Leadership Mississippi, a program funded by the Mississippi Economic Council, provides a classroom setting where business leaders from all over the state come together to share ideas on how to make a better Mississippi.
“Everyone does things differently in Mississippi. Those leaders in the Delta do things different than those on the Gulf Coast,” said Leadership Mississippi Director Cathy Northington.
The program is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Corinth’s Kenneth Williams was a member of the very first class. This year, the 52-member class is littered with some of the most important industry and community leaders in the state.
The Corinth sessions are part of a year-long tour for the class. The sessions present exciting opportunities where the class can see the strategic, long-range planning and changes that are occurring in Mississippi.
The group toured the new Clifford G. Worsham Surface Water Treatment Facility on Thursday, before heading to the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center for an opening reception. The class ended the day with dinner at smith. downtown.
On Friday, the group enjoyed opening remarks and a Q and A session with Corinth leaders.
Alliance President Gary Chandler, Mayor Tommy Irwin, Chris Latch with Corinth Gas & Water and Kent Geno with Cook-Coggin Engineers spoke about the state of the city’s current infrastructure achievements and struggles.
“I’m not in this for the politics. I’m in this to do the right thing for Corinth,” said Irwin. “Infrastructure is very important to me and this city, but it’s been a tough road.”
Irwin said a community has to look good in order to get industry invest in the area.
“We have some big things happening in this community,” he said. “Wick Street was a eyesore one year ago, now its beautiful and busy with new businesses and fresh faces investing in our community.”
Latch fielded some questions about the new water treatment facility.
“Corinth has always depended on groundwater sources for our drinking water,” he said. “Now it comes from the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway and is treated right here in Corinth.”
The $50 million complex opened in May of last year.
Geno spoke on the engineering of the facility.
“Our water is transported through 36 inch water mains to this treatment facility,” he said.
Chandler said infrastructure like the water treatment facility is key to future economic growth of the city.
“We recently made a large land purchase for a new industrial park near important rail lines,” Chandler said. “We have enough water to fulfill any industry need, as well.”
The group will make its next stop on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in June to focus on the area's tourism.
(For more information, visit msmec.com)