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John Palmer and Martha Hutson receive MGA awards; Geography takes center stage

John Palmer

During his acceptance speech, Palmer, the former U.S. ambassador to Spain, talked of the importance of being a “global citizen.”

A mbassador John Palmer is the inaugural recipient of the Geographic Visionary Award from the Mississippi Geographic Alliance. The award is meant to honor a Mississippi business or civic leader who recognizes the importance of global understanding and awareness for Mississipians and promotes understanding about Mississippi in other parts of the world.

In his remarks at the awards luncheon, Ambassador Palmer referred to the importance of a “global citizen.”

“This is more than just important,” he said. “It’s vital to our understanding of our state, our nation, and the world. Being a good global citizen develops us as human beings, and it makes Mississippi a better state.”

Ambassador Palmer’s background makes him uniquely qualified for the Visionary Award. A pioneer in telecommunications, he founded and grew several telecommunications companies, including the Mobile Communications Corporation of America and SkyTel Communications, and served as chairman of GulfSouth Capital. He also served as ambassador to Portugal. He remains an active participant in community, arts, and foundations.

The second award of the day was presented to Ms. Martha Hutson. The Jess McKee Award for Distinguished Service to Geography Education recognizes an outstanding educator. During her 28 years in K-12 public schools and 11 years experience teaching at the college level, she was responsible for establishing much of the infrastructure for improved geographic education in the state, including a robus and successful pre-service institute in geography for teacher candidates.

On hand for the event were many business and civic leaders, who were welcomed by Carly Lovorn, executive director of the Mississippi Geographic Alliance (www.mga.olemiss.edu), whose mission is to strengthen geographic literacy in Mississippi. The MGA is a member of the nationwide network of state alliances sponsored by the National Geographic Society.

» Contact Mississippi Business Journal publisher Alan Turner at alan.turner@msbusiness.com or (601) 364-1021.

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