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Sullivan named MBJ's Businesswoman of the Year

Janet Sullivan loves her job.
In fact, she enjoys it so much that on many weekends while others are having fun, Sullivan can often be found working in her Natchez office.
As special projects coordinator for the Southern District of the Mississippi Department of Transportation, Sullivan’s dedication to both her profession and the community has been officially recognized.
Last Thursday, she was named 2010 Business Woman of the Year during the “Mississippi’s 50 Leading Business Women” luncheon at the Mississippi Trade Mart in Jackson.
“I am stunned. Thrilled, but stunned,” said Sullivan, still holding a bouquet of a dozen pink roses following the announcement.  “It’s a culmination of 40 years in the workforce. I can’t thank (Southern District commissioner) Wayne Brown enough for allowing me to be a part of such a progressive and innovative agency.”
Approximately 400 attended the annual luncheon, which is the final event of the two-day Mississippi Business & Technology EXPO 2010, a special project of the Mississippi Business Journal.
In between receiving congratulations on her award backstage, Sullivan admitted she had but one regret on the day.
“I wish my parents could have been here to see this but my dad passed in January and my mother broke her hip a few weeks ago,” said the Natchez native.  “However, I was thrilled that they knew last September that I had been chosen as one of the top 50 women.”
Iconic Mississippi conservationist Paul Ott has known Sullivan for several years.
“Janet is so deserving of this award and I couldn’t be happier for her,” said Ott, who attended the luncheon.  “She has accomplished so much for the Southern District and the Natchez-Adams County area as well.”
Since 1988, Sullivan has been responsible for coordinating highway ceremonies in the 14 counties of the district.  Groundbreakings, dedication ceremonies, bridge openings, ribbon cuttings and other special projects are just a segment of her responsibilities.
She also has served on a variety of boards in the Natchez area, including Keep Mississippi Beautiful and the Mayor’s Beautification Committee.
Sullivan says one of her proudest accomplishment was helping get enhancement grants for the City of Natchez Visitor Reception and Intermodal Transportation Center.
“The center is the focal point and ‘first stop’ for all visitors entering Natchez and is at the same time sensitive to the environment,” said Sullivan, who also is chairman of the Natchez Garden Club.
Along with Sullivan, nine other “Mississippi’s 50 Leading Business Women” candidates were recognized as Top 10 finalists: Crisler Moffat Boone, Jackson Preparatory School; Rita Floyd, Trustmark National Bank; Margo Hemphill, Oneway, Inc.; Manisha Sethi Malhotra, Internal Medicine & Pediatric Associates; Dorothy McEwen, South Mississippi Regional Center; Becky Montgomery, Mississippi Power Company; Carol Moore, Mississippi Export Assistance Center; Ann Coleman Thames, Mississippi Department of Mental Health; Amy Tuck, Mississippi State University and Rene Woodward, Jackson Municipal Airport Authority.


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  1. Chris Wallace

    What a slap in the face to women all over Mississippi who actually run businesses that feed their families and employ others. As far as I can tell, Ms. Sullivan has never even worked for a business much less owned or managed one. Judging from the other candidates as well, this award should have been “State Employee of the Year” since about half of them do not even work in the private sector. Again, just insulting to real business women all over Mississippi.

  2. You must realize while nominees for the award may not run a self-employed business, they, infact, operate huge budgets and run the government sector much like a business. Many of the large funded agencies push out dollars to small buisness across the state which generates revenue for individuals and taxes. While a small business owner may be no less qualified to win an award, and should be thanked for what they do, many women in government manage multi-million dollar entities. These jobs do feed their families, and the families of thousands of Mississippian’s. MBJ must look at the entire package and not just if the person runs a small business.

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