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Time again for Top 40 nominations

As I See It

One of Mississippi’s most prestigious awards programs is back for its eighth consecutive year.

The Mississippi Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 program recognizes 40 of the state’s up-and-coming business leaders under the age of 40. During this time, the

MBJ has been privileged to review the careers of hundreds of our state’s emerging business leaders from every field of endeavor. Participating in the selection process

has given me a great deal of comfort as I am humbled by the accomplishments of our future leaders.

It pleases me to see the Top 40 plaques exhibited in offices around the state. The prominence accorded in displaying the plaque shows the importance that the winners

place on having been selected.

Professional accomplishments are impressive. However, alone they are not sufficient to gain admission to this select group. No, one must do more than just excel in the

workplace. As laudable as it is to raise a family well while pursuing a career, it will not do the trick. Mere attendance at “knife-and-fork” civic clubs is not enough. In

addition to these worthy undertakings, one must also be engaged in bettering the community.

In order to qualify for consideration, individuals must have been born after Dec. 1, 1960 and have lived and worked in Mississippi for at least two years. Nominations

should be returned to the MBJ no later than Nov. 15.

Participating in the recognizing of outstanding young people is one of the high points of my year. The Top 40 program seeks to honor young people who are making a

difference in their communities, and thereby encourage them to continue their efforts in the future. It is our job to insure that the selection process is comprehensive, fair

and impartial. That we do by using a panel of independent judges who are charged with winner selection.

For many years, the state’s best and brightest had to leave hometowns, families and friends to seek their fortunes elsewhere. All of Mississippi suffered from this loss

of intellectual capital. Further compounding the problem was the state’s reputation as a stagnant backwater. That notion didn’t encourage folks from other parts of the

country to come down and start doing business in Mississippi.

Thankfully, those days are over. Welcome to the new good ol’ days where it’s possible to work hard, get ahead and be the best – right here in Mississippi. And

being the best is what our Top 40 program is all about.

The people who will be selected as Top 40 winners this year are leaders in their fields, have won the respect of their peers and haven’t forgotten the importance of

giving back to their communities.

The nomination period is coming to a close in a few weeks. If you know of someone who should be nominated for Top 40 honor, please do so. The program is

statewide and cuts across all business occupations, gender, races and creeds. All that is required is a fixed and steady commitment to making our state a better place

for now and for the years to come. It is our hope that in recognizing these youngsters, we’ll all be better off – perhaps inspired – to exceed expectations, to excel

and to make Mississippi the best that it can be.

Please help support the program by submitting a nomination for a deserving young person.


Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

– ROMANS 12:21

Joe D. Jones, CPA, is publisher of the Mississippi Business Journal. His e-mail address is cpajones@msbusiness.com.

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