leather Works

value of the materials." The Brokkr wallets go fo $500 to $600 and can be handdyed to customer specifications. One is being made as a surprise Christmas present with the Green Bay Packers' signature colors. "My goal out of this is that I've put every stitch in the wallet, and I want to make this man cry with tears of joy, and I'm not kidding," Mabus said. "I think that's the appeal of wanting somebody to do it. There's a lot of beautiful products made by singular craftsmen that are better than me, but they didn't' have the end user in mind when they made something." It's that connection that Mabus wants to make with each customer, which means there won't be a mass production of wallet. Mabus is a one-man show, and each custom order will be handled only by him.. Not that it was an easy task to make his first wallet. With no previous experience in making a wallet, it took Mabus six weeks and about 60 hours to finish it. He didn't work full-time on it, but spent a couple hours a day working on it. His next wallet he was able to finish in about three days, taking about eight hours a day to work on it.

But that wasn't enough for Mabus, who also is a woodworke. He wanted a work apron to fit his needs, and since he had some leather, he made his own custom apron. "That happened between the two wallets," Mabus said. "I made a prototype apon." Instead of vertical pockets near the top of the apron, he made them horizontal so that pencils and other small tools could be pulled out from the side. It was a micro-innovation of sorts, Mabus said with a laugh. Marketed on social media, Mabus now has two personal bands - Brokkr Leather and Corvid Leather Works. "The high-end leather goods is Brokkr, and Corvid - not be be confused with covid – is more rustic kind of stuff," Mabus said.. The aprons are made with deertan cowhide, which creates a water-repellant finish and stays soft to the touch. A fastener magnet on the bib keeps screws and nails close at hand and there's also a D-ring for a dust collector remote or clip-on towel. This base apron starts at $225. Made-toorder tool holders and fastener pouches for the front can be added for an additional cost. Also part of the Corvid line is a cinch belt using saddle

» Brokkr leather wallets

leather and other tack hardware. "Corvid is probably more my style," Mabus said. "For me this is all a good distraction. I'm not good with idle time, I don't watch a lot of television. I tend to want to stay busy with something with some purpose, and it's something that's kept my hands busy."


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October 2020 Issue


Mississippi Business Journal





or nearly the first two years of its existence, GenTeal Apparel was a men's apparel brand without customers. But patience and a dedication to make a quality product has paid off – GenTeal can be found in nearly 130 stores in 19 states, and the numbers are growing. The company's spring performance polos are the pillar of the line, but GenTeal also makes outerwear pieces like cotton-cashmere quarter-zips, cotton/modal quarter-zips, waxed cotton zips, flannels, T-shirts, belts, wallets, hats and other accessories. GenTeal co-owners Blake Dubinksi and Bryce Noonan met at the University of Mississippi though a mutual friend in 2014; Dubinski was a grad student earning his MBA while Noonan was – and remains – a biology professor at the school. What started as a casual conversation resulted in their developing a business partnership and an entry into the competitive men's apparel industry. But the start of the company was rather innocuous. "Bryce actually had the logo (a flying mallard) and talked to me at the Grove," Dubinski said. "He said, 'I've got this logo I think is pretty cool, and you're in the business school, and I want to run some ideas by you.'" One idea was obvious – putting the logo on some shirts, but Dubinksi told him that had been done countless times. "This was a time, back in 2014, when 'Southern' this and 'Southern' that was covering everything," Dubinski said. "So we talked about it for a while, talked to several stores including Landry's in Oxford, which is a customer now."

