Golding, Jones, Gilmer and Lee elected to 2020 EDF board

Published 5:46 pm Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Vicksburg Warren Economic Development Foundation welcomed four new faces to its board at the annual meeting Tuesday.

During the meeting, foundation members elected Austin Golding of Golding Barge Line, Nick Jones of Chick-fil-A, Ryan Lee of Trustmark Bank and Margaret Gilmer, who currently serves as chair of the Warren County Port Commission.

Golding and Jones were elected to 3-year terms on the board, replacing outgoing members Jimmy Gouras and Patrick Smith. Gilmer and Lee were named to 2-year terms, finishing the terms for Foundation Chairman Dr. Jeff Holland and Vice-Chair Kelle Barfield, who were elected to the Warren County Board of Supervisors and thus ineligible to continue to serve on the Foundation’s board.

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“It is a very exciting time for the Economic Development Foundation,” said Pablo Diaz, executive director of the Vicksburg-Warren Economic Development Foundation. “We have over 30 members and it is growing every day. We see a renewed interest from the business community in designing the future of this community and that is a very exciting thing for an economic development agency to see. Dr. Holland did a tremendous job in leading the revival of the EDF over the last year and a half and we are glad that he had the initiative to support that community effort while he was able to do it.”

The four new members also expressed excitement at growth opportunities and the future of Warren County.

“It is an exciting time for Vicksburg and I am honored to have been elected by this group to help serve as part of their leadership,” Golding said. “As a life long resident here I think it is important to serve your community and I am excited about the opportunity to do just that. Vicksburg’s best days are ahead of us.”

Jones, who recently served as chairman of the Vicksburg Warren Chamber of Commerce, said the Foundation is another group focused on growing the community.

“This is about the overall community getting better,” Jones said. “As we grow the community, we all grow together.” 

Lee, who was recently promoted to president of Trustmark’s Vicksburg market, said serving as a member of the Foundation board is an honor.

“I value the work the partnership is doing in Vicksburg and Warren County and believe it is truly immeasurable,” Lee said. “I’m grateful for this opportunity and do not intend to take it lightly. There is a lot of optimism around Vicksburg, and personally, I have never been more excited.

“We have to take that optimism and implement it,” he continued. “That’s our challenge but I feel like we are ready to tackle it and make Vicksburg an even better place to live and raise a family.”

Gilmer also commented on the development of the partnership between the chamber, EDF and the port.

“It has been a work in progress and exciting to have seen the partnership come together with the chamber, EDF and the port,” she said. “I am excited to see that continue and about our future in Warren County, as well as the outlook for economic development and growth.”

The new board will meet early next week to elect officers.

Others serving on the 2020 board include Jeremy Kyser, Bob Morrison, Mark Buys, Ken Rector and Riley Nelson. The chairman of the Warren County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the chairman of the Warren County Port Commission are ex-officio members of the foundation’s board.

According to its website, “The Vicksburg Warren Economic Development Foundation is a 501 (c) 6 private membership organization that focuses on bringing together the business community to support economic development long-term strategic planning, develop funding, and provide expertise in the development of sound local and regional policies to advance economic development and prosperity in the region.”

 Those listed as 2020 Economic Development Foundation members include Ergon, Morrison Companies, May & Company, Golding Barge Line, Lorelei Books, Newbreak Communications, Neel-Schaffer, Fordice Construction Company, Dr. David Fagan, Guaranty Bank & Trust Company, Merit Health River Region, Vicksburg Insurance Agency, Mrs. Margaret Gilmer, Teller Hassell & Hopson, Bailess & Rector, Trustmark National Bank, Riverwalk Casino, Blackburn Motor Co., Dr. Christopher Clark, Riverhills Bank, Big River Shipbuilders, Jimmy Gouras Properties, Industrial Wood Products, Regions Bank, Falco Chemical, Waring Oil Company, LLC, BancorpSouth, Ellis, Dees & Sadler, International Paper, Smith Boat Leasing and The Vicksburg Post.

About Catherine Hadaway

Catherine Hadaway, as The Vicksburg Post’s publisher, oversees the business operations of the newspaper. She is a native of Tuscaloosa, Ala. and is a graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis where she earned bachelor’s degrees in Business and Religion. She is a Director of Boone Newsmedia, Inc., the family company that owns The Post. Catherine comes from a long line of newspaper publishers, starting with her grandfather, Buford Boone, who served as publisher of The Tuscaloosa News and earned journalism's highest honor when he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1957 for his editorial titled "What a Price for Peace." Catherine is a member of The Rotary Club of Vicksburg, Junior Auxiliary of Vicksburg, The Heritage Guild, The Sampler Antique Club and The Vicksburg Warren County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Executive Committee.

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