Everyone loves a winner. That may be why the Top 40 Under 40 luncheon is always a sellout at EXPO. This year’s recognition luncheon will be Wednesday, January 16 and is sponsored by Adams and Reese law firm, BancorpSouth Bank and Cellular South. It is expected to again be standing room only as friends, family and co-workers gather to honor 40 business and professional leaders under the age of 40.
BancorpSouth employee Michael Lindsey is a past recipient of this award and was proud to be part of this group.
“I have read the MBJ Top 40 Under 40 issue for many years,” he said. “I was always impressed with the stories of the recipients, the difficulties they overcame, their accomplishments and their dedication to the communities where they live and serve. In reading the issue, I never thought I would be part of this group. It was a great honor when I received notification that I had been selected.”
Lindsey believes it’s important to encourage those under 40 as opposed to reading about things that are wrong in society.
“I think it’s good to show there are people who care about their communities,” he said. “It is encouraging to read the stories of those honored. It inspires us to look at our own lives and find ways we can make a difference in our communities.”
‘They are our future’
Charles P. Adams Jr., managing partner with Adams and Reese LLP, agrees. “Our firm believes it’s important to recognize, cultivate and encourage young talent,” he said. “They are our future. The Top 40 Under 40 awards luncheon allows us to show our appreciation by recognizing 40 outstanding young people and acknowledging their numerous accomplishments in business and within the community.
“The caliber of the honorees elevates each year. They provide examples and the path for future generations to follow. The firm is proud to be part of the event and play a role in the recognition that these exceptional honorees deserve.”
The firm has two past Top 40 Under 40 honorees, John S. Hooks and R. Jarrad Garner.
A winner in 2006, Hooks called the award a tremendous honor. “Each year, the level of young professionals grows higher and higher,” he said. “They are the future of Jackson. The key is to continue to keep business and community at the forefront.”
Garner, who was recognized last year, said, “It is important to continue to make a difference in the community and continue to concentrate on the future economic development and the prosperity of our community.”
Adams said the law firm appreciates the EXPO as an opportunity to build relationships and create new ones, exchange ideas and show support of business and technology.
Cellular South has been involved with the EXPO since it launched service in Jackson in 1999, according to Jim Richmond, director of corporate communications.
“The business community is very important to Cellular South. Many of our products, applications and services are designed to make the business user more efficient and effective with their work,” he said. “The EXPO is a terrific way for us to show these business tools to existing and potential customers. Although Cellular South is a leader in wireless communications in this marketplace, it is important for us to continue to keep our brand out in front of the business customer. The EXPO is a great place to do this.”
‘Best and brightest’
BancorpSouth is also pleased to be involved with this recognition program. “The Journal’s recognition of Top 40 Under 40 in Mississippi represents some of the best and brightest young talent our state has to offer, and BancorpSouth is honored to be a part of that effort,” said Chuck McIntosh, vice president of corporate communications.
The Tupelo-based financial institution also supports Habitat for Humanity, United Way, Operation Shoestring, Junior Achievement and the American Heart Association statewide, and is involved with Brandon Day and Madison’s Swing into Summer in the central part of the state.
Richmond said Cellular South has always focused on giving back to the communities where they serve.
“While we continue to give back through sponsorships, events and charitable donations, we have several specifically designed programs that we are very proud of,” he said. “These include the Cellular South Scholarship Program. With this program, we fund academic scholarships at all eight public universities in Mississippi. Another one is the Cellular South Gameplan, a program that works with junior high and senior high student athletes to get them on track and keep them on track to meet college and NCAA requirements. These are just a few examples of the way Cellular South gives back to the community.”
Adams and Reese believes its success is directly related to the prosperity and the quality of life in the communities where its people work and live. The firm’s numerous community activities include devoting thousands of volunteer hours and funds to HUGS, its corporate philanthropy program that celebrates 20 years of service this year. Another one is the CA&RE Pro Bono Program, which resulted in attorneys dedicating 4,800 hours to pro bono work last year.
“This year, we have doubled that commitment to touch even more people in need with each attorney providing 20 or more hours of free legal service,” Adams said.
Contact MBJ contributing writer Lynn Lofton at firstname.lastname@example.org.