» MLM owner Joe Yarber, left, talks with GenTeal co-owner Blake Dubinski about the company's line

After getting feedback from Landry's and several others, Dubinski and Noonan decided to do something that separated from the other men's apparel offerings. They focused on fabrics and colors, looking for the right sourcing to meet their needs. "We didn't want to be as contemporary as Peter Millar and not as outdoorsy as Orvis," Dubinksi said. "We thought that there was a market out there, and so far, that's been the case .... We try to balance the line, taking innovative spins on classic pieces." It was in August 2014 when Dubinksi and Noonan first spoke, and it wasn't until February of 2016 at the Charlotte Men's

Apparel Club, where they picked up a dozen stores. "It took little while," Dubinksi said. "We didn't know anything about apparel, and we took a lot of time to do a lot of research. We heard from a lot of people that apparel companies go out of business was bad sourcing and they can't find the funding." But they did get some financial banking, and they found the sourcing they needed. Dubinski believes that the sourcing is one of the core competencies of GenTeal. While the leather is done in the U.S., and designs are done in the company's Oxford warehouse, the clothing manufacturing is

done overseas. Apparel manufacturing was once a major component of the U.S. economy, and Northeast Mississippi was no exception. But global competition and various trade agreements in the last quarter-century have led the bulk of apparel manufacturing to outside the U.S. GenTeal tried to find a domestic manufacturing, and they found one. The problem was that when the company sent back a sample of its work to GenTeal, one sleeve was shorter than the other. "If you can't get the sample right, how are are you going to get the actual product right?" Dubinski said. "We're trying for the middle to higher tier price points, and the quality of the material drives that. If we could make things here we would, but we just don't have a textile industry anymore." Dubinski paid homage to Tupelo-based Blue Delta Jeans, which has been successful in its tailored-made jeans that sell for $600 or more. "They've been able to capitalize on the furniture industry and hiring some of the experienced people to help them," he said. GenTeal isn't quite ready to stand on its own and to the point where its co-founders can step away from teaching. Noonan is a full-time professor at Ole Miss and See GENTEAL, Page 52

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52 n

Mississippi Business Journal



October 2020 Issue

Continued from Page 21

Dubinski still teaches a couple classes each semester in the business school. "I really enjoy the teaching part, and it gave me the flexibility to work on the line," Dubinksi said. "We both enjoy teaching. Bryce has more of a research obligation, while I have a small administrative rolewith the entrepreneurship major. I'm on campus two, three times a week, but the rest of the time I'm at our Oxford warehouse." Dubinksi and Noonan meet once a week, on Sundays for their design time. Noonan runs the back of the house, communicating with GenTeal's manufacturers and sourcing, while Dubinksi works with sales and marketing.



reliminary findings from a study of the runway pavement at Tupelo Regional Airport show that there has been no significant deterioration since a similar study done four years ago. Earlier this year, the airport board approved to pay for the study – a formality since it is required every few years by the Federal Aviation Administration. Air-

ority work that needs to be done,” Nash said. “We need tor rehab our air control tower, replacing all the communications gear, the navigation aids, etc., and the carpet, ceiling tiles, consoles.” Additionally, it’s been the board’s wish to rehabilitate the old runway and build a 75-foot taxiway to give UAM and direct route to its facility. In addition, another 43 adjacent acres can be opened up to additional tenants and hangars if needed if the old runway is refurbished.

»GenTeal logo

"We kind of meet in the middle for sourcing and design," Dubinksi said. How far and how fast the brand grows depends on not only the customers, but also on Dubinski and Noonan and where they want to take the company. "We obviously want to grow; we're not doing this for fun, and we want to make money, but we want to do it in the right way with the right stores," Dubinski said. "It took us two years to sell our first shirt, so we're patient in our growth. We're primarily in the Southeast, but we'd like to expand into the midwest. We don't see ourselves as just a Southern brand. In fact, we have a store out in Utah, and we'd like to see that grow." Hiring former Southern Tide sales reps also has been a bonus, allowing them to market the brand to a wider audience that would have been much more difficult with a cold start. It's how MLM owner Joe Yarber got acquainted with GenTeal, and he started selling the line for this fall. "We weren't really look for another line at the time, but some old Southern Tide guys got on board with them, and our rep always has the best lines, and I said I'd buy whatever from him if he sold it," Yarber said. "He has a good eye in this business, and we like the product and we like the story. It's a great story."

