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Prestigious recognition program back for milestone 10th year

Do you have what it takes for Top 40 Under 40?

One of Mississippi’s most prestigious awards programs is back and taking applications for a milestone 10th consecutive year. Top 40 Under 40 recognizes the state’s 40 up-and-coming business leaders under the age of 40.

In order to qualify for consideration, individuals must have been born after Dec. 1, 1962, and have lived and worked in Mississippi for at least two years. Nominations should be returned to the Mississippi Business Journal no later than Sept. 16, 2002. A nomination form appears on page two of this week’s MBJ.

Individuals selected as recipients of the Top 40 Under 40 award will be profiled in a special publication Jan. 20, 2003. A luncheon will be held in their honor Jan. 22, 2003.

The Top 40 Under 40 program seeks to identify and recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to Mississippi’s overall economic progress, often working at their own local levels.

“We believe the Top 40 Under 40 program is a wonderful way to salute the achievements of Mississippi’s young business leaders,” said Joe D. Jones, CPA, publisher of the Mississippi Business Journal. “Through the Top 40 Under 40 program, we are delighted to help pay tribute to up-and-coming businesspeople for their contributions to Mississippi’s economic progress. These are the people who are going to help lead Mississippi into the future.

“Top 40 Under 40 has become the standard by which successful, innovative young Mississippi businesspeople are identified and recognized.”

Since its inception in 1993, the Top 40 Under 40 program has recognized hundreds of Mississippi business leaders who are playing active day-to-day roles in moving the state’s economy well into the 21st century.

But Top 40 Under 40 is anything but a single-business awards program, said Jones. Recipients have come from virtually every walk of life.

“The key to the program’s success is that individuals are nominated by friends or business associates who best know their professional and civic involvement,” he said. “We have found that all of the Top 40 Under 40 recipients have involvement that go well beyond normal working hours. Their days are extended by a large number of civic and community activities.”

And, he pointed out, nominees do not have to be business owners or sole proprietors. “We’ve certainly had business owners and executives, but we’ve also had outstanding nominees in the past from governmental agencies, non-profits and a wide variety of professions.”

After the Sept. 16th deadline, all nominations will be screened by an independent committee, first, to be sure they have not yet reached their 40th birthday, and, secondly, for their business and community involvement.

The luncheon for the Top 40 Under 40 award recipients will be held in conjunction with the 20th-annual Mississippi Business EXPO in Jackson. EXPO 2003, Mississippi’s largest business-to-business trade show slated for Jan. 22-23, 2003, will feature the latest in products and services.

For additional information on Top 40 Under 40 or EXPO 2003, contact MBJ special projects director Robbie L. Bell at (601) 364-1015 or e-mail rlbell@msbusiness.com.

Contact MBJ editor Jim Laird at jlaird@msbusiness.com.

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