MBJ Business Woman of the Year Top 10
The City of Ridgeland Chamber of Commerce
For Linda Bynum, helping others has become a way of life. The executive director for the City of Ridgeland Chamber of Commerce, Bynum is involved in fundraising for several non-profits, including Hospice Ministries Chapel, American Cancer Society, Adam’s Playground and Special Olympics Mississippi. Growing up in Tupelo, Bynum has served in her current capacity with the City of Ridgeland since 1996. One of her most cherished accomplishments was leading a fundraising drive to raise over $100,000 and in-kind donations to complete the chapel on the Hospice Ministries campus located on Towne Center Boulevard in Ridgeland.
A graduate of Mississippi University for Women, Bynum is an active member of Executive Women International – Jackson Chapter; Jackson Professional Women’s Association and the Madison County Creative Economy Council. An avid reader and traveler, Bynum enjoys spending time with family, friends and her Maltese dog, Sunny.
Mary S. Graham
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
Dr. Mary S. Graham, was named the 12th President of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in 2011. The more than 100-year-old, multi-campus institution serves more than 30,000 residents annually in its four-county district with a $117 million operating budget and more than 1,000 full- and part-time employees. A native of Mississippi, Dr. Graham earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi (USM); her Master’s and Bachelor’s Degrees are from USM as well. As an MGCCC graduate and alumna, she embraces the philosophy of the community college and the rich tradition of excellence in education. During Graham’s tenure as president of MGCCC, the college has been recognized as a “Great College to Work For” in 2012 and 2014. The college has also been named as a “Top 100 Associate Degree Producer” by Community College Week and has been one of 150 community colleges nationwide invited to apply for the prestigious Aspen Prize.
Pam Files Gregory
Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance
Today’s business environment calls for innovation and collaboration, and Pam Gregory wholeheartedly endorses the idea. With over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, she prides herself on making clients comfortable enough to trust her. A Jackson native, Gregory is Senior Vice President for Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance, a subsidiary of Trustmark Bank. In her role, she oversees an employee benefits team in consulting, sales and marketing of comprehensive employee benefit packages. Named the 2012 Health Underwriter of the Year by the Mississippi Association of Health Underwriters, Gregory has served as past president of the MAHU and the State Association of Health Underwriters. A dedicated member of Broadmoor Baptist Church, she also serves as a committee member for the City of Jackson Chamber of Commerce’s Healthcare Initiative. Gregory enjoys power walking in her leisure time.
Huntington Ingalls Industries
The Vice President of Supply Chain Management, Lori Harper joined Ingalls Shipbuilding in 2002 and has held leadership positions in multiple areas, including Production Control Director and Subcontracts Section Manager. Currently, she provides leadership to all Gulf Coast supply chain management functions, playing a critical role in meeting company commitments. Harper received her undergraduate degree from Southwestern Oklahoma State University and an MBA from William Carey University. Additionally, she has completed leadership training at the Darden School of Business and is a certified Six Sigma Green Belt. An executive sponsor for Ingalls’ Women in Shipbuilding Enterprise program, Harper also serves on the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Gulf Coast.
Donna Harvey is fond of saying that she’s not a Southerner by birth but by choice. After all, the Flushing, New York, native moved a lot as a child with her parents before settling in Vicksburg. Harvey is the Human Resources Manager for Yazoo City’s CF Industries. Prior to launching her CF career 24 years ago, she worked as retail manager for a clothing store. At CF Industries, Harvey is responsible for recruiting, developing and supporting 275 employees. A cum laude graduate of Mississippi State University and past MSU Alumnus of the Year, Harvey helped CF Industries win the runner-up award for the Mississippi Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work” in 2013. A self-proclaimed “multi-tasker”, Harvey is an avid hunter and has twice traveled to Africa for big-game safaris.
Shelia C. Jackson
During the work day, Sheila Jackson is an Assistant Vice President for Regions Financial Corporation. However, away from the job, she’s known more as “Action” Jackson for her propensity to inspire others to service. Examples of Jackson’s charity work include launching literacy projects in day care centers and schools, coat and can drives for Madison Countians Allied Against Poverty and work days to repair the homes of the elderly. A board member and past president of the Madison Rotary Club, Jackson was chosen as the 2011 Ridgeland Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year. Prior to joining Regions, the Jackson State University graduate worked as a loan officer for BankPlus. When she has time, Jackson enjoys traveling with her husband and three sons.
