State to honor former longtime CDF leader

TUPELO – Tupelo businessman and former longtime Community Development Foundation president Harry A. Martin is one of seven state leaders who will be honored by Gov. Haley Barbour today with the Mississippi Medal of Service.
Martin was chosen because he “made a significant impact in Northeast Mississippi through his work with the Community Development Foundation,” said Laura Hipp, deputy press secretary at the governor’s office.
Barbour started the Medal of Service program last year as a way to honor older Mississippians who have made an impact on their communities.
In addition to Martin, this year’s recipients are former Lt. Gov. Brad Dye, businessman John Palmer, who was U.S. ambassador to Portugal from 2001-04; former Mississippi Department of Archives and History Director Elbert Hilliard; former Meridian Mayor Al Rosenbaum; the Rev. John Perkins of Jackson, who has worked on civil rights and racial reconciliation; and Gulf Coast businessman Victor Mavar.
Martin was the president of CDF for 44 of its 62 years.
During his time leading CDF from 1956 to 2000, he assisted in more than 100 plant locations and expansions and the development of five industrial parks.
The last industrial park in north Lee County was named the Harry A. Martin North Lee Industrial Complex in recognition of Martin’s service.
Among his many honors is the Harry A. Martin Award for Excellence in Economic Development, presented in 1994 by Gov. Kirk Fordice for his leadership and involvement with CDF.
Barbour will present the medals during a ceremony this afternoon in the Woolfolk state office building in downtown Jackson.

Contact Carlie Kollath at (662) 678-1598 or carlie.kollath@djournal.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

CARLIE KOLLATH / NEMS Daily Journal