JACKSON — After a 35-year career as head of the Associated General Contractors of Mississippi, Perry Nations is retiring. But, the AGC did not have to look far for a replacement.
Perry Nations’ son, Lee Nations, has been named the organization’s new leader. Lee Nations’ start date has yet to be made official, but he could step into his father’s office as early as next week.
“Retiring from here is emotional enough by itself,” Perry Nations said. “But, to have Lee coming in, that’s really special and emotional for me.”
Perry Nations came to the AGC of Mississippi when the organization was small, had zero assets and was in the red. Today, the organization is debt-free and has facilities in Jackson and on the Coast.
“I’d like to think I played some role in that,” Perry Nations said. “To me, this organization has always been more like family than a job.”
Perry Nations counts his role in the establishment of CompTrust, the AGC of Mississippi’s self-administered workers’ comp organization that has returned approximately $10 million to members in the form of refunds, and creation of the Mississippi Construction Education Foundation as his highest professional achievements.
Perry Nations said he has given no advice to Lee Nations, wanting him to be a “free thinker” and his own guy. However, Perry Nations has agreed to stay on through the current legislative session as well as help out with the AGC of Mississippi’s 2012 annual convention.
At year’s end, Perry Nations said he expects to work with the AGC of Mississippi on a part-time, as-needed basis.
When he does finally “retire,” Perry Nations said he plans to catch more games of his beloved Mississippi State University baseball team.
“But, I plan on doing some part-time lobbying/consulting work. I’m not going home to rot,” he said with a laugh.
His father says Lee Nations has been groomed for his new role. As a child, he tagged along with his father, meeting the sons of contractors, boys who today are leading their fathers’ former firms.
While earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting at MSU, Lee Nations interned and then came on full-time with the accounting firm of Davenport, Holliday & Spring, which worked exclusively in construction.
In the mean time, Lee Nations, 32, returned to school, earning an MBA from Millsaps College.
After a stint with the accounting firm of Smith, Turner & Reeves, Lee Nations moved to the real estate investment trust Parkway Properties Inc., relocating to Nashville to oversee the firm’s portfolio there before returning to Jackson to head up the $53 million Jackson Place development.
Lee Nations is currently director of business development at Evan Johnson & Sons Construction Inc.
Lee Nations was not immediately available for comment.