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For two big days, it’s all about EXPO

Every year, the holiday season ends abruptly for the Mississippi Business Journal staff. As soon as we get back from New Year’s, we move into EXPO mode — EXPO being shorthand for the Mississippi Business & Technology EXPO. This year the show will be held January 19th and 20th at the Mississippi Trade Mart building here in Jackson.

Just two days and it’s over. Sneeze and you’ll miss it.
Notwithstanding the shortness of the show, the preparation takes months of planning and coordinating. And, the results for our sponsors and exhibitors are clear justification for the effort.

As we say every year, this year’s show is shaping up to be the biggest ever. The reason we say that is because it’s true. EXPO has grown 240% in size over the last five years and, truly, this year will, no doubt, set another record for number of booths and attendees.

In addition to more than 200 business service and product exhibitors displaying the latest and greatest, EXPO is the venue we use to celebrate some really exciting success stories. Our Top 40 Under 40 program recognizes 40 of the up-and-coming youngsters in our state. This event is always a sell-out and a joy to produce. This year’s group is truly impressive and serves as an inspiration for all that hear their stories. Our sponsors this year for Top 40 are Adams & Reese, LLP, and BancorpSouth.

EXPO kicks off with the Salute to Business & Industry breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, January 19th. We’ll recognize a handful of small, medium and large businesses that go far beyond merely producing products and services and give back to the community in big ways. We’ll also have the first Who’s Who in Mississippi Business Awards to hand out. Trustmark, Mississippi Development Authority, SuperTalk Mississippi WFMN 97.3 and the Mississippi Technology Alliance are sponsoring this important corporate recognition event this year.

On Thursday, January 20th we’ll have the naming of the Mississippi Business Woman of the Year.

Each year, in August, we honor Mississippi’s 50 Leading Business Women at a meeting that includes seminars and a luncheon at Eagle Ridge Conference Center in Raymond. From this group of 50, our judges select 12 contenders for the title of “Mississippi’s Business Woman of the Year.” All 50 women are honored at the January 20th luncheon and a good time is had by all. Sponsors of the luncheon are the Mississippi Economic Council, BellSouth, Union Planters, Holman Automotive and St. Dominic Hospital.

This year we welcome Road Runner Business Class as our title sponsor, and the Mississippi Technology Alliance as major sponsor for EXPO. The show is expensive to produce and we could not do the job without the financial support of all of our sponsors.

Any effort at thanking those who support EXPO would be incomplete without mentioning the assistance of the MetroJackson Chamber of Commerce whose volunteers do everything from greet attendees to help get folks to their seats at the event luncheons. They have been vital to our success for all 10 years that I have been involved with EXPO.

I’ve already started resting my knees getting ready for two days on my feet. I hope that everyone will rest whatever part of the body requires it and pay a visit to EXPO. I promise that the event will prove both exciting and beneficial.

Pennies For Paws

Changing gears, the Mississippi Animal Rescue League (MARL) is kicking off their “Pennies for Paws” fundraiser. For the entire month of February, groups of youngsters from schools, churches and civic groups will collect penny donations to benefit MARL. Fifteen or more sponsors are providing prizes to the groups collecting the most money.
Last year the fundraiser generated almost $7,000 in donations. This year the goal has been raised to $25,000. That’s a lot of pennies!

This is an excellent program for getting youngsters started giving back to the community. A sense of civic responsibility developed at an early age continues throughout adulthood. Anyone interested in participating should call Jerry Williams at (601) 856-4557 or Aileene Maldonado at (601) 969-1671.

Thought for the Moment

If you want to know how rich you really are, find out what would be left of you tomorrow if you should lose every dollar you own tonight. — clergyman William J. H. Boetcker (1873-1962)

Joe D. Jones, CPA, is publisher of the Mississippi Business Journal. Contact him at cpajones@msbusiness.com.

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