(FILE/Thomas Wells)

» Emily Rowell, left, and Lynn McCoy make their way from the Tupelo Regional Airport terminal to their car.

port executive director Cliff Nash said at the time that the study in 2016 suggested some potential underlying weaknesses that might need to be addressed To his pleasant surprise, recent samples taken by an engineering firmshow that those problem areas have no worsened. “It’s in the same condition as it was,” Nash said. Tupelo Regional, with a 7,100-foot-runway that was extended 650 feet in 2013, serves mainly general aviation. The airport also has air taxi service to Nashville with Smyrna, Tennessee-based Contour Airlines, which flies ERJ-135/145 regional jets that have 30 seats. But Universal Asset Management, a plane recycler and parts distribution business, also uses the main runway to retire much lager aircraft, like Boeing 747s, 777s, 757s and the like. UAM has been in operation since 2012. But the heavy aircraft landing on Tupelo’s runway haven’t caused any major issues, Nash said.. As result, the money that would have been spent repaving the runway if it was needed will be directed elsewhere, and the runway work can be put off for another year or two. “We can do some previously lower pri-

“Having that old runway where we can use it for future development will open it up to additional economic development,” Nash said..

AIR SERViCE CONTRACT EXTENDED Meanwhile, expected, Contour Airlines and Tupelo Regional agreed to another two-year extension for air service. The new contract officially began Oct. 1. However, the airline has reduced the number of weekly flights from 18 to 14. The federal ubsidy it receives via the Alternate Essential Air Service program has been reduced as well, to about $3.8 million, compared to about $3.9 million for the last contract. The new schedule has the 30-passenger jets leaving Tupelo for the one-hour flight to Nashville on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday at 7:15 a.m. and 2 p.m.; Tuesday at 7:15 a.m.; Friday at 7:15 a.m., 12:15 p.m., and 4:15 p.m and Sunday at 12:15 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. From Nashville, departures to Tupelo are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday at 10:45 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.; Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.; and Friday and Sunday at 10:45 a.m., 2:15 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Contour has been the carrier since April 2016 when it took over following a five-month lull in service following SeaPort’s early departure in October of the previous year. Until 2020, passenger boardings had grown every year with Contour’s service between Tupelo and Nashville. Boardings the past three years have reached at least 10,000 – the first time that’s happened since the early 2000s when the airport was served by two airlines. But due to the coronavirus pandemic, boardings have fallen off. Major airlines nationwide have seen a 70% drop in passenger traffic. The percentage drop in Tupelo isn’t as precipitous, but boardings are down nearly 40%. “We’re doing better than the national average,” Nash said. “Statewide, we’re third in getting our passengers back, behind Laurel-Hattiesburg and Meridian. Columbus is next to us, Gulfport-Biloxi and Jackson are next, and they’re in the 60% range. So we’re trending in the right direction. It’s not near as fast as I hoped though.” For September, Contour recorded 760 boardings, a drop of 39% from last September when 1,248 boarded. Total boardings this year so far are 6,299, compared to 10,022 at the same time a year ago. That’s a decline of 37%. The 10,000-passenger mark is significant because the Federal Aviation Administration distributes grants of $1 million to airports if they hit that benchmark. Those that don’t hit the figure get only $150,000 in what’s called AIP, or Airport Improvement Program, money. AIP grants are used for planning, development or noise compatibility projects or associated with individual public-use airports. Money cannot be used for projects related to airport operations. Operational costs, such as salaries, equipment and supplies also are not eligible for AIP grants. But Nash said the FAA has waived that requirement this year because of the pandemic, and 2018 boarding numbers will be used instead. That’s good for Tupelo, since that year nearly 13,000 boardings were recorded. Additionally, Contour has an interline agreement in place with American Airlines, which allows passengers to book flights between Tupelo and any of American’s destinations on a signal itenarary without having tp check in again or recheck luggage. Third-party travel siites like Expedia and Travelocity show it working, but there are some software compatibility issues being worked out on the American and Contour websites the companies hope to resolve soon.

