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Pat Thomasson named MBJ's 2014 Businesswoman of the Year

Thomasson Company CEO Pat Thomasson has been named the Mississippi Business Journal’s 2014 Businesswoman of the Year.

Pat Thomasson

Pat Thomasson

The announcement was made during a ceremony Thursday at the Hilton of Jackson.

Becoming the leader of a company her parents built, however, was rather humbling for Thomasson.

The Thomasson Company provides pressure treated utility poles of varying lengths and specifications for use by utility companies of all types. Depending on specific climate, Thomasson provides varying degrees of treatment designed to delay the decaying process and ensure pole longevity.

As CEO of the Thomasson Company in Neshoba County, she’s increased the wood products company’s sales by more than 50 percent to more than $60 million without any acquisitions.

An active member of the Women’s Business Enterprise Council South, Thomasson is a strong advocate for other women in business and passionate about issues surrounding the business community.

In 2010, she was elected president of the Mississippi Lumber Manufacturers Association. Thomasson was the first female to achieve this position.

A breast cancer survivor, Thomasson is also a graduate of the University of Mississippi and is founder and director of the Neshoba County Rebel Club, and serves as secretary of the Rotary Club of Philadelphia.

Other finalists include:

Anderson, Phyliss_rgb-72Phyliss Anderson
Tribal Chief, Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians

A proud native of the Red Water community in Neshoba County, Chief Phyliss Anderson is the Tribal Chief of the Mississippi Band of Choctaws. Fluent in the Choctaw language, Anderson was officially sworn in as the first woman chief in Choctaw history during an October 2011 inauguration ceremony. Anderson has more than 26 years of experience with tribal government management, including eight years as tribal court representative and four years as secretary-treasurer of the tribe.

Bailey, Debbie_rgb-72Debbie Bailey
Owner, Jimmy’s Portable Building

Debbie Bailey never allowed the lack of a high school diploma deter her from becoming ultra-successful in the business world. That’s because as the founder and owner of Jimmy’s Portable Buildings in Greenville, Bailey has boosted her company to become the number one dealer in Mississippi for the past four years and the first in the state to reach the Million Dollar Club in 2012. Today, she owns and manages 14 retail locations in Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas.

Bell, Deidra_rgb-72Deidra Bell
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer,
St. Dominic Health Service

Deidra Bell is the chief financial officer for St. Dominic Hospital. During the last three years, the Cleveland, Tenn., native has had the opportunity to develop the Madison School Nurse Program, which provides a nurse for fourteen elementary and middle schools in the Madison County School District. In 2012, the program reported nearly 40,000 student visits. Working with the hospital’s leadership team, Bell also has been involved in the development of the Club at the Township and the Sanctuary Spa, a family-oriented fitness facility focused on providing health wellness programs.

Buchanan, Cynthia_rgb-72Cynthia Buchanan
Executive Vice President, Jackson Chamber,
Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership

No task is too large or too small for Cynthia Buchanan. As the executive vice president of the Jackson Chamber of Commerce, one of the largest chamber institutions in the state of Mississippi, Buchanan works closely with local business leaders to get results. She has been instrumental in the establishment of major events such as the Authenticity Awards Banquet, the Red, White and Jackson Fourth of July celebration and the Jackson Business Retention program.

Harrison, Julia_rgb-72Julia Ann Harrison
President, Homestar, LLC

Despite her considerable success as a business owner for over three decades, Julia Ann Harrison lists rearing three children and making sure they graduated from college as her most significant accomplishment. The Koscuisko native is president of Homestar, a Ridgeland company specializing in the design and construction of upscale homes. Previously, Harrison owned one of the largest heating and air conditioning companies in the southeastern United States. The director of the Madison County Junior Miss franchise for the past 10 years, Harrison also is president and a member of the board for the Jackson Real Estate Investment Group.

