Vicksburg’s Pablo Diaz named president of Mississippi Economic Development Council

Published 4:00 am Friday, October 1, 2021

The Mississippi Economic Development Council (MEDC) announced today the list of new officers and board of directors for the 2020-2021 year, including incoming president Pablo Diaz.

MEDC, a professional association of economic development, chambers and associated stakeholders, works together to advance the economic development profession and to strengthen Mississippi’s competitive position through education, advocacy and collaboration. MEDC is the voice of the economic development profession in the state.

Laura Hipp, Interim Executive Director at the Mississippi Development Authority said, “At MDA, we appreciate the leadership provided by MEDC in connecting our communities with state officials as we work together to grow Mississippi’s economy.”

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Pablo Diaz, incoming President of MEDC stated, “Economic Development is a priority for every community in our State and the 2021-2022 Board of Directors is excited to get to work advocating for sound economic development policies that benefit all Mississippians. We are all vested in advancing job creation and wellbeing in our beloved State and MEDC is the way communities of any size can be part of that important work.”

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. of Vicksburg added, “We are excited to see Pablo Diaz become President of MEDC. We know MEDC to be a great resource to communities that are serious about economic development and I am sure under Pablo’s leadership MEDC’s programs and initiatives will make an even greater impact across our state.”

The members of the MEDC 2021-2022 Executive Committee are Pablo Diaz of Vicksburg with Vicksburg-Warren Economic Development Partnership as President; Hunter Aycock of Tupelo with Community Development Foundation as President-Elect; Lori Watts of Columbia with Marion County Development Partnership as Secretary/ Treasurer; and Mitch Stringer of Jackson with Cooperative Energy as Immediate Past-President. The Vice Presidents are Cynthia Buchanan of Jackson with Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership as Vice President of Chamber Development; Jon Maynard of Oxford with Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation and Chamber of Commerce as Vice President of Community Development; Clayton Stanley of Corinth with The Alliance as Vice President of Economic Development; and Brandi Hough of Gulfport with Harrison County Development Commission as Vice President of Emerging Leaders.

The 2021-2022 at large Board Members are: Jim Flanagan of Hernando with DeSoto County Economic Development Council representing District 1; Chelsea Baulch of Amory with Monroe County Chamber of Commerce representing District 2; Angela Curry of Greenwood with Greenwood Leflore Carroll Economic Development Foundation representing District 3; Meryl Fisackerly of Columbus with Golden Triangle Development LINK representing District 4; Joey Deason of Canton with Madison County Economic Development Authority representing District 5; Jill Busby of Summit with Pike County Economic Development District representing District 6; Todd Jackson of Hattiesburg with Area Development Partnership representing District 7; and Janel Carothers of Kiln with Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission representing District 8.

Brian Useforge of Gulfport with Mississippi Power Company and Ed Gardner of Jackson with Entergy Mississippi, Inc. are Members-At-Large. Laura Hipp of Jackson with the Mississippi Development Authority as Ex-Officio Member.

The Mississippi Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC) Director is Tim Weston of Tupelo with JESCO, Inc. The SEDC Alternate Director is Allen Kurr of Oxford with Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation. Chance McDavid of Jackson with the Mississippi Development Authority will serve as the Chairman for both Scholarship Committee and the Community Economic Development Awards (CEDA).