October 2020 Issue


Mississippi Business Journal



Carving a niche, Hawkeye Industries marks 25th anniversary F

or Bryan Hawkins, 2020 has been an unusual year like for so many others, but business at his company is as good as ever despite the global pandemic. His company, Hawkeye Industries, is celebrating its silver anniversary this year. Founded in Tupelo in 1995, Hawkeye Industries is a contract sheet metal fabricator using metal manufacturing technologies including state-of-theart laser cutting, punching, forming and welding, with customers across the country. "When I started this, I went really deep into planning," Hawkins said. "To get the bank loan I had to forecast out for 10 years of pro-forma financial, sales ... a business plan that really went into detail. I go back and pull that business

plan out that I still have on my shelf, and it's amazing how accurate it was. Was it luck or providence? Both, probably - I don't know." Since 1995, the economy has been through three recessions, including the 2009-10 Great Recession and, most recently the pandemic. Through it all, Hawkeye has continued without a hitch. "It's turned out well," Hawkins said. "The result is that the strategy from 25 years ago hasn't changed. Because of that strategy, financially we've been absolutely stellar. We're at the

» Bryan Hawkins (right), owner of Hawkeye Industries, talks with Terry Riley about a stamping job.

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point now that the bank doesn't blink an realize that it has to be replaced as techeye when we ask for a loan." nology advances, Hawkins said.So most And when Hawkins asks for a loan, rely on Hawkeye Industries instead, it's usually not a small amount. He's knowing it has a consistent capital exspent an estimated $20 million in cap- penditure plan. "I invest more in capital every year ital over the years. What started as a small than a lot of my customers," Hawkins 6,000-square-foot fabrication shop said. "That's because of that strategy, has expanded six times to its current which keeps me up to date with the best footprint of some 60,000 square feet. quality, the best technology, the best The capital investments Hawkins has through-put... We're known across the made are to ensure that his workers – state and region as the best job shop – many of whom have worked 20 years or we're the go-to people." Two years ago, Hawkins invested anmore with the company – are trained to be among the very best working with state-of-theart machinery. "If I didn't have that, we wouldn't be where we are today," he said. "That sound financial footing is so important, when you're continuously doing what we do, which is when equipment becomes technologically challenged, we replace it ... » Darren Ruth, a press break operator at Hawkeye Industries, makes bends on his we're upgrading with his press all the time. That's the leg up I have on my competition other $3 million to meet not only growand on my customers." ing demand in its core business, but also Some customers contemplate buy- its entry into the high-volume laser proing their own equipment but fail to cessing of the tubing market. The laser See HAWKEYE, Page 54

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October 2020 Issue

Continued from Page 53

tube processing line opened another market for Hawkeye. Tubing is used by many manufacturers, including the furniture industry, which has a strong foothold in the region. “As I’ve always said, if there’s a niche market to be had, we want to be the first one in it,” Hawkins said when the equipment was dedicated. Hawkins worked in the metal fabrication business for two decades before starting Hawkeye. His vision was to build a precision sheet metal fabrication facility guided by the founding principles of service, quality and com-

Foundation to establish the annual Tek2Go Advanced Manufacturing Camp for youth 12 to 15 years old in order to introduce the contribution and reality that advanced manufacturing careers make to the economy. Last fall, Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs, the foundation of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International, awarded the inaugural Future of Industry Award to ICC for the Tek2Go Advanced Manufacturing Camp. Hawkins has garnered several awards over the years, including being named U.S. Small Business Administration Small Business Person of the Year. And

