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MEC’s annual meeting to put focus on car making, defense contracting

Updates on two of Mississippi’s main economic drivers – car manufacturing and defense contracting – will highlight the Mississippi Economic Council’s annual meeting Thursday in a gathering at the Jackson Convention Complex.

The event’s luncheon includes remarks from Gov. Phil Bryant and Maj. Gen. Augustus Collins, commander of the state’s National Guard and Air Guard.

More than 2,000 seats have been sold for the Economic Council’s annual meeting, though seats are still available for the morning-to-afternoon gathering.

Gov. Bryant will give a special presentation and Maj. Gen. Collins will deliver the keynote address.

Seminars get under way at 9:30 a.m. with presentations by Nissan’s Dan Bednarzyk and Toyota’s Doug Formby as well as William Yates III of Yates Construction. Yates is chairing the state’s efforts to help ensure the Southeastern US-Japan Summit in Biloxi Nov. 17-19 is a success.

Created in 1976 by former Georgia Gov. George Busbee, the Southeast U.S. – Japan Association (“SEUS Japan”) was established to promote trade, investment, understanding and friendship between Japan and the southeastern United States.

Member states include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, and SEUS-Japan has a Japanese counterpart, the Japan-U.S. Southeast Association. Both memberships include top business leaders and government officials. An annual conference between the two associations is held on a rotational basis in Japan and the southeastern U.S. Each of the seven states serves as “Host and Co-Host State” for a two-year term and assumes leadership of SEUS-Japan during that period.

A session from 10:30 to 11:30 will the economics of military contracting in Mississippi, with Erwin Edenzon of Ingalls Shipbuilding, Dr. Jeffrey Holland of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ERDC in Vicksburg and Brent Christensen, executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority.

The MEC Annual Meeting also will salute more than 250 top performing STAR Students and their teachers from communities throughout Mississippi — as well as those communities who have built the Mississippi Scholars program from a handful of students to thousands over the last 10 years.

Details: Jason Word or Rosie Thomas, 601-969-0022 or 1-800-748-7626.



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