Mississippi’s Most Influential African Americans of 2018 Selected

“Our Mississippi” magazine publisher Wesley Wells has announced that 25 individuals have been selected as Mississippi’s Most Influential African Americans for 2018.

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 Thursday, October 25, 2018, at the Westin Hotel in Jackson, Mississippi.

Also being honored that evening will be six individuals chosen earlier as Legacies. They are The Honorable Ms. Myrlie Evers-Williams, Mr. James Meredith, Attorney Constance Slaughter-Harvey, Judge Reuben Anderson, Congressman Bennie Thompson, and Mr. Robert Clark.

“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 this historic event. They can be purchased online or by calling 662-844-2602.

“What an exciting evening this will be,” Wells added. “We’ll have a lot of things going on, including a performance by Miss Mississippi, Asya Branch. We’re expecting a who’s who of Mississippi to be there for this monumental occasion.”

25 Most Influential African Americans of 2018

Mississippi’s 25 Most Influential African Americans of 2018 as selected by our independent panel of business and community leaders. These were chosen by different categories from the dozens of nominations we received.

  1. Sean Suggs – President of Toyota Mississippi. Sean serves on numerous boards, including the Mississippi Department of Education.
  2. Cathy Northington – Cathy is the Chief Operating Officer of the Mississippi Economic Council.
  3. Beverly Wade Hogan – Hogan is the current President of Tougaloo College in Jackson.
  4. Camille Young – Principle and Director with Cornerstone Government Affairs in Jackson.
  5. Alveno Castilla – Attorney with Butler Snow Law firm in Jackson and former MEC Chair.
  6. Derrick Johnson – President and CEO of the National NAACP. Johnson served as state president for the Mississippi State Conference NAACP.
  7. Edmond Hughes – Edmond is Vice President, Human Resources & Administration (HR&A) for Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula.
  8. Mike Espy – Attorney and consultant who formerly served as Secretary of United States Department of Agriculture and U.S. House of Representatives from 2nd Congressional Dist.
  9. Dr. Alfred Rankins – Commissioner of Higher Education. As commissioner, Dr. Rankin provides leadership to all eight public universities.
  10. Augustus Collins – Major General (Ret.) Collins is CEO of MINACT, Inc. He formerly served as General for both the Mississippi Army and Air National Guard.
  11. Patricia Bennett – Bennett serves at the dean of the Mississippi College School of Law in Clinton and also serves as President of the Mississippi Bar.
  12. Percy Bland – Bland is the two-term Mayor of Meridian.
  13. Shane Hooper – Hooper serves as President of the Board of Trustees for the Mississippi State IHL. He also is employed by the City of Tupelo as Development Services Director.
  14. Patricia Wise – Wise is the Chancery Judge of Hinds County district 4.
  15. De’Keither Stamps – Jackson City Council member and also serves on Board of Directors for Central Mississippi Planning and Development District.
  16. Dr. Jerry Young – Reverend Young is the pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Jackson and is the first pastor in Mississippi to be named President of the National Baptist Convention, USA.
  17. Carol Burger – Served as President and CEO of United Way of Greater Jackson.
  18. Dr. David Marion – CEO of Marion Counseling Services in Jackson. Also elected as Grand Basileus of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
  19. Reverend Joe Willie May – Senior Pastor of Anderson United Methodist Church in Jackson.
  20. Dr. Shelia Bouldin – Dr. Bouldin is an Obstetrician-Gynecologist in Jackson and is affiliated with University of Mississippi Medical Center. Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
  21. Pam Chatman – Motivational speaker, known as the “Oprah of the South”, is the owner of the PChatman TV Network.
  22. Ronnie Agnew – Agnew is the Executive Director of Mississippi Public Broadcasting. He previously served as Executive Editor of the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson.
  23. Stan Allen – Allen currently serves as Program Director for Mississippi Radio Group in Tupelo after an extensive career in radio and TV production across North Mississippi.
  24. Tammie Tubbs – Tubbs is a TV show host and inspirational leader in North Mississippi.
  25. Sharon McDougle – Gulf Coast Lead Expert at AXion Logistics. Moss Point native has over 20 years of experience in the Aerospace industry.

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