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petitiveness based upon continuously adapting to new technologies throughout every process in the company. Hawkeye has found a way to help customers "build better mousetraps" and at a lower cost, collaborating with their customers and working hand-inhand for the best solutions. And Hawkeye is a family business though and through. Bryan, his wife, Brenda, and all three sons are involved in the day-to-day operations of the company. "People ask me when I'm going to retire, but I'm having too much fun," Hawkins said. "I enjoy coming to work every day, and not very body can say that." For the past 12, Hawkeye Industries has partnered with Itawamba Community College, the CREATE Foundation, and Community Development

Hawkeye has placed three times on the Mississippi Business Journal’s top 50 fastest growing privately held companies. In 2016, it named an “Innovator to Watch” by Innovate Mississippi at its 2016 Innovator’s Hall of Fame ceremony. "Hawkeye Industries exemplifies how a business should be run by offering the highest quality products and services while offering innovative solutions to their customers," said Mark Hayes, chief operating office for Phoenix Metals Company. "Bryan and Brenda operate at the highest level of honesty and integrity. It has been an honor to be a vendor of Hawkeye Industries since Feb. 10, 1997. We look forward to the next 25 years."



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NEWSMAKERS BKD announces recent promotions

BKD has announced the promotion of four team members in the audit and tax departments. Michael Hill, CPA, has been promoted to Managing Director. Hill provides tax compliance and consulting services for large and small business enterprises in a variety of industries including, timber, commercial real estate, Hill REITs, restaurant franchising, wholesale distribution and publishing industries as well as large family groups. Hill is a member of the accounting advisory board for The University of Southern Mississippi School of Accountancy. He is a Rotarian and a Paul Harris Fellow. He also currently serves on the board of Make-A-Wish Mississippi. Walker Roberts, CPA, has been promoted to Senior Manager. Roberts provides audit, reimbursement and consulting services for health care and not-for-profit organizations. He is a member of the AICPA and currently serves as an officer with the MSCPA Central Chapter and Mississippi chap- Roberts ter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association. He received his Bachelor of Accountancy and a Master

October 2020 Issue

of Accountancy degrees from The University of Mississippi. Peyton Parks, CPA, has been promoted to Senior Associate II. Parks provides tax services for a variety of individuals and business clients including, healthcare, real estate, and manufacturing and distribution clients. He is a member Parks of the AICPA, MSCPA and Phoenix Club of Jackson. He is a graduate of The University of Mississippi where he earned a Bachelor of Accountancy degree. Baxter Howell, CPA, has been promoted to Senior Associate. Howell provides audit and accounting services to health care, governmental, manufacturing and construction and real estate clients. He is a graduate of Mississippi State University where he earned both his Bachelor of Accountancy and Master of Professional Howell Accounting degree.

JSU’s Wilcox accepts mayor’s appointment

Jackson State University’s Dr. Heather A. Wilcox has been appointed to the nine-member board of the Jackson Historic Preservation Commission to help sustain, promote and develop the city’s invaluable landmarks and sites.

At JSU, Wilcox is director of Community Engagement, the Center for University-Based Development and the Metro Jackson Community Prevention Coalition. As part of the board, she will advise governing authorities about the city’s historical resources and their sacred designations. Wilcox JHPC consists of one representative from each ward and two members who serve at-large. All members are city residents with a demonstrated interest in historic preservation, architecture, history, urban planning, archaeology, law, and others.

Elliott joins local nephrology and hypertension practice

John William Elliott, D.O., has joined Nephrology and Hypertension Associates, Ltd. A Tupelo native, Elliott moved to Tallahassee, Fla., with his family in 1999 and graduated from high school there. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Mississippi State University in 2009 and a master’s degree in biology/medical sciences from Mississippi College in 2011. He received his Elliott


Mississippi Business Journal



medical degree from William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Hattiesburg in May 2015 and completed an internal medicine residency with Brookwood Baptist Health System in Birmingham, Alabama, in June 2018. He recently completed a nephrology fellowship with the University of Alabama in Birmingham. Elliott is a member of the American Society of Nephrology and the National Kidney Foundation. He and his wife, Meredith Lee, live in Tupelo with their two sons—Bentley, 4, and Miller, 9 months.

