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Magnolia on the Move: September 15,...

Magnolia on the Move: September 15, 2023

By: Frank Corder - September 15, 2023

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 workforce and business community in Mississippi.

Jackson’s Beatty Street Grocery is closing

After 83 years of serving the Jackson area, Beatty Street Grocery is closing.

Current owner Mary Harden’s family, the Baldwins, bought the property and began the grocery before World War II. Over the years, the family moved into offering deli options and eventually into a full restaurant.

The Hardens are now looking forward to retirement, they say. The property has been sold.

Harden’s daughter, Skyler Laine, brought national attention to the business when she was a contestant on the 11th season of American Idol where she finished in the Top 5.

The business was also featured on the YouTube show “The Best Ever Food Review Show” where the program highlighted unique comfort food around Jackson, Mississippi.

Kessie leaving WLOX

After being with the WLOX team for 35 years, News Director Brad Kessie is leaving the Coast television station to move to Chicago to be closer to family.

Kessie began as a reporter on the Mississippi Coast and served in that role for 21 years. He was then promoted to News Director and held that position for 14 years.

WLOX said in a statement that a successor to Kessie has not yet been announced.

USM Alumni Association announces 2023 Hall of Fame inductees

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Alumni Association will induct eight of its most dedicated and distinguished alumni into its Hall of Fame. The list includes business and community leaders across Mississippi and beyond.

The 2023 inductees include:

  • John Atherton ’82 of Gulfport, Miss.
  • Col. Carlen J. Chestang Jr., USA Retired ’84, Huntsville, Ala.
  • Rick Cleveland ’75 of Jackson, Miss.
  • Thomas Duff, ’79 of Hattiesburg, Miss.
  • Rhonda Phillips, Ph.D. ’83, ’86 of Pittsburgh, Penn.
  • Benny Waddle Jr. ’82 of Hattiesburg, Miss.
  • Doug ’79 and Susan Fasano Williams ’78 of Clinton, Miss.

“The Alumni Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed to any alumnus of the University,” said Jerry DeFatta, executive director of the Southern Miss Alumni Association, in a statement. “Each inductee has experienced significant professional accomplishment and contributed time and resources in moving the University forward. Their efforts have brought favor and distinction to Southern Miss, and we are honored to celebrate them in this way.”

The Alumni Hall of Fame Banquet will be held Friday, October 6 as one of the highlights of the 2023 Homecoming celebration and is sponsored by Keesler Federal Credit Union and Butler Snow.

The Southern Miss Alumni Association says it serves as a driving force in the effort to advance The University of Southern Mississippi by providing alumni with a deeper connection to Southern Miss.

Ingalls Shipbuilding to host hiring event

If you are looking for job on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula is looking for you.

The Jackson County-based shipyard is hosting an on-site hiring event on Saturday, September 23 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Ingalls Shipbuilding Maritime Training Academy located at 1000 Jerry St. Pe Highway in Pascagoula.

Those who are interested in a career at Ingalls are encouraged to attend so they can learn more about the work Ingalls does and the many opportunities available to build world-class ships in Pascagoula.

Tentative job offers will be made on the spot for multiple crafts, from entry-level to first class, for the following trades: Hull shipfitters, structural welders, pipefitters and pipe welders, sheet metal, joiners, insulators and painters.

Gibert named to Marquis Who’s Who

Gerard Gibert has been inducted into Marquis Who’s Who. Individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

Gerard Gibert

Gibert is recognized for his success and tenure in Mississippi as an entrepreneur, communications professional, and dedicated public servant. He co-founded Venture Technologies, a technology and cloud services provider in 1986. By leveraging Venture’s mission of helping organizations achieve excellence using information technology, the company enjoyed exponential organic growth.

Additionally, as the CEO of Venture, Gibert engineered numerous mergers and acquisitions of strategic targets, catapulting Venture to national prominence as a technology solutions provider. Initially funded by a $189,000 start-up loan, under Gibert’s guidance, Venture was sold to ConvergeOne in 2019 in an all-cash deal worth $92 million.

Since 2020, Gibert has been hosting MidDays with Gerard Gibert, which airs statewide on SuperTalk Mississippi, each weekday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. In addition to interviews with state and federal elected officials as well as civic leaders, and policy advocates from across Mississippi, each show includes Gibert’s analysis of political, economic, and cultural issues shaping the state and nation.

Seed Therapy brings passion for plants to skincare

After founding an award-winning cult cannabis brand in California, the owners of Seed Theory expanded their passion for plants to skincare that focuses on daily protection from the elements and opened a boutique in Bay St. Louis.

According the business website, Seed Theory was founded to make what the owners couldn’t find: gentle and effective skincare products made from all natural ingredients.

“We love the outdoor lifestyle and wanted to protect our skin from daily UV exposure and create products that help repair damage overnight,” owners Clayton and Chris state. “But so many products we tried were made with alcohol, generic ingredients, or formulations can be harmful to the long-term skin health.”

Focusing on cutting edge science and whole plant medicine, Seed Theory was started to share their passion for plants and make truly high-end, cutting edge natural products that won’t damage the skin. 

Learn more about Seed Theory here.


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About the Author(s)
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Frank Corder

Frank Corder is a native of Pascagoula. For nearly two decades, he has reported and offered analysis on government, public policy, business and matters of faith. Frank’s interviews, articles, and columns have been shared throughout Mississippi as well as in national publications. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing insight and commentary on the inner workings of the Magnolia State. Frank has served his community in both elected and appointed public office, hosted his own local radio and television programs, and managed private businesses all while being an engaged husband and father. Email Frank: