A new slate of executive officers has been elected to the Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) Board of Directors. The new member and officers were elected at the recent annual awards meeting held in Jackson.
Ed Gardner of Entergy Mississippi in Jackson has been elected as the MMSA Board President for 2018-2019.
“The Main Street program is essential to economic development efforts in Mississippi,” said Ed Gardner, MMSA Board President. “It is one of the key quality of life drivers that attracts new business and industry. I am honored to lead the state organization as we seek to lead and grow the visibility of the more than 50 cities and towns we work in.”
As Director of Business and Economic Development for Entergy, Gardner is an experienced economic developer with more than 20 years at the regional level in both the public and private sectors.
Before joining Entergy Mississippi in 2015, Gardner served as the economic development representative in Florida for PowerSouth Energy Cooperative, which is a generation and transmission cooperative headquartered in South Alabama. Gardner led the development of a two-year targeted aerospace marketing campaign that resulted in a significant increase in project activity. While in Florida, Gardner served as Chairman of Florida’s Great Northwest and the Chair for Enterprise Florida’s Stakeholder’s Council.
Prior to joining PowerSouth, Gardner worked as Vice President of Economic Development and Workforce at the Birmingham Business Alliance in Birmingham, Ala. In this position, Gardner was responsible for recruitment, workforce development and leading a strategic planning process for the seven-county Birmingham metro area.
Gardner has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Central Oklahoma and a Master’s Degree from Auburn University in Public Administration.
He is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), as well as a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP), with more than 13 years of local economic development experience.
The newly-elected MMSA executive officers are: President Ed Gardner, Director of Business and Economic Development, Entergy Mississippi in Jackson; President-Elect Kevin Stafford, Vice President of Neel-Schaffer, Inc. in Columbus; Treasurer Steven B. Dick, Economic Development Manager for Mississippi Power in Gulfport; and Past President Allison Beasley, Economic/Workforce Development Division Director, Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District in Gulfport.
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