Cheryl J. Lee
Haddox Reid Eubank Betts PLLC
Being strong no matter the circumstances is something Cheryl Lee learned from her mother. Lee serves as team leader in the Physician Section of Jackson accounting firm Haddox Reid Eubank Betts PLLC. She manages tax planning, payroll and bookkeeping, retirement plan administration and advisory services for clients in the healthcare industry. Lee has worked with Haddox Reid since graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi and earned her way up from tax accountant to a member of the firm. In 2014, the Jackson native was elected by her peers as Vice President/President-Elect for the Mississippi Society of CPAs. Lee is an active member of Country Wood Baptist Church and the Soccer Club of Clinton. A tennis enthusiast, Lee also enjoys bike riding in her spare time.
Cathy L. Northington
Mississippi Economic Council
Ten years ago, Cathy Northington launched her career at the Mississippi Economic Council as a part-time, entry-level employee. Today, Northington serves the MEC as Vice President for Programs and Administration. The Jackson native’s main responsibility is facilitating Leadership Mississippi, the nation’s second-oldest leadership program, and overseeing MEC’s three annual meetings held across the state. A graduate of Mississippi College, Northington enjoys giving back to the community through volunteer work with Special Olympics and the American Cancer Society. Married with three children, she also is an active member of the Professional Women’s Association and Rotary Club. An avid cook who likes to experiment in the kitchen, Northington enjoys fishing in her leisure time.
Tennessee Valley Authority
Amy Tate is the Government Relations Manager for the Tennessee Valley Authority. At TVA, Tate is responsible for maintaining bipartisan working relationships with local, state and national government officials. Before joining TVA, the Natchez native was special assistant to the mayor of Tupelo, where she coordinated public relations efforts for the mayor and city departments. Tate is an alumnus of the Mississippi Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40” and a graduate of Leadership Mississippi. She serves on the boards of Advance Mississippi, Junior Achievement, March of Dimes and the Mississippi Association of Partners in Education. A Mississippi University for Women graduate, Tate earned a double-major bachelor’s degree in public relations and political science. She enjoys playing tennis and traveling.
Shirley R. Tucker
Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership
If asked to name her most valuable personal skill, Shirley Tucker doesn’t hesitate when she says her “ability to work with people from various backgrounds.” It’s a skill that serves the Jackson native well as Vice President of Leadership Development for the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership. Tucker’s job responsibilities include coordinating community leadership programs such as Leadership Greater Jackson, Youth Leadership Jackson and the Leadership Jackson Alumni Association. Previously, she worked as a trainer in the Hinds County Tax Collector’s office. A Jackson State University graduate, Tucker also is a graduate of the Chamber Institute at the University of San Diego. In 2010, she received the Preceptor Award, which is presented by the Association of Leadership Professionals to recognize successful leadership development efforts. In her leisure time, Tucker enjoys traveling with her family.
Remaining finalists …
Kristie Aylett — The KARD Group
Rachel Beech — WDAM
Julie Polk — Breazeale Polk’s Meat Products, Inc.
Hilary Burroughs — Sanderson Farms, Inc.
Emily Chance — BankPlus
Karen Jones de Kock — Protea Dekor
Shane E. Dubois — Community Bank
Charlotte W. Dupré
Jennie A. Eichelberger — Southern Poverty Law Center
Karen Flowers — Mississippi College School of Law
Trina N. George — U.S. Department of Agriculture – Rural Development
Monica Gilmore-Love — Terracon
Mary Martha Henson — Mississippi Economic Development Council
Beth Kellogg — Creative Partners
Susan Floyd King — Jones Walker, LLP
Lenita Knight — Independent Mary Kay consultant
Kelly Kyzar — Comcast Spotlight
Keri Herrington Ladner — Covenant Health & Rehab of Picayune, LLC
Renee Simon Lee — Reeds Jewelers
Lanet McCrary — Magnolia Federal Credit Union
Stephanie S. McCrary — Southern Bone and Joint Specialist, P.A.
Bethany Boone McNease — M.G. Dyess, Inc.
Tonya Nations — Millsaps College
Dr. Ruth R. Nichols — Alcorn State University
Sally Williams O’Callaghan — University of Mississippi Medical Center
Stephanie Patton — The Leland Progress
Melissa Peters — Community Trust Bank
Elizabeth J. Randall — Randall Commercial Group
Cindy Rich — Neel-Schaffer, Inc.
Pat Robertson — PERS of Mississippi
Debbie Rubisoff — Legislative Budget Office
Kassi Rushing — HORNE LLP
Emily Sanders — Confete Events
Kelly Scrivner — Office of First Lady Deborah Bryant
Anne Ligman Turner — Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC
Chan Brewer Vessell — First American Home Buyers Protection Corp.
Evelyn Ricks Walker — Office of Health Disparity Elimination Office of Preventive Health Mississippi State Department of Health
Marlana Walters — The Everyday Gourmet
Rebecca Lee Wiggs — Watkins and Eager
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