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As I See It

For two big days every January, 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 and Technology EXPO. This year the show will be held January 18th and 19th at the Mississippi Trademart 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. Many sponsors and exhibitors have been with us for a decade or more. Trustmark National Bank has been an EXPO supporter every year since the show began 23 years ago.

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 or six years and, truly, this year will, no doubt, set another record for number of booths and attendees.

Exciting success stories

In addition to more than 200 business service and product exhibits 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 and Reese, LLP, and Health Management Associates-Mississippi Division.

EXPO kicks off with the Best Places to Work in Mississippi breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, January 18th. We’ll recognize a handful of small, medium and large businesses that go far beyond merely producing products and services and provide great places to work for their employees. Trustmark National Bank, Mississippi Development Authority, and SuperTalk Mississippi WFMN 97.3 are sponsoring this important corporate recognition event this year.

To develop the information for judging the best places to work, we partnered with the Mississippi Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Southern Research Group. We really appreciate their contribution to EXPO.

On Thursday, January 19th 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 19th luncheon and a good time is in store for all. Sponsors of the luncheon are the Mississippi Economic Council, BellSouth, Regions Bank and St. Dominic Hospital.

Thankful for the support

This year we again welcome Time Warner Cable Business Class as our title 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 and exhibitors.

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. Other volunteers from the Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Greater Jackson Business Network provide valuable services. They have been vital to our success for all 11 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.

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 (retired), is publisher of the Mississippi Business Journal. Contact him at cpajones@msbusiness.com.

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