Breakfast recognizes past, present

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Published: March 29,2013

Tags: EXPO, Mississippi Business Journal, Stephen McDill

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Combine that with some of the most important women in Mississippi, and you get the 2013 inaugural “50 Leading Business Women” alumni breakfast.

The April 4 event is 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Mississippi Trade Mart in Jackson. It will honor past winners of the popular Mississippi Business Journal awards program and will include a toast to the opening of the 2013 Mississippi Business & Technology EXPO at the Mississippi Trade Mart in Jackson.

Breakfast will be served by Mangia Bene Catering, with music and entertainment arranged by Jackson jazz artist Raphael Semmes.

The program is organized by the Mississippi Business Journal each year to recognize 50 of the state’s leading business women from the public and private sectors. Inductees to the current class attended a two-day leadership retreat at Eagle Ridge Conference Center and a special reception last year at the recently renovated Governor’s Mansion in Jackson. A leading “Business Woman of the Year” is chosen from the class in February each year and profiled in the weekly issue of MBJ.

Past MBJ “Business Woman of the Year” winners will give remarks at the breakfast, including the program’s first honoree, Sister Dorothea with St. Dominic Health Systems and 2013 winner and Old Capitol Inn owner Mende Malouf Alford.

The Mississippi Economic Council is the sponsor of this year’s breakfast and MEC president and CEO Blake Wilson says the program continues to show the important contributions so many leaders from all regions of the state have made.

“MEC has been a long-time supporter of this program and this will be a wonderful opportunity to honor the 50 Leading Business Women alumni for the work they are continuing to do to make Mississippi a better place to live and work,” Wilson says.

“We’ve been doing it since 1997 so it will be interesting to see where they are now and what they are doing,” says MBJ advertising director and EXPO coordinator Tami Jones. “The program is about the networking and relationships. It is a program that keeps giving.”

“The networking opportunities have been invaluable not only as a business person but also as an individual,” says 2011 Business Woman of the Year and Mississippi Music president Rosi Johnson.

“I see and have contact with women not only in my class but those that have been chosen in future years since I have continued to attend Business Women functions.”

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” says 2010 Business Woman of the Year Janet Sullivan. The special projects manager for the southern district of the Mississippi Department of Transportation was the first woman in state government to be honored with the high award and called the event “a very seminal moment in my life.”

“It just makes you feel that the long hours and the stress and goals you set and the perfection you demand for yourself has been worthwhile,” Sullivan says. “I would just say to those young ladies starting out and even those further on in their business to don’t give up. Do not lower your standards. Persevere and the harder you work the luckier you will be.”

“Women leaders face things that their male counterparts don’t face,” 2009 winner and TEC vice-president Joey Garner says. “To have someone understand the perspective we share is a great opportunity. It’s a great program.”

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