Home » Author Archives: Lisa Monti

Author Archives: Lisa Monti

READY TO ORDER LIONFISH TACO? Hunting, eating the fish may be best way to control the invasive species

The bizarre-looking lionfish is native to the Indo-Pacific and may have entered U.S. waters as the result of dumping by aquarium owners.

By LISA MONTI If there was a contest to crown the most menacing among all the aquatic invasive species, the lionfish from Indo-Pacific waters surely would reign. In the appearance category, the lionfish is strikingly exotic, with lots of moving parts and dramatic curves. Beyond its looks, the fish has dangerous attributes. Venomous quills help keep captors and predators away. Its ...

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BANKERS READY TO BUILD — 200 volunteers from 9 financial institutions to work together at Habitat house


By LISA MONTI  Nine Jackson area financial institutions will join together for the first time as a team to build a Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Capital Area home in a south Jackson neighborhood. The banks all have supported Habitat by building houses, sponsoring events and serving on boards and committees, but this year’s build will be the first time employees ...

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Health care mergers alter market


By LISA MONTI  It has been a summer of mergers. Kicking off the July announcements, insurer Centene Corp. agreed to buy Health Net Inc. for $6 billion in cash and stock. Then Aetna announced its intention to merge with rival Humana in a $37 billion deal. The resulting new company would have more than 33 million members. Also in July, ...

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Speciality Fuel Services’ mission is to be there when emergencies occur

As their webpage image indicates, “We are strictly an emergency provider,” said Trey Howard, managing partner at Specialty Fuel Services.

By LISA MONTI The record-breaking 2005 hurricane season, which included Katrina, revealed gaps in how fuel was distributed to first responders and others on the front lines. Kirk Dickerson, who owns and operates Dickerson Petroleum and Dickerson Transportation in Kosciusko, saw an opportunity to fill those gaps and in 2006 founded Speciality Fuel Services. Soon afterward he was joined by Walton ...

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Ambassadors are the face of the Chamber

Ambassadors for the Greater Starkville Development Partnership Chamber. They wear maroon in keeping with the hometown Mississippi State University theme.

By LISA MONTI Ribbon cuttings are probably what come to mind when you hear a mention of Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors but the community volunteers provide many more valuable services to chambers and economic development agencies across the nation. In Mississippi, Ambassadors can be found from Oxford to the Coast. They help with membership drives, welcome new businesses to the ...

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Keesler Federal Credit Union branching out


By LISA MONTI  Branching out into new markets, including Louisiana, is part of the strategy that has helped make Keesler Federal Credit Union the largest in Mississippi. Founded in 1947, the Biloxi-based credit union has $2.2 billion in assets. The new markets have increased the credit union’s membership and loans, said Sharon Keller, vice president of marketing. Wherever its branches ...

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When are ingredients right to expand your small business.

Crab and Mushroom penne

  By LISA MONTI When Karen Kurr started selling her homemade casseroles at nearby farmers markets a decade ago, she couldn’t have imagined what she was in for. “It’s been a whirlwind,” she said. Her Oxford-based company, No Time 2 Cook, marked its tenth anniversary in March but Kurr has been too busy to celebrate, mainly filling orders for such ...

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Trade groups book conventions early to get wishes

In this Wednesday, May 13, 2015 photo, tourists line the beaches in Gulf Shores, Ala., a prime spot along the Gulf of Mexico for conventions. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

By LISA MONTI  Trade association annual conventions typically are a blend of business meetings, networking sessions and vendor expos mixed with a round of golf or other diversions. The locations for these meetings are generally decided by the group’s board of directors with deference to what the membership favors. For some groups, when the association finds a spot its members ...

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Restructuring a 12-hospital system for Merit follows changing strategy in health care industry


By LISA MONTI  In late January, six hospitals in the Jackson-Vicksburg area that are affiliated with Community Health Systems formed a single regional healthcare system named Merit Health. Five months later, the six remaining CHS-affiliated hospitals across Mississippi were folded into Merit Health, creating what is said to be the state’s largest healthcare system based on the number of facilities. ...

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