Jackson, Mary_rgb-72Mary Jackson
Senior Manager, Technical Support/Facilities Management, Comcast Cable-Madison

For Mary Jackson, pleasing the customer is the name of the game. A Houston, Texas, native, Jackson is the senior manager in the Customer Care Division of Comcast in Madison. She holds responsibility over all aspects of the company’s call center, including motivating a staff of six call center managers and 40 supervisors. In 2013, Jackson was selected as a Rising Leader by Women in Cable Telecommunications. Prior to joining Comcast in 2008, Jackson worked at FedEx in various roles and has expertise in strategic planning, human resources and technology.

Jones, Willie_rgb-72Willie Jones
President & Chief Executive Officer,
Dependable Source Corp. of Mississippi

With true entrepreneurial spirit, Willie Jones launched Dependable Source Corporation of Mississippi in October 1995. A “one-woman” show, the Bassfield native did it all, including business development, sales and hiring. An employee leasing firm specializing in commercial truck drivers, Dependable Source now boasts nearly 100 employees and is considered one of the best in the commercial trucking field. In the last three years, Jones started Dependable Source In-Home Care for Seniors and Disabled Persons.

Simmons, Candie_rgb-72Candie Simmons
Senior Vice President, regional marketing director, Regions

In her role as regional marketing director for Regions Bank in Mississippi, Candie Simmons provides marketing and advertising support for 137 branches. Prior to coming to Regions, Simmons worked as assistant director of alumni affairs for the University of Mississippi, where she was chief fundraiser for the Robert “Gentle Ben” Williams Scholarship Endowment. In the past three years, Simmons has worked closely with the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi, participating with Camp KANDU and raising money for their annual walk.

Swartzfager, Selena_rgb-72Selena Swartzfager
President, Mississippi Council on Economic Education

Selena Swartzfager is a firm believer that a person’s success is a result of being surrounded by great people. The president of the Mississippi Council on Economic Education, Swartzfager’s goal for the organization is to educate teachers so that they can teach students to become economically literate. Under her leadership, the MCEE has trained 1,300 teachers and reached over 130,000 students across the state. Additionally, Swartzfager has served on the executive committee for the National Association of Economic Educators.

Wolverton, Mary_rgb-72Mary Ashley Wolverton
Chief Financial Officer, DIG

Mary Ashley Wolverton is the chief financial officer and part owner of DIG Creative Solutions in Flowood. DIG (Digital Imaging Group) is a graphic design agency that provides advertising solutions and works with businesses throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico to develop and concept their advertising needs. Numbered among Wolverton’s clients are C-Spire Wireless, Nissan North America, Newk’s, Yates Construction, the Army National Guard and the St. Louis Cardinals.

The remainder of the Class of 2013 include:

» Sabrena Goins Bartley
» Lisa Bell
» Mary Allen Bennett
» Latasha Bibb
» Barbara Ann Bluntson
» Krista Bower
» Stephanie Jones Boyette
» Talamieka McNeil-Brice
» Elizabeth M. Brister
» Chrissy Linn Cullinane
» C. Rochelle Culp
» Tracy Diez
» Michele L. Escudé
» Portia Ballard Espy
» Catherine F. Feibelman
» Keri T. Haralson
» Sandy Havard
» Rosalyn Smith Howard
» Paige Hunt
» Nicole R. Johns
» Mary Kelly
» Kiffany Lee
» Mary Clay Morgan
» Kamesha Brown Mumford
» Katrina Boyette Myricks
» Kimberly Walker Nailor
» Mindi Phillips
» Lauren Rutland
» Allison C. Simpson
» Becky Smith
» Lisa Stutzman
» Alexe van Buren
» Edie L. Varnado
» Amy L. Walker
» Suzanne Walters
» Jane Sanders Waugh
» Virginia McBryde Todd Weaver
» Becky White
» Jenny Bourn Woodruff

— Mississippi Business Journal


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About Ross Reily

Ross Reily is editor of the Mississippi Business Journal. He is a husband to an amazing wife, dad to 3 crazy kids and 2 dogs. He is also a fan of the Delta State Fighting Okra and the Boston Red Sox.

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