Mississippi’s Most Influential African Americans of 2019 Selected

“Our Mississippi” magazine publisher Wesley Wells has announced that 25 individuals have been selected as Mississippi’s Most Influential African Americans for 2019.

Wells said the individuals were selected by an independent panel of state-wide business and community leaders from nominations received from the public.

“What an awesome group of people,” Wells said of the nominees. “I’d like to thank the committee for doing an outstanding job. I know they had to make some tough decisions narrowing the list down to 25, especially with having to select people from different categories,” Wells said.

“Congratulations to all the selected individuals, and also to all the individuals nominated. We’re proud of the great work they’re doing for the State of Mississippi.”

Wells said dozens of individuals were nominated in different categories that included: Business, Education, Politics, Religion, Media, and Servant Leadership. The group will be honored at a Gala and Reception on Friday, August 23, 2019, at the Jackson Hilton on County Line Road in Jackson, Mississippi.

Also being honored that evening will be six individuals chosen earlier as Legacies. They are: The Honorable Ms. Alyce Clark, Dr. Don Cole, Coach W.C. Gorden, Mr. John James, Ms. Flonzie Brown Wright, and Dr. John Perkins.

“What an incredible group of individuals that have done so much for the State of Mississippi,” Wells said. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to pay homage to them for all their contributions to this state. These are the kind of people society will be talking about 50-100 years from now.”

Tables and tickets are now on sale for the event. They can be purchased at the magazine’s website at www.ourmissmag.com or by calling 662-844-2602.

“What an excited evening this will be,” Wells added. “We’ll have a lot of things going on, including a brief panel discussion by the Legacy honorees. We’re expecting a who’s who of Mississippi to be there for this monumental occasion.”

Mississippi’s 25 Most Influential African Americans of 2019 as selected by our independent panel of business and community leaders. They were chosen by different categories from the dozens of nominations we received. 

  1. Banks, Fred – Senior Partner, Phelps Dunbar Law Firm in Jackson. Banks is a former Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court, trial judge and legislator.
  2. Beckley, David – President of Rust College in Holly Springs.
  3. Bennett, Rodney – President of the University of Southern Mississippi.
  4. Booker, Michael – Sr. Vice-President, Corporate Banker with BancorpSouth in Jackson.
  5. Brandon, Betina – Manager of Workforce Development and Diversity at Entergy Corporation. in Jackson.
  6. Bridges, Bernard – Market President, Trustmark Bank in Jackson.
  7. Bynum, William – President of Jackson State University.
  8. Chapman, Jasmin – Chief Executive Officer of the Jackson-Hinds County Comprehensive Health Center.
  9. Colom, Wilbur – Businessman, Founder and Senior Partner of the Colom Law Firm, with offices in Columbus and Jackson, Mississippi.
  10. Crudup, Ronnie – Administrative Bishop for the Fellowship of International Churches. He is also Senior Pastor of New Horizon Church International, a congregation of over 3000 members in Jackson, Mississippi.
  11. Davis, Nettie – Community activist is currently the President of the Tupelo City Council. The former teacher is the first African American to hold that distinction in the city.
  12. Edwards, Janell – Executive Director of the Fayette Community Service Organization, a 501 (c)3, rural, community-based organization located in Jefferson County, Mississippi, that focuses on health and education.
  13. Feagin, Moses – Vice President, Treasurer, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Diversity Officer, Mississippi Power.
  14. Flaggs, George – The Honorable Flaggs is the two-term, Democratic Mayor of the city of Vicksburg.
  15. Floyd, Juanita Gambrell – Author and journalist is the Vice-President of Administration and Finance with the Create Foundation in Tupelo.
  16. Gillard, Chris – Director of the Mississippi Highway Patrol. Colonel Gillard over-sees the day-to-day operation of the largest, statewide law enforcement agency in Mississippi.
  17. Hausley, Hozay – President of Renasant Bank/Aberdeen-Amory Market.
  18. Lewis, Carla – Chief Technology Officer, C Spire in Ridgeland.
  19. Mayfield, Kenneth – Businessman and author, Mayfield is the founder and senior attorney with the Mayfield Law Firm in Tupelo, Southaven and Memphis.
  20. Paige, Mitzi Dease – South East Regional Director of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and is also Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi.
  21. Reeves, Carlton – United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of Mississippi.
  22. Shaw, Dorothy – Director of Compliance, Ethics, Community Affairs, EEO/Diversity & Inclusion for Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula.
  23. Walker, LeRoy – Community activist, businessman and owner of LTM Enterprises in Jackson.
  24. Wheeler, Primus – Executive Director of the Jackson Medical Mall Foundation in Jackson.
  25. Wilson, Dorothy – Brand strategist, author, publisher, speaker and chair-elect of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce.

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