Cleveland – The newly formed Mississippi Delta Technology Council (MDTC) will sponsor its inaugural event – the first annual Delta Business and Technology Expo – from noon until 3 p.m. on May 7 at
Siller`s Coliseum on the campus of Delta State University, in conjunction with Delta Council Day.
Organizers have described the council as “an economic development group without county borders,” developed “to champion business through technology.”
“Even though there are many technology councils around the state, through about two or three years of meeting with different business leaders, we found the need for an umbrella organization that could promote, celebrate and leverage technology in the Delta, and basically enhance the strength of the Delta,” said MDTC president Carolyn
Manning, area manager for BellSouth-Mississippi. “By providing this umbrella approach to technology in the Delta, MDTC will be able to improve and enhance the understanding that the Delta has a rich field of technology already at play and an existing infrastructure in place to support new technologies in the region.
“Our goal is the dissolution of the ‘low-tech’ image of the Delta … to play a role in the economic growth of the Delta … to foster entrepreneurial efforts, and to foster meaningful networking.”
By April 25, vendors had already reserved more than half of the expo`s 80 booths, said Manning.
“Exhibitors include most of the council`s sponsors, but also include companies like Entergy Mississippi, BellSouth Mississippi and Delta & Pine Land,” she said. “We’re very encouraged with the response.”
The purpose of the expo is to inform the leaders and citizens of Mississippi of the current uses of technology and access to businesses, products and services in the Delta region, said Manning.
“In addition to commercial vendors, businesses that use technology in their operations have been recruited to demonstrate existing uses of technology in the region,” she said. “Educational institutions, national, state and local government entities, and non-profits will demonstrate how they are using technology to better meet the needs of the constituents of the Delta. Another aspect of the expo is to foster new partnerships between private and public entities that will facilitate the development of further technology opportunities to meet the needs of the region.”
MDTC is developing an online portal to act as a forum for access to information, said Manning.
“MDTC will particularly focus in three primary areas: agriculture, healthcare and business and industry,” she said. “We will strive to inform the public of pertinent policy decisions. And we will execute infrastructure resources mapping of the Delta and make that information available on the Web site, through publications and by publishing white papers. In all cases, we will work to bring interfaces together between governmental, industrial and educational entities in the region.
“Additionally, the Web site will have linkages to our MDTC members’ Web sites. That, in and of itself, will give access to those with a need to know to those who are using technology or are purveyors of technology in the Delta.”
MDTC also plans to host symposiums featuring workshops and networking opportunities. “Beyond those plans, we hope to take our storyboard to CIT.ms meetings and Mississippi Economic Development Council meetings to get our positive story out,” said Manning. “MDTC is really about celebrating the Delta and what is in place and what can be supported to be in place in the Delta.”
Mississippi Technology Alliance spokesperson Heath Hall said MDTC`s strength is “connecting local people to the value of technology and how it changes our lives and strengthens Mississippi business and create jobs.”
“The MDTC is a great example of an organization that is doing a lot of good for its region and, as a result, will have a positive impact on the entire state,” said Hall.
Contact MBJ contributing writer Lynne W. Jeter at firstname.lastname@example.org.