JACKSON — After serving as president of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association (MMA) for than 20 years, Jerry McBride will officially retire from his position Oct. 31, 2003. Jay Moon, who has worked in economic development with the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) for the past 13 years, will take over the post.
The news was announced at the MMA’s 2002 convention held Sept. 25-28 at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Resort in Destin, Fla.
“He’s absolutely the right person for the job,” said Sam Moore, MMA board chairman and president of Double G Coatings Inc., LP, the Jackson-based continuous hot-dip galvanizing and galvalume coating operation. Moore was one of the MMA members who chose Moon as McBride’s replacement.
“Replacing him was a difficult task,” Moore acknowledged. “He will be missed.”
Under McBride’s leadership the MMA has experienced growth in membership and a major increase in the amount of services provided to MMA members.
“We owe him a debt of gratitude,” Moore said.
McBride will remain president of the MMA through an Oct. 31, 2003 transition period. Until that time, Moon’s title in the organization will be executive vice president.
“I think he’ll do well,” McBride said. “He’s certainly got a lot of very good legislative contacts in the state and congressional contacts in Washington, so it’s not as if he’s starting from scratch.”
A natural progression
McBride said becoming president of the MMA would be a natural progression for Moon because he already does economic development recruiting for MDA.
“He brought these people in and didn’t have much to do with them after that,” McBride said. “He just turned them over to the MMA and to other organizations. But he feels he’ll be able to work in our arena very well and I think he will.”
Moon, who will start his position at MMA Nov. 1, is excited about becoming the executive vice president and later president of the MMA.
“The Mississippi Manufacturers Association is a very strong association that represents business interests in the state particularly in the area of manufacturing,” Moon said. “Manufacturing forms the backbone for the economy of the state and creates a large ripple effect throughout the state with support jobs. I think the MMA is a really good fit for me in terms of my experience and background. “
Moon said working for the MMA will give him the opportunity to give back to the private sector, a sector the MDA has worked to support and attract.
“We’re fortunate to have a broad based manufacturing group in the state and to be able to work with those companies to strengthen them and keep them in the state,” Moon said.
Moon’s goals for MMA are many, including the continuation of a strong series of services already provided by the organization, as well as making sure that people around the state as well as the Mississippi Legislature and the congressional delegation understand the importance of manufacturing.
“I’m looking forward to working with the great staff at MMA,” Moon said. “They’re very professional and they do a great job. I want to help strengthen our manufacturing base in this difficult economy and bring more jobs to Mississippi.”
McBride said after his retirement from the MMA next year he won’t officially be working for the organization anymore.
Unofficially however, “If Jay called me and wanted to know something, I’d certainly assist him in any way that I could,” he said.
Learning how to be retired
McBride said while he’s happy about the decision to hire Moon as the new executive vice president and later president of the MMA, it will not be easy next year for him to give up the post he’s held since 1979.
“I might have to learn how to be retired,” McBride said. “I’m a pretty active person, so I’m going to have to find something. I don’t know what kind of projects I’ll be working on or taking on, but I’m certainly not going to sit around and watch TV all day.”
Contact MBJ staff writer Elizabeth Kirkland at email@example.com or (601) 364-1042.