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MBJ FEATURE

Same office, new title

Host named president and chief executive officer of Trustmark Jerry Host sat in his roomy, comfortable office, sipping a cup of coffee while he reflected on his career at Trustmark National Bank, which began as the assistant manager of the bank’s investment department. “I started out right here in this very office,” said Host with a wry smile. “We had ...

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Cotton rebounds

Johnny Swayze, 58, has been in the cotton business as long as he can remember. Ask him if remembers the worst crop in his lifetime, and he doesn’t have to go back far — only to last year. “We don’t have anybody living today that can remember one worse,” said Swayze, who operates the Midway Gin in Benton. Rain washed ...

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Public record or corporate secrets

PSC to decide whether public should be privy to matters concerning their pocket books ahead of corporate concerns of confidentiality By AMY McCullough I STAFF WRITER amy.mccullough@msbusiness.com At a hearing last week regarding whether Mississippi’s public utilities should be able to hide certain documents from the public, several utilities spoke out in favor of leaving the Public Service Commission rule ...

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Acquisitions and mergers

Flurry of activity may be in the future of many Mississippi institutions A desire to offset dried up demand for consumer and business loans may set off a round of acquisitions and mergers among Mississippi banks. With ledger sheets showing greatly diminished interest income, bankers must get resourceful if they want to see some money flowing. Banking consultant Hans Pettit ...

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Students, students everywhere

Most universities challenged by increased enrollment State higher education leaders are calling it a “good problem.” Preliminary fall enrollment is up from fall 2009, with several institutions reporting record numbers. Now, universities are challenged to accommodate all of the new students while facing ever shrinking state appropriations. The State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) reports a system-wide increase of 4.1 ...

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College Board to ‘take action’ at troubled Mississippi Valley

Mississippi’s Commissioner of Higher Education plans to take action with Mississippi Valley State University, the only state-funded university to show a dramatic decrease in enrollment, while high numbers of job seekers are heading back to class in the down economy. MVSU enrollment has taken a 12.6 percent nose dive, according to preliminary numbers released this week by the state College ...

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The changing role of bankers

Community bankers may need to recalibrate skills to survive in today’s world Community bankers who have thrived by building business and relationships may need to recalibrate their skills to survive in today’s world of loan defaults and sinking real estate values. Further, they may have to convince more than their boards of directors that they have the right stuff. If ...

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Who decides? Earmarks in the crosshairs

About a decade ago, Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall got a phone call from then-U.S. Sen. Trent Lott. Lott, at the time the Senate’s majority leader, brought tidings of great financial joy. “He said ‘I’m going to send you $100 million to build that bridge in Greenville,’” Hall recalled in an interview last week. That bridge in Greenville carries ...

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Debt crisis

If TVA doesn’t get approval from Congress to raise its debt ceiling of $30 billion, ratepayers may be forced to pay the price   The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has a goal to be a national leader in clean energy and increased nuclear production. But to do this, the federal power producer needs money, and its credit could soon be dried ...

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Service decision made the difference for McInvale

HVAC company grows from humble beginnings It seems a most unlikely business story. A heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) company sets up shop in an accounting firm with a total of one employee, and today employs more than two-dozen workers housed in a large, purpose-built facility serving commercial and residential clients scattered across Central Mississippi. But then, McInvale Heating ...

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