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Magnolia on the Move: October 1, 2023

Magnolia on the Move: October 1, 2023

By: Frank Corder - October 1, 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.

Chevron Pascagoula Refinery celebrates 60 years with expansion

Chevron’s Pascagoula Refinery has operated in Jackson County for 60 years. Since beginning operation in 1963, the refinery has grown to be the corporation’s largest U.S. refinery and one of the top petroleum refineries in the United States.

Chevron is also a major contributor to the local economy through providing community support, thousands of jobs, both direct and indirect, and the tax revenue it brings to the local government.

Last week, the Chevron Pascagoula Refinery announced that it was acquiring five buildings on property north of its Industrial Road facility. The expansion will allow the refinery to manufacture materials that will then be used at the refinery as well as shipped to other Chevron business units throughout the nation and beyond.

The company reports that in 2022 the Pascagoula Refinery spent more than $346.5 million on goods and services sourced from vendors in Jackson County.

Goolsby elected Chairman of Mississippi Society of Certified Public Accountants

The Mississippi Society of Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA) has elected Jerry Goolsby as Chairman of the Board of Governors.

MSCAP says Goolsby is a respected professional in the field of accounting, bringing a wealth of experience and dedication to his new role as Chairman.

Prior to his retirement at the end of May, Goolsby was an assurance partner with FORVIS in Jackson where he led FORVIS’ Mississippi commercial services practice.

Goolsby’s career in public accounting began in 1991 when he joined Smith, Turner & Reeves. In 2008, the firm merged with BKD, now known as FORVIS. His expertise spans various industries, including manufacturing, distribution, construction, and telecommunications. Goolsby is a native of Falkner, MS, and a 1987 graduate of Mississippi State University, where he has remained deeply involved. He currently serves on the Advisory Council for the School of Accountancy and has previously held the position of chair.

Atmos Energy donates $100,000 to help customers stay safe, warm

Atmos Energy, through its Fueling Safe and Thriving Communities program, recently announced a donation of $100,000 to help Mississippi customers stay safe and warm this winter in partnership with numerous assistance agencies and nonprofit organizations.

The company says the donation is in addition to the relief that Atmos Energy offers year-round through a variety of energy assistance programs including Sharing the Warmth, which is supported by contributions from our customers and Atmos Energy. This funding will provide support to customers for utility bills, home weatherization upgrades, and repair and replacement of customer-owned natural gas appliances and piping. 

Atmos Energy’s $100,000 donation will be distributed across the state to the following: 

  • The Salvation Army (Jackson) – $50,000 
  • Multi-County CSA (Meridian) – $12,500 
  • LIFT, Inc. (Tupelo) – $10,000 
  • The Salvation Army (DeSoto) – $10,000 
  • Bolivar County Community Action (Greenville) – $5,000 
  • The Salvation Army (Vicksburg) – $5,000 
  • Wesley House (Meridian) – $5,000 
  • Faith Based Coalition (Jackson) – $2,500 

“We are so proud to partner with local organizations in the communities we serve, helping our neighbors stay safe and warm,” said Bree Boyd, Atmos Energy supervisor of energy assistance.  

Burrow reappointed to Mississippi Ethics Commission

Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Randolph has reappointed attorney Stephen Burrow of Pascagoula to the Mississippi Ethics Commission.

Chief Justice Randolph signed the reappointment order on September 21. The four-year term will begin on November 15.  Burrow was first appointed to the Commission in November 2019.

Burrow is a shareholder in the Pascagoula law firm of Heidelberg Steinberger Burrow & Armer, PA. He rejoined the firm earlier this year after practicing as the Burrow Law Firm. His practice areas are business law, business development, commercial transactions, business and commercial litigation and medical malpractice defense. He has practiced law since 1993, and is admitted to practice in Alabama and Mississippi. He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Fifth and Eleventh U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals and both federal district courts in Mississippi.

He served as a Pascagoula City Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem from 2017 to 2021. From 2007-2016, he served as Pascagoula Municipal Court Judge Pro Tem.

Raytheon’s RTX brings $50 million expansion to Forest

Raytheon, an RTX business, broke ground in mid-September on a 17,000-square-foot expansion of its Consolidated Manufacturing Center in Forest. The company says the project is a $50 million corporate investment and will create 100 high-skill jobs over the next five years.  

Raytheon plans construct a new building on its Forest campus to serve as a hub for the production, test and integration of Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band pods for the U.S. Navy and Australian government, as well as airborne radar programs.

NGJ-MB is an advanced electronic attack system that denies, disrupts and degrades enemy technology, including communication tools and air defense systems.

This latest investment is Raytheon’s third expansion in Forest since 2013.

Keel authenticated on LHA 9 at Ingalls Shipbuilding

Ingalls Shipbuilding recently held a keel authentication ceremony at its Pascagoula shipyard for the America-class amphibious ship Fallujah (LHA 9).

The ship’s sponsor, Donna Berger, former first lady of the Marine Corps and spouse of Gen. David H. Berger, 38th commandant of the Marine Corps, was in attendance to declare the keel “truly and fairly laid.” 

During the authentication ceremony, Ingalls Welder Seveta Gray welded the initials of the sponsor onto a ceremonial keel plate that will remain with the ship throughout its life.

The company says the future USS Fallujah (LHA 9) is the fourth America-class large-deck amphibious assault ship built at Ingalls Shipbuilding and the second ship in the class to be built with a well deck. Similar to BougainvilleFallujah will retain the aviation capability of the America-class design while adding the surface assault capability of a well deck and a larger flight deck configured for F-35B Joint Strike Fighter and MV-22 Osprey aircraft. These large-deck amphibious assault ships also include top-of-the-line medical facilities with full operating suites and triage capabilities.

Toyota Mississippi Names New President

(Photo from Toyota)

Toyota Motor North America has announced Erik Skaggs will be the next president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi effective October 23.

The company said current president, David Fernandes, will transition to a new role as senior vice president of manufacturing at Mazda Toyota Manufacturing in Huntsville, Alabama, after three years in Mississippi.

According to his bio, Skaggs joined Toyota in 1993 as an engineer at its Georgetown, Kentucky site where he held leadership roles in quality control, body operations and production before becoming a general manager in 2015. In 2020, Skaggs moved to Toyota Mississippi as the vice president of manufacturing and most recently served as vice president of administration.


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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 such as the Daily Caller. 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: