Meridian, Miss. Many know Doc Braswell from his 33 years at AT&T, his 25 years at Mississippi State University, or his past few years at the East Mississippi Business Development Corporation. This week he announced his retirement for the third time, this time from the EMBDC where he provided Business Development Counseling free of charge. Braswell says that about 70% of businesses fail, and it was his goal to help people not be a part of that 70%.
"We started out with that premise, and most of the businesses that we helped that actually got started and followed through and did the planning right, they actually are succeeding.
Wade Jones, President of the EMBDC, believes that Doc is part of the reason several East Mississippi businesses were started and continue to thrive.
"He has shared his gift, his understanding of small business with this community and this entire region, helping over 9000 individuals make an assessment of whether they want to go into business or not, or whether they should go into business or not. Nearly 800 of those did establish a business in Lauderdale County.
With so much experience, and a passion to help others every day he is able, he is now heading up a new mission at Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church.
"What I'm doing now is a mission reaching out to people, primarily the elderly and handicapped people who just need somebody to watch after them or care for them."
Doc doesn't see himself slowing down anytime soon, and has one statement he believes sums up his life and is advice to others.
"Life has meaning in direct relationship and direct proportion to the contribution you make to other people's lives."