Mutual Credit Union names Copes new branch manager Mutual Credit Union recently announced the promotion of Dianne Copes to Branch Manager of the South Frontage Road Branch in Vicksburg. Copes began her career at Mutual in 2012 as the Branch Manager for the Yazoo City branch. She is a Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor. She is also active in the Boys and Girls Club of Yazoo City, Relay for Life, Yazoo County Chamber of Commerce, and the Yazoo City Housing Authority. In 2017, she was awarded the Hero Award by the Yazoo Herald for her dedication and service to the community. Copes Copes has 32 years of banking and customer service experience.

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October 2020 Issue

Webb named loan officer John McRae Recognized for Community Bank by Barron’s Magazine Jimmie Webb has recently been named Loan Officer. A native of Pelahatchie, Webb recently served as Management Trainee and has been in banking for one year. In his new role, Webb will focus on managing and growing a portfolio of loans and deposits. Webb is a graduate of Mississippi State University with a Bachelor in Economics and Finance. Active in his community, Webb serves as a member of Webb Rotary Club of Tupelo, member of Tupelo Young Professionals and Ambassador for Tupelo Community Development Foundation. He and his wife, Laken, currently reside in Saltillo.

Pizzimenti named to Internal Medicine Board

David Pizzimenti, D.O., has been appointed to a three-year term on the Board of Trustees of the American Board of Internal Medicine. As North Mississippi Medical Center’s Associate Medical Officer of Acute Care, Dr. Pizzimenti directs the hospitalist program as well as the new Internal Medicine Residency Program. He completed his Pizzimenti undergraduate studies at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He earned his medical degree from Nova Southeastern College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, followed by an internal medicine internship and residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Florida. A board-certified internal medicine physician, Dr. Pizzimenti was inducted into the American College of Osteopathic Internist College of Fellows in 2009. In addition, he is a certified wound care specialist.

HOPE named winner of inaugural Beacon Award

The Lipman Family Prize has announced Hope Enterprise Corporation (HOPE) as one of two winners of the Beacon Award. Managed by The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the Lipman Family Prize recognizes change-makers who “bring innovative ideas to new places and problems around the world” and “celebrates leadership and innovation in the social sector with an emphasis on impact and [the] transferability of practices.” Previous Lipman Prize honorees were eligible for the Beacon Award. HOPE and fellow awardee CareMessage will receive $250,000 in unrestricted funds. A 2016 Lipman honoree, key factors in HOPE’s selection were its effectiveness in delivering financial services to disenfranchised communities, and influencing policies and practices that increase economic mobility in one of the most impoverished regions in the United States.

John McRae, Senior Financial Advisor for Raymond James Financial Services in Citizens National Bank’s Wealth Management Division, has been recognized as one of the top financial advisors in Mississippi. Barron’s Magazine recently named their 2020 Top Financial Advisors in each state, and the publication ranked McRae in second place for Mississippi. Factors included in the McRae rankings are assets under management, regulatory record, quality of practice, revenue produced and philanthropic work. Barron’s is an American weekly magazine/newspaper published by Dow Jones & Company. Founded in 1921, Barron’s is a sister publication to The Wall Street Journal. Citizens National Bank is an independent, Mississippi-owned community bank which has 27 bank locations throughout the state of Mississippi. The Bank currently has assets in excess of $1.5 billion and manages an additional $1.5 billion through its Wealth Management Division. Raymond James and Citizens National Bank have been working together to provide investment services to the CNB footprint for over 25 years.

