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Phil Bryant

Former Gov. Bryant quickly finds a niche in the private sector

Joey Songy

By JACK WEATHERLY

   Former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has found a place in the private sector that has a familiar ring to it.

   He is a founding partner in Bryant Songy Snell Global Partners and will focus on economic development in the Southeast and international trade markets.

   Bryant completed his second four-year term as governor on Jan. 14, when former Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves was sworn in as his successor.

   He joins Joey Songy, who continues to focus on economic development and strategic planning partners, and new partner Katie Bryant Snell, Bryant’s daughter, who will provide strategic advice and counsel on development opportunities to a variety of industry clients and advocates for policy initiatives on behalf of public and private entities. 

   Bryant Songy Snell is a newly rebranded and expanded version of Songy LLC, a strategy and business development firm launched in September by Joey Songy (pronounced SOHN-GEE), the governor’s former chief of staff and counsel.

   “When I founded the firm with a vision to help businesses grow and expand, and to advance economic development across the state, a driving force was to have Gov. Bryant join me after he left office to cultivate strategies that will help companies flourish and prosper. Katie brings to our firm vast policy experience and expertise both in the public and private arenas,” Songy said in a release. “Together, their leadership will help us chart future economic expansion across the marketplace.”

   Bryant’s hallmark as governor was jobs creation, as well as education.

   He will be able to continue to concentrate on economic development, as well as education, from the private sector. “I’m excited to have a firm where these driving forces can be cultivated, with two great partners for years to come,” Bryant said in a prepared statement.

   He said in an interview that he would function as a “senior adviser” for the firm, and while he will have an office with the firm, which is seeking new quarters in the metro Jackson area, he will commute from rural Copiah County, where he and his wife, Deborah, have purchased a house. Befitting the new lifestyle, Bryant said he has bought a new pickup.

   Bryant served two terms as governor, from 2012 till 2020, succeeding Haley Barbour. Prior to that, he was lieutenant governor and auditor of the state. His public sector career started in 1992 when he was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives.

   After graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi, Bryant became a drug law enforcement officer. He later received a master’s degree from Mississippi College, where he taught political history for a number of years. Bryant also worked as an insurance claims investigator.

   Songy spent seven years in the Bryant administration, and brought his numerous years of public and private sector experience to launching the firm. Songy was Bryant’s chief of staff, and as Bryant’s counsel and policy adviser, Songy was responsible for tax policy, economic development, public finance, revenue, workforce and technology. During his tenure, he was appointed by the White House to the Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee on Trade to represent state and local governments.

   Prior to joining Bryant’s administration, Songy was an attorney in Purvis, where he founded the Songy Law Firm. He is on the board of Mississippi Ed/Net and Mississippi Telehealth Association.

   Snell previously served as an attorney for the Madison County Board of Supervisors. She previously focused her practice on product liability litigation, election and campaign finance, commercial litigation, employment litigation and government litigation at a private law firm.

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About Jack Weatherly