From our Jackson bureau chief, Bobby Harrison (full story):
JACKSON – J. Brent Christensen, chief executive officer of the Gainesville, Fla., Area Chamber of Commerce, was named today by Gov. Phil Bryant to head Mississippi's economic development efforts.
Bryant made the announcement at a session of Works Mississippi, a group of state business leaders the governor has assembled to provide input on economic development issues.
Jim Barksdale, the former Netscape CEO and one of the state's top business leaders, has headed MDA for Bryant on an interim basis.
Christensen previously worked for the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce as vice president and got his start in economic development in Hattiesburg under the direction of David Rumbarger, the current CEO of the Tupelo-based Community Development Foundation. Christensen was serving as a staff writer for the Hattiesburg American newspaper in 1994 when Rumbarger hired him.