Farlow named CEO for Healthcare Providers

The Healthcare Providers Insurance Company (HPIC) Board of Directors recently announced that Rick Farlow has been named President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Farlow‘s employment with HPIC began on July 6. Mr. Farlow has more than 30 years of experience in the Healthcare Professional Liability Insurance arena. Prior to joining HPIC, Mr. Farlow served in a dual role for a large, national insurance carrier. As a Managing Director, he was responsible for client Farlow services, managing broker relationships and worked closely with a multi-disciplinary team of Claims, Clinical Risk Management, Performance Analytics and Underwriting. A native Mississippian, Mr. Farlow holds a B.S. in Business Administration from William Carey University.

Woods tapped as chief of staff at Auditor’s Office

Shad White recently announced that Charles Woods has been appointed as his Chief of Staff at the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor. Woods joins the Auditor’s office from Washington, DC. He has served his home state from Mississippi’s First Congressional District office in various positions since 2015, most recently as Deputy Chief of Staff to Mississippi Congressman Trent Kelly. Woods has also served as a commissioned officer in the Mississippi Army National Guard since obtaining an undergraduate degree in Public Policy Leadership from the Sally McDonnell-Barksdale Honors College at the

University of Mississippi. Woods is a Captain with the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team and serves as the Brigade Headquarters and Headquarters Company Commander. He has commanded an infantry company on deployments to Kuwait, Oman, Syria, and Jordan in support of Operation Spartan Shield. Woods is a graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger School and Air Assault School. Former Chief of Staff William “Bill” Pope will continue his tenure at the office part-time as Senior Advisor to the Auditor.

Hattiesburg Clinic selects new CEO Hattiesburg Clinic has announced Bryan N. Batson, MD, as the new chief executive officer (CEO). Batson, a Hattiesburg Clinic internal medicine physician for 17 years, has served on the Hattiesburg Clinic board of directors for the past 12 years, and he currently serves as the clinic’s chief medical informatics officer. Under his direction, the clinic’s Epic electronic medical record installation is considered in the top 5% of Epic’s clients worldwide. Batson Batson follows Tommy G. Thornton, FACMPE, as the Hattiesburg Clinic chief executive officer. Thornton has served at Hattiesburg Clinic for the last 50 years.

Blackbourn steps down as MSU dean of Education

Mississippi State’s Richard Blackbourn, who has led the university’s College of Education for 15 years, is stepping back to the faculty and returning to the classroom effective Jan.1, 2021. The announcement was made today [July 1] by MSU Provost and Executive Vice President David R. Shaw who commended the longtime dean for his leadership of the college and for his work in preparing highly qualified professionals in the education field. One of Blackbourn’s major successes has been his involvement in the establishment of the Mississippi Excellence in Teaching Program in 2012. He was a co-principal investigator on the $42 million proposal that established the METP, a joint project with the University of Mississippi that today provides academic and Blakbourn scholarship opportunities to bright students pursuing teacher degrees.

Starks named presidentelect of NAHU

Eugene Starks, a Jackson-based insurance agent, was recently appointed president-elect of the National Association of Health Underwriters’ Board of Trustees. Starks has spent over a decade as a partner with Benefit Administration Services Ltd., an employee benefits TPA, consulting and brokerage firm in Ridgeland. He is also a partner and founding member of

Acuity Group, a leading-edge agency that integrates innovative technologies across the HR and employee benefit spectrum. Starks holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Southern Mississippi and is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute of Organization Management.

Southern AgCredit promotes Pam Vitteck

Southern AgCredit recently promoted Pam Vitteck to senior loan closer. Vitteck holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Master of Business Management from the University of Maryland Global Campus. She is also a proud veteran of the U.S. Navy. Vitteck joined Southern AgCredit in 2013 as a loan administrator. “Pam has done an excellent job serving local customers at our Gulfport office,” said PhilVitteck lip Morgan, the rural lending cooperative’s chief executive officer. “In her new role, she’ll also assist customers all across our territory.”

