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MBJ Editorial

The “Mississippi Miracle” that has defined doing business — Magnolia State style — this past decade or so is much more than low unemployment, rapid economic development and a growing reputation — nationally and internationally — as a pro-business powerhouse.

As its heart, Mississippi’s economic renaissance of the 1990s is about people. And despite the recent downturn in the national economy and the effects here at home, Mississippi business is still about people. Good and hard-working people.

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. This notion didn’t help encourage folks from other parts of the country to come down and start doing business.

Thankfully, those days are behind us. 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 the Mississippi Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 program is all about.

The people 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. It is our hope that in recognizing these individuals, we’ll all be better off — perhaps inspired — to exceed expectations, to excel and to make Mississippi the best that it can be.

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