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ALIE makes debut; Laurie Hickson Smith shares secrets

Mississippi Business EXPO 2002 goes high-tech and down-home

Clinton High School’s award-winning Attache’ Show Choir will perform Jan. 23 at the Salute to Business & Industry Kick-Off Breakfast.

JACKSON — Amid the music of hip, patriotic tunes and high-tech wizardry, a special digital creation named ALIE will be beamed onstage to present awards to the Mississippi Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 recipients at the Mississippi Business EXPO 2002, held Jan. 23-24 at the Mississippi Trademart in Jackson.

The 3-D virtual host with lip synch animation will narrate the awards segment of the luncheon while a digital presentation of each winner is beamed onto a giant screen.

“Just wait until you see ALIE (Animated Lifelike Interactive Entertainer),” said its creator Darrell Troth, COO of GalootWerks in Jackson. “I’ve had fun working on her.”

ALIE’s just a warm-up act. For the 19th-annual EXPO, the Mississippi Business Journal is rolling out the red carpet with more exhibits and seminars, an awards program honoring the state’s brightest up-and-comers, a special luncheon for Mississippi’s businesswomen, an after-hours networking event, door prizes and more.

With a patriotic theme for the state’s largest business-to-business trade show, red carpet will swath the aisles and blue drapes will drape nearly 200 white exhibit stations dotted with American flags while colorful oversized banners direct attendees to various events during the EXPO 2002, at which 4,000 people are expected to attend.

“We’ve made this year bigger and better than ever before,” said Robbie L. Bell, director of special projects for the Mississippi Business Journal and producer of the event. “Anyone who misses EXPO 2002 will not only miss great networking and marketing opportunities, but they will also miss the fun, food and music. We want people to leave already anticipating next year for our 20th anniversary EXPO.”

Robert J. Rohrlack, Jr., executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority, will kick off EXPO 2002 by sharing his vision for Mississippi at the Salute to Business & Industry Kick-Off Breakfast, beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Jan. 23. Rohrlack began his role as the new MDA chief in December.

“MDA has long been a supporter of the Mississippi Business EXPO and we’re looking forward to attending once again this year,” said Sherry Vance, MDA spokesperson. “Mr. Rohrlack is looking forward to addressing the group and not only telling them his economic development philosophy, but also gaining input from many leaders across the state about how to move Mississippi forward.”

Sponsored by Trustmark National Bank, WLBT and CopyTek-tronics, the breakfast will also feature Clinton High School’s award-winning Attach

About Lynne W. Jeter

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