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White leaving MAC to head state tourism efforts

JACKSON  — Malcolm White has been named director of the Mississippi Development Authority’s Tourism Division.

White, who brings to MDA more than 40 years of experience in the economic development and tourism industries, will begin his new position effective Jan. 14, 2013.

“Many people in the Jackson area and around the state are familiar with Malcolm White, his devout entrepreneurial spirit and his love of Mississippi and our unique, creative culture,” Gov. Phil Bryant said. “The experience he brings to this position and the vast amount of knowledge he has of the tourism industry will be beneficial not only to MDA but to the entire state of Mississippi and its tourism offerings, as well.”

Previously, White served for seven years as the executive director of the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC). There, he was responsible for overseeing the agency’s staff and operations, while driving its mission of supporting and celebrating the arts in Mississippi and its creative culture.

Prior to joining MAC, White served as co-founder and manager of Hal and Mal’s, a downtown Jackson restaurant and entertainment venue. He is also founder of the Mal’s St. Paddy’s Day Parade, which benefits the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children and attracts visitors from around the country to the Jackson area each year, and WellsFest, a family festival held each year in Jackson.

“I am happy and excited to be joining the MDA Tourism team. Mississippi is at a unique crossroad in our journey to explore and tell our rich, diverse story,” said White. “As we consider our opportunities, our assets and our place in the authentic American landscape, we must also look to lift the spirits and economic prospects of all Mississippians and build civic pride in the process. Let’s prepare for company and invite the world to visit our true Mississippi.”

White holds a bachelor’s degree in social studies from the University of Southern Mississippi. Throughout his career, he has been a member of and served on the committees of numerous civic organizations. White is presently involved in a variety of organizations, including South Arts, the Mississippi Country Music Trail, the Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Downtown Jackson Partners. Most recently, White was named chairman of the Mississippi Blues Commission and vice chairman of the state’s Bicentennial Committee.

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