CEO Sees Bright Future

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Richard Hickson, president and CEO of Trustmark Corporation, discussed the economic growth potential for Meridian at a 'Business Before Hours' meeting of the East Mississippi Business Development Corporation.

"I don't think there's any area in the state that has any significant advantage over Meridian. I think you are working in the right areas of industrial development. I think the pact with Alabama will bring some auto industries in here before it is over with," Hickson said.

Hickson said the foundation for development can be found in Meridian's health care system, its partnerships with Mississippi State Meridian campus, and Meridian Community College.

"I think that you have all of the ingredients for a solid decade of growth ahead of you," he said.

With the foundation work set, Hickson said he's very optimistic, especially when you consider Gov. Haley Barbour's experience.

"I am very pleased that we will have the opportunity for Gov. Barbour to use his experience to help bring more business and more jobs to Mississippi," said Hickson.

The CEO said it will take time to see the economic influences and he suggested patience is in order.