A look back in the archives of the Mississippi Business Journal, it’s easy to find example after example of what the Mississippi Economic Council means to the business fortunes of this state.
As one Mississippi businessperson put it, the MEC is, “A respected institution whose ideas and input and help and support are sought out on virtually every public policy issue and debate that occurs in this state.”
There’s no question about it.
But there are a couple of comments that stick out that should be emphasized as to why the MEC is integral to business (small and large) and economic development in the state.
At the MEC 60th Annual Meeting in 2009, former volunteer leader of the organization Jack Reed of Tupelo — a onetime gubernatorial candidate — made the point of the importance of MEC and its leadership role.
“I personally believe it is our duty to guide and create public opinion, not just reflect it — to be a voice, not an echo.
“And it is far more important that we be right than that we be popular. I do not believe the MEC should ever deliberately seek controversy, but God help us if it sacrifices principle to avoid it.”
It is leadership and wisdom in those terms that will help take Mississippi to the top of the heap in the nation’s business circles.
Combine that with MEC president Blake Wilson’s often uplifting words of wisdom, and we see that Mississippi’s future can be as bright and principled as we choose to make it.
In an op-ed piece earlier this year, Wilson wrote of the great spirit of Mississippi and his “Keep the faith” leads a new generation of the MEC in the same positive direction that those like Reed have in the past.
“Mississippians are called upon regularly to keep the faith and to focus on continuous improvement for the future. We are doing so in education, economic development and workforce — and we have the results to prove it, for those who are willing to look at the bigger picture.”