Hundreds attend EMBDC annual meeting

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 4:50 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - East Mississippi Business Development Corporation’s annual meeting returned in a big way Thursday morning.

Hundreds of business leaders, representatives and elected officials gathered in person this year to talk about the future of economic growth.

“You’ll see from everybody here that they are excited about getting back together for almost anything,” EMBDC President Bill Hannah said. “But certainly for the challenge and growth of our community. That’s what we’re all about.”

The special guest speaker was none other than developer John Tampa. Through a unique question and answer session with Hannah, the audience learned about Tampa’s journey from Romania to Meridian.

“Tampa has an unbelievable story. Every time I’m with him I feel like I need to be recording him and say, ‘whatever you just said, that’s what our people need to hear’,” Hannah said.

Tampa expressed his deep love for the city of Meridian and wants the residents and the business community to support local growth and interests. He said it’s vital to future development.

“They are great business people and people who love their community. Today was just a reminder of what Meridian is,” Tampa said. “As time passes through, we kind of forget our purpose. That purpose is much bigger and larger than us. If we focus on that, then that’s where the difference comes.”

Archie McDonnell, who served three years as chairman of the EMBDC, handed over the gavel to Rush health Systems CEO, Larkin Kennedy. Kennedy served the last four years as a board member.

“I’m so excited to be part of it. There’s some really great things going on in Lauderdale County and I’m excited to be part of it,” Kennedy explained. “I think Bill and his team do a phenomenal job. I just want to do my part to make it better, improve what we’re doing and stay out of their way at the same time.”

Kennedy, Hannah and Tampa all said they’re optimistic about local growth. All of them agree that business leaders and investors in Meridian and Lauderdale County must work together to build a better tomorrow.

There was also an impromptu Christmas song sung by Meridian’s own Todd Tilghman, last year’s winner of The Voice. The meeting was followed by a special field trip to the Threefoot Hotel.

Copyright 2021 WTOK. All rights reserved.