Home » NEWS » Economic Development » Castilla elected 2014-2015 MEC chair, new leadership positions announced

Castilla elected 2014-2015 MEC chair, new leadership positions announced

robin robinson 2013JACKSON, Mississippi – Alveno N. Castilla, a member of the Business Services Group and a partner with Butler Snow LLP, has been elected as the 2014-2015 Mississippi Economic Council Chair.

David Gates, President of the Mississippi Division at Atmos Energy, was elected to serve as the 2015-2016 Chair.  Robin Robinson, Director of Organization Development and Corporate Communications at Sanderson Farms, Inc., was elected as 2016-2017 Chair.  William Yates III, President of W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Company, will serve as Treasurer for 2014-2015.

Castilla joined Butler Snow in August of 2012.  Prior to joining Butler Snow, Castilla was a tax partner with Watkins Ludlam Winter & Stennis, P.A. and its successor, Jones Walker LLP.  Castilla is also a CPA, licensed in both Mississippi and Tennessee.  He is a Fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation and a former member of the Mississippi Bar Board of Commissioners and former president of the Capitol Area Bar Association. He belongs to a number of professional organizations, including the District of Columbia Bar Association, the Mississippi Society of CPAs, the Sections of Taxation of the Mississippi Bar, the American Bar Association and the American Institute of CPAs.

Castilla serves on Governor Bryant’s Mississippi Works committee and on the Blueprint Mississippi steering council. He also served on Governor Barbour’s Blue Ribbon Mississippi Tax Study Commission.  Castilla is past president of the Arts Alliance of Jackson & Hinds County and past co-chairman of Jackson 2000.

He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the following organizations: the Mississippi e-Center Foundation (Chair), Mississippi Baptist Health Systems, Eco Jazz NFP, Inc. (Chair), Mississippi Center for Education Innovation (Chair), Jackson State University Development Foundation, and MINACT, Inc.  He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson.

“MEC’s strength comes from strong participation of key business and community leaders from throughout Mississippi. These leaders understand what can be accomplished by sharing a common vision and speaking in a unified voice,” Castilla said.  “The future of Mississippi business has never been brighter.”

Gates serves Atmos Energy as President of the Mississippi Division.  He began his career in the energy industry with Entex in Houston, TX. He has been in Utility Operations management since 1987 and joined Atmos Energy in 1991. In 1993, he was named Vice President of Technical Services for the West Texas Division, and in 2003 he moved to Kentucky to become Vice President of Operations for the Kentucky/Mid-States Division. He was named President of the Mississippi Division in 2007. He is a member of the boards of the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership, Jackson Chamber of Commerce, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Mississippi Energy Institute and Mississippi Economic Council where he served as past chair of the M.B. Swayze Foundation and Leadership Mississippi.

Robinson is Director of Organization Development and Corporate Communications at Sanderson Farms, Inc.  She began her career at Sanderson Farms in 1978 after graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration. In 2000, she was named Director of Organization Development and Corporate Communication. She serves on the Sanderson Farms Executive Committee and also chairs the Wage and Salary Committee.  She serves as chair of the Jones County Junior College Foundation and the American Lung Association Plains-Gulf Region.  Robinson has served as president of the Institution of Higher Learning Board of Trustees; president of the United Way of the Pine Belt; national president of Business and Professional Women/USA; president of the Mississippi Federation of Business and Professional Women; and has served on the University of Mississippi Southern Mississippi Alumni Association International Board of Directors.  At MEC, Robinson was past chair of the M.B. Swayze Foundation and Leadership Mississippi.

Yates is the President & CEO of W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Company.  He serves on the Board of Directors for Trustmark National Bank and Trustmark Corporation.  He is currently Chairman of the Mississippi Partnership for Economic Development and is also on the Board of Directors for the Gulf Coast Business Council.  He is the immediate past president of the board for the United Way of South Mississippi and serves on the board of the Mississippi Energy Institute.  He was the 2013-14 Chairman of the Southeast U.S.-Japan Association Annual Meeting.  Yates serves on the Millsaps College Board of Trustees, the Blueprint Mississippi Advisory Council and the Mississippi Economic Council Board of Directors.


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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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