William Carey University and the Area Development Partnership recently honored Tom White, owner of 206 Front and Bianchi’s Pizzeria in downtown Hattiesburg, with the 2013 Small Business Leadership Award. White came to Hattiesburg as a freshman at the University of Southern Mississippi and has spent 22 of the last 26 years in Hattiesburg with stops in Nashville and Atlanta working as a chef. Returning in 1998, he dreamed of opening his own restaurant. Inspired by the architecture of downtown and his immigrant Italian ancestry, 206 Front opened in July 2002 followed five years later by Bianchi’s Pizzeria. White is president of the Hattiesburg Downtown Association, chair of the Mississippi Children’s Museum and a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church community. He is a fan and supporter of the athletic and arts programs at USM and WCU, and in the past 11 years has employed many students from both schools and featured musicians and visual art by students at 206 Front. White and his wife Julie have two sons, Townes and Dom, and a daughter, Ella.
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