UPELO – Mississippi Economic Council President Blake Wilson and Tupelo Mayor Jack Reed Jr. are 2011 Trailblazer Award recipients for their efforts to advance diversity.
The Tupelo-based Mississippi Trailblazers, which each year recognizes leaders for professional and public service contributions to diversity, will honor Wilson as its Mississippi Trailblazer of the Year and Reed as its Tupelo Trailblazer on May 14 at the BancorpSouth Conference Center.
Reed currently is chairman of the Mississippi Economic Council, the first sitting elected official to hold that post. Mississippi Trailblazers President James Hull said the MEC connection of the two award-winners was not planned “but is a fitting recognition of MEC’s leadership.
“When Mayor Reed was named MEC chairman last spring, we immediately notified him we wanted to recognize him for continuing the high caliber of Tupelo leadership at the state level,” Hull said. “And then when MEC and Blake Wilson came with Blueprint Mississippi in January, we were convinced that we were long overdue in honoring and recognizing Blake for his leadership of the state’s chamber of commerce.”
Rounding out the 2011 class of Mississippi Trailblazers are:
– Mississippi House Speaker Billy McCoy – Mississippi Leadership Award.
– Former Assistant Secretary of State Constance Slaughter Harvey, the first black woman to graduate from the University of Mississippi Law School – Legacy Award.
– Chancery Judge Dorothy Colom and Columbus attorney/philanthropist Wil Colom – Mississippi INSPIRE Award.
– Mississippi Commission on the Status of Women Executive Director Pam Johnson – Leonard Morris Award for Public Service and Integrity.
Hull said Wilson’s “visionary leadership in forging a partnership between economic development and education” has been a unique contribution to Mississippi since he came to the state in 1998.
Reed’s MEC chairmanship, Hull noted, “is a continuation of the Reed family’s service to MEC.” Jack Reed Sr. was president of the organization in 1963-64.
Want to attend?
– What: Mississippi Trailblazers
Awards Ceremony and Black Tie Gala
– When: Saturday, May 14. Reception,
7 p.m.; Dinner and awards, 8
p.m., with jazz party following.
– Where: BancorpSouth Conference
– Tickets: (662) 213-3027
NEMS Daily Journal