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Supervisors move forward on economic development

The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors took another step in their commitment of putting an economic development organization in place for the entire county when they made appointments to an economic board of directors during their meeting on Wednesday.

The appointed board members will be the foundation put in place to determine how the office will be setup and staffed to support the Board of Supervisors commitment to putting dedicated resources in place for Pearl River County.

Just before each Supervisor made their appointments publicly, Board President Sandy Kane Smith addressed those in attendance.

“We’ve had conversations with our cities (Picayune and Poplarville) and have been working on this for a little over a year and we are now ready to move forward and put our economic board in place. From here on, we will work out things as it progresses,” Smith stated.

The appointees named by the Supervisors are:

District 1, Donald Hart appointed Harold Littles. Mr. Littles retired in 2016 from the Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) at Stennis Space Center after 37 years where he was a physical scientist.

District 2, Malcolm Perry appointed Dr. Scott Alsobrooks. Dr. Alsobrooks is currently the Vice President of Workforce Development and Economic Development at Pearl River Community College.

District 3, Hudson Holliday appointed Joey McClinton. Mr. McClinton is the General Manager of Parish Tractor Company in Poplarville.

District 4, Farron Moeller appointed Kevin Hedgepeth. Mr. Hedgepeth has been a nurse for 28 years and is the Director of Emergency Department, ICU, and Respiratory Therapy for Oschner Health Systems.

District 5, Sandy Kane Smith appointed Darren Champagne. Mr. Champagne is the owner/operator of Walker Body Shop in Picayune.

After the appointees were announced, Smith shared, “I didn’t know who was going to put who on the board, but I’m very pleased. I feel like this county is getting more organized, and we’re not through yet. We’ve got to give these people (appointees and future employees) what they need to turn things around and attract businesses to Pearl River County”.

Ellen Bourdeaux (pictured above - standing) , Project Manager at Mississippi Development Authority, who has been working with the county since 2016 and fostering the organization of an economic development entity, addressed the Supervisors after Mr. Smith’s comments.

“Pearl River County was chosen by MDA because of its tremendous assets. You’ve got close access to ports, a river, an international airport, and you’ve got great people. You also have a wonderful workforce development program at Pearl River Community College. MDA sees Pearl River County as being chocked -full of potential. I’m so grateful you all have made this decision. I am relieved and delighted that you are making progress and thank you for sticking to it,” Bourdeaux commented.


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