Nowlin joins Fairview Inn as Events Manager

Stephanie Nowlin has joined the Fairview Inn team as the new events manager. Previously, she served as the Catering Sales Manager at La Brioche in Fondren, where she managed all corporate and social events. Stephanie also has marketing experience through her time at Medicomp Physical Therapy and Capital Orthopaedic. Nowlin lives in Brandon with her husband, Damon, and is a mother to Jameson, Nowlin Waylon, and Mamie as well as a bonus mom to J.D., Claire, and Carsyn. She enjoys traveling, reading anything by Paulo Coelho, and spending time with her family.

BancorpSouth to open a new branch in Jackson

BancorpSouth Bank (NYSE: BXS) is expanding its services in Jackson, Mississippi, by opening a new full-service banking branch in the market. Construction of the office, located between Ellis Avenue and Robinson Road near the Westland Plaza area, is scheduled for completion during the fourth quarter of 2020. The branch will provide a full suite of products and services for checking, savings, credit cards, commercial services, mortgages, consumer loans and business loans to help residents and business owners reach their financial goals. BancorpSouth is the fourth largest bank by deposits in the Jackson, Mississippi metropolitan area, with nearly 10 percent of the market share and 18 branch locations in the area.

NEWSMAKERS Sledge named “Lifetime Member” of the Million Dollar Round Table

The Million Dollar Round Table, known worldwide as the Premier Association For Financial Professionals, has recognized Taylor Sledge for Lifetime Membership. This honor is bestowed upon individuals achieve career excellence in ethics and production for ten consecutive years in a row. For 2020, Sledge was also honored with Sledge his 5th consecutive “Top Of The Table” achievement level, which is comprised of the top 1 percent of all financial professionals globally. Sledge is the Founder and President of Sledge&Company Financial, LLC.

October 2020 Issue

Bridges named Community Development Manager

The American Cancer Society has announced the hiring of Christy Bridges. Beginning July 6, she will serve as Community Development Manager and staff partner for Real Men Wear Pink and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Central Mississippi. Previously, she was the Development Officer for the New Summit School, Go Red for Women Director for the American Heart Association, Marketing and Development for the Girl Scouts of Greater Mississippi, Marketing Manager for The Clarion-Ledger and

Finance Manager at MCI WorldCom. Bridges resides in Florence, MS with her husband of 20 years, Todd Bridges. She has a daughter, Meagan, and a son, Josh. She enjoys traveling with her family anywhere outdoors. In her free time, she enjoys Bridges leading and laughing her way through taking her Troop 85 girls on wild and crazy adventures.


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Hernandez named new GM for Outlets of Mississippi

The Outlets of Mississippi has announced Carlos Hernandez as the new General Manager. Hernandez joined the Outlets of Mississippi team in October 2016. He recently served as the Director of Operations for Bloomfield Holdings which included operations management for Outlets of Mississippi, Bass Pro Shops and Trustmark Park in Pearl. Before venturing to Outlets of Hernandez Mississippi, his industry career began in 2001 at Northpark Mall / Federal Building Services where he served as Project Manager. He eventually took a position as the Assistant Operations Director for Pearl River Resorts. He resides in Jackson with his wife Nikki of twelve years, and they have five children (Carla, Taylor, Jared, Caleb and Chana). As devoted he is to his career, hernandez does enjoy shopping, watching movies and concerts, and always finds time to spend with his family. He is also an active Board of Director Member with BOMA.

Anna Massey joins Neel-Schaffer

Neel-Schaffer, Inc., is pleased to announce that Anna Massey, CPESC, has joined the firm and will serve as an Environmental Scientist based in the firm’s Chattanooga office. Massey has 20 years of experience in the Environmental Science field. She is a Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control and a Tennessee Qualified Hydrologic Professional – IT. Anna is an active member in the International Erosion Massey Control Association and the Ecological Society of America, and she serves on the Stormwater Regulations Board of Chattanooga. Massey holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

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