Spotlighting the people and businesses in Mississippi making headlines in their communities and across their industry.
Here’s a look at what’s happening across the business community in Mississippi.
Keesler Federal opens new branch in Jackson
Keesler Federal Credit Union is expanding in central Mississippi. Last week, the financial institution announced the opening of a new branch on Meadowbrook Road in Jackson. It is the sixth location in the central Mississippi market.
The branch, which opened on June 5th, occupies 9,000 square feet (first floor) and includes 8 interior offices for credit union personnel and IT support staff, along with training rooms for trainees. The new location will serve as the central hub for Jackson-area Keesler Federal employees undergoing training or meetings.
“We’ve seen tremendous growth in the central Mississippi market over the past several years,” said Josh Brown, Keesler Federal’s Vice President of Branch Operations, in a statement. “This new location not only provides our members with another convenient location but gives us greater capacity to train our employees in order to better serve our members.”
With over $4.2 billion in assets and $1 billion in new loans annually, Keesler Federal is the largest Mississippi-based credit union and among the top 100th largest credit unions nationally. Established in 1947, Keesler Federal is a not-for-profit financial cooperative owned by its more than 300,000 members worldwide. The financial institution has 40 locations throughout the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Jackson, Hattiesburg, Mobile, and greater New Orleans markets.
MDAC launches new website for Mississippi timber industry
The Mississippi Department of Agriculture of Commerce (MDAC) has launched a website dedicated to marketing Mississippi’s timber and forest products. The site is now live and can be accessed here.
According to MDAC, forestry is Mississippi’s third largest industry, earning $1.3 billion in 2022. Currently, Mississippi is home to 19,235,186 acres of forestland and provides 64,544 timber-related jobs.
MDAC’s new online portal showcases Mississippi’s timber resources, including a general overview of the economic impact of timber to the state and allows timber buyers, sellers and producers to complete a profile for inquiries for the buying or selling of timber. It also provides logistics information and an overview of the state’s infrastructure.
“Some time ago, our agency saw a need to create a useful, verified resource to promote Mississippi timber, which is one of our state’s largest industries,” said Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson. “Before, this kind of valuable information was not readily available. This timber website will be an asset to economic developers and logistics coordinators, as well as timber and forest product producers, sellers and buyers around the state.”
Developers break ground on new Pascagoula retail center
A long-dilapidated site on Highway 90 in Pascagoula is finally getting new life. Last week, developers Kevin Jennings and Jamey Flegal with Noon Real Estate joined local city and county elected officials in breaking ground on a $21 million retail development.
The site currently houses an old drug store building that was turned into a flea market many years ago. City officials began trying to attract developers to the location, working with the property owner and county officials over five years ago.
The site will feature five retail chains: ALDI, TJ Maxx, Burlington, 5 Below and Rack Room Shoes.
The city says the new retail development will create jobs, drive economic impact and promote quality of life.
Former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Pierce joins Coast law firm
The Gulf Coast law firm formerly known as Bordis Danos, founded in Ocean Springs in 2015, is welcoming the addition of former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Randy “Bubba” Pierce. The firm is now Bordis Danos Pierce and also adds a Lucedale office.
Previously Director of the Mississippi Judicial College, Pierce also served as Chancery Judge for the Sixteenth District Court in Jackson, George, and Greene counties. Pierce is a renowned litigator with a wealth of experience in all aspects of chancery court, general civil litigation, youth court matters, civil appellate matters, governmental law, and government relations.
“We are incredibly excited for this next chapter for our firm,” said firm partner and founder Josh Danos. “Bubba is one of the premier attorneys in the southeast, and we are proud to add his experience and expertise to our firm.”
Former MEMA director Michel joins BSS Global
BSS Global has announced that Col. Greg Michel (retired), former director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), has joined the consultancy firm. Michel will focus on business development for disaster preparedness, management, and recovery, and military and government initiatives.
During his tenure at MEMA, Michel led the agency through federally declared disasters, COVID-19, and severe weather. After retiring from MEMA, he was the Chief Operating Officer for the largest independently owned petroleum distributor and supplier in the United States.
Michel served nearly 30 years in the Mississippi Army National Guard in numerous capacities and assignments, retiring as Colonel after his final posting as Installation Commander for Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center, the largest National Guard Training Center. He is also a Veteran of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm and Combat Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.