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Top 40: Andy Gipson

At work, Andy Gipson answers to a mere 27,000 fellow Mississippians.

The Rankin County native is a state representative for District 27, which encompasses Rankin, Simpson and Smith counties. Gipson, who also is an attorney for Jackson law firm Watkins, Ludlam, Winter & Stennis, takes both responsibilities very seriously.

“Crafting, advocating and adopting state policy is an important work, and it is a pleasure to serve,” he said. “In whatever business you are in, you have to have the ability to listen well, articulate goals and execute the plan. I think that is part and parcel of being a leader.”

A 2007 summa cum laude graduate of the Mississippi College School of Law, Gipson’s legal duties include helping state businesses raise capital and handling numerous private placement offerings under Regulation D, Rule 147 securities exemptions.

In October 2009, Gipson served as project attorney for Watkins’ client Hancock Holding Co. in connection with the bank’s successful $175.5-million underwritten secondary public offering.

“Despite the difficult market conditions, the Hancock offering closed successfully and constituted the best-priced offering of any bank in the nation that year,” he said. “You could say that was my best professional accomplishment in my law career.”

Aside from law and politics, Gipson enjoys his involvement in charitable endeavors, especially the R.E.A.L. Christian Foundation, a grant-making link between small, rural Christian organizations and major philanthropic resources.

Gipson has served on the R.E.A.L. board of directors since 2007.

“Andy’s background and years of experience have assisted us in improving our operations, structure, productivity and performance,” said Dolphus Weary, president of R.E.A.L. “His spirit always demonstrates patience in all that he does.  I believe that whatever work his is assigned to do, Andy will always do a great job.”

An avid outdoorsman, the versatile attorney also raises cattle on his family’s Simpson County farm. In fact, when Gipson was a college student, he built a tin-roofed, rustic cabin on the property and lived there for several years.

“I studied my undergraduate and law book by coal oil lantern, and I think back fondly on those days,” he said, wistfully.

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