Four top Mississippi business leaders are being recognized for their significant contributions to the growth and development of business in the state by being inducted into the Mississippi Business Hall of Fame at a banquet planned May 1. The four businessmen are Lowery Woodall, retired Forrest General Hospital administrator, Hattiesburg; J. Con Maloney, Cowboy Maloney’s Electric City, Jackson; J.G. “Sonny” Fountain, Fountain Construction Company, Jackson; and J. Kelly Allgood, retired BellSouth executive, Jackson.
The Mississippi Business Hall of Fame was established in 1989 by Junior Achievement of Mississippi Inc., an international non-profit organization, and is co-sponsored by The Clarion-Ledger. An 18-person selection committee made up of business leaders and educators statewide chose the four from more than 100 nominations.
“Each one of them have made unique contributions not only in their area of expertise, but in giving to their community and state as a whole,” said Bill Moore, chairman of this year’s event and Mississippi manager of IBM.
J. Kelly Allgood
J. Kelly Allgood was president in charge Mississippi operations of BellSouth from 1988 until his recent retirement. A native of Benton, Allgood was formerly employed by the Naval Weapons Laboratory in Virginia and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Jackson.
While overseeing the rapid growth of BellSouth in Mississippi, Allgood has served on numerous local civil and charitable groups. He has chaired the Metro Jackson Chamber of Commerce, Public Education Forum of Mississippi, Andrew Jackson Chapter of the Boy Scouts of America and United Way of Central Mississippi. Allgood has been awarded the People of Vision Award, Mississippi University for Women Medal of Excellence, Mississippi College Order of the Golden Arrow, Boy Scouts Silver Beaver Award, Volunteer Fund-Raiser of the Year and Outstanding Community Volunteer by Goodwill.
D.G. “Sonny” Fountain
D.G. “Sonny” Fountain, owner and president of Fountain Construction Company, oversees a company with 550 employees and annual sales of more than $57 million. The company offers services in the field of engineering, contracting, maintenance and manufacturing. After serving as an electronics instructor in the U.S. Air Force, Fountain co-established Chaney/Fountain Electric Co. in 1959. The business prospered and Fountain purchased the Chaney interest in 1963, reincorporating as Fountain Electric Company.
Fountain Construction’s major projects include the National Products Laboratory and Swayze Baseball Field at the University of Mississippi, the Olin Foundation Science Building at Millsaps College, the BellSouth Data Center in Jackson, the Fine Arts Facility at Delta State and the Mississippi Army Ammunition Plant at Picayune.
Fountain has been active with state and national construction associations, is a past chair of the Associated General Contractors and a director of Trustmark National Bank. Community involvement has included being a member of the boards of Hinds Community College, Metro YMCA, Rotary Club of Jackson, MetroJackson Chamber of Commerce, Salvation Army and the United Way.
J. Con Maloney
J. Con Maloney is chairman of Cowboy Maloney’s Electric City and C & D Investment Company, president of Merchandise Warehouse and past president of the Jackson Generals professional baseball team. He served in the Mississippi Senate for 16 years.
After graduating from college, Maloney became an assistant to the president of Maytag Company and then became a regional manager for Maytag. In 1965 he purchased the family business, an electronics store in Jackson.
Under his direction Cowboy Maloney’s has expanded to 12 locations in Mississippi and Tennessee employing 260 people. Maloney has served as a leader of buying groups and industry boards. He was president and chair of the North American Retail Dealers of the Americas. He was also president of the Marta Appliance Buying Group of Phoenix, Ariz.
Maloney has been heavily involved in civic organizations and has been recognized by receiving the Owen C. Cooper Humanitarian Award, Hugh L. White Free Enterprise Award, Home Builders of Mississippi Outstanding Service Award, Alpha Chi Man of the Year for Corrections, Centurion Award for Service to Mankind and the Millsaps College Distinguished Sportsman Award.
Lowery Woodall was executive director of Forrest General from 1962 to 1996. Under his leadership the small hospital grew to be the second largest facility of its type in the state. The hospital began a long-range expansion plant in 1968. When the seventh phase of this plan was completed in 1995, the hospital had 537 beds compared to 100 when Woodall took over. The number of staff physicians increased from 60 to 300 during his tenure.
In 1984, the Lowery A. Woodall Outpatient Surgery Facility in Pine Grove, a psychiatric and chemical dependency treatment facility, began operations. Openings in 1987 included the Rehabilitation Resource of South Mississippi, Your Family Birthplace and the Carl R. Hale Radiation Therapy Center.
Woodall has led the Forrest County Industrial Park Commission, the Southeastern Hospital Conference, Mississippi Hospital Association, Mississippi Commission on Hospital Care, Blue Cross- Blue Shield of Mississippi, Hattiesburg Area Chamber of Commerce, Forrest County Industrial Board, Hattiesburg Rotary Club, Mississippi Heart Fund and the University of Southern Miss Foundation.
He has also served on the boards of the Bank of Mississippi (now BancorpSouth), Blue Bonnet Life Insurance Company and Healthcare Providers. Civic and community involvement has included work with the Pine Belt Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, University of Southern Mississippi Big Gold Club and the William Carey College Century Club.
Contact MBJ staff writer Becky Gillette at firstname.lastname@example.org or (228) 872-3457.