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Tag Archives: Blake Wilson

Waller ready to take reins of MEC

By JACK WEATHERLY There have been only three directors of the Mississippi Economic Council in its 68 years. Soon there will be a fourth. Nothing is official, but Scott Waller, an 11-year veteran of the MEC, the state chamber of commerce, in February was named interim president and chief executive effective May 1. The same day, the MEC announced that ...

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Wilson leaving MEC for next director to build on foundation

By JACK WEATHERLY Blake Wilson has continued to make the Mississippi Economic Council a statewide organization. As the third chief executive of the MEC, he said he has built on the foundation established by M.B. Swayze, who led the organization after it was established in 1949. “He went around the state. He had an old Valiant. Everybody told me about ...

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Waller to be interim CEO for MEC as Wilson Prepares to Retire

Scott Waller has been named Interim President & CEO of the Mississippi Economic Council effective May 1, in preparation for the planned retirement of 19-year CEO Blake Wilson on June 16, after a 47-year career, 37 in association work. A native of Shubuta and a graduate of Mississippi State University, Waller is in his 11th year on staff at MEC, ...

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MEC transportation task force on track to wrap up work in late fall

By TED CARTER Congress’ failure to renew federal highway funding beyond the next three months is not expected to keep a Mississippi Economic Council transportation task force from delivering an assessment of the state’s transportation needs and how to pay for them. Supporters of decreasing the state’s $2 billion road & bridge maintenance backlog are counting on the task force’s assessment ...

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Overtime policy plan for salaried workers draws mixed reviews

By JACK WEATHERLY  The U.S. Department of Labor is planning to more than double the pay threshold to $50,440 from $23,660 for salaried workers who are exempt from overtime. About 5 million will be directly affected by change, which is expected to go into effect next year, according to the department. In introducing the rules change, which does not require ...

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Updated: ‘Streamlined’ MDA debuts its analytical website

By JACK WEATHERLY  If it wants to remain competitive with other states, the Mississippi Development Authority needs to streamline and recognize that communications technology has changed. The agency has heeded those findings from a 2014 study funded by the Mississippi Economic Council, the state chamber of commerce. Streamlining means better delivery of services, said George Freeland, executive director of the ...

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Business groups file briefs in support of Kemper coal plant rehearing

By JACK WEATHERLY Three business-support groups have filed briefs with the Mississippi Supreme Court, asking for a rehearing of the case in which a rate increase for Mississippi Power Co. customers was reversed and a refund ordered. The Mississippi Economic Council, the Mississippi Manufacturers Association and the Mississippi Gulf Coast Business Council are seeking to get another review of the ...

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$50 million workforce training bill looks strong in homestretch

By TED CARTER Among the survivors of the bill-thinning that occurs at this stage of Mississippi’s legislative session is legislation to set up a $50 million workforce training program that can respond timely to worker training needs of companies looking to come to Mississippi or expand here. Senate Bill 2457, along with the House version (HB 911) which has been ...

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Tort reform has made a significant impact on Mississippi

A May 14 conference at the Jackson Convention Complex will spotlight the 10th anniversary of an overhaul of Mississippi’s civil justice system, an achievement business leaders say saved the state’s medical sector and polished the state’s image as a place to do business. What you won’t hear at the “Tort Reform: After Ten Years” seminar are the criticisms of personal ...

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State’s Creative Economy potential to be focus of the MEC's annual meeting

Leaders from across the state are showing great confidence in the direction Mississippi is moving and in the ability to improve its economic competitiveness, the Mississippi Economic Council (MEC) says in reporting on a survey done during the MEC’s Blueprint Mississippi Pathway to Progress Tour,. Business and community leaders rate Mississippi as a newly emerging growth state, higher than any ...

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