New leadership selections were announced Tuesday by the Mississippi Economic Council (MEC) in a series of press releases:

• The Council’s subsidiary the M.B. Swayze Foundation has elected as chair Anthony Wilson, chairman, president and CEO of Mississippi Power. Bill Lampton, president of Ergon’s Asphalt Groups and chairman of the board of Ergon Asphalt & Emusions, Inc. will serve as vice chair for the foundation.

The M.B. Swayze Foundation conducts independent public policy research on issues such as taxation, economic development, economic competitiveness, education and governmental accountability, the MEC said. The foundation also operates two key MEC programs — Leadership Mississippi and the Student-Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program.

• The Public Education Forum of Mississippi, another MEC subsidiary, elected Jim McIngvale, director, Government & Community Affairs of Ingalls Shipbuilding, as chair. The forum’s new vice chair is Sean Suggs, vice president of Manufacturing for Toyota Mississippi.

Founded in 1989, the Forum is committed to being the leading independent force for public education in the state, the MEC press release stated. Mississippi Scholars and Mississippi Scholars Tech Master programs are managed by the Public Education Forum and began in 2003. The Forum is a nonprofit, nonpartisan education policy research group created by a broad cross-section of business, education and political leaders in the state.

• The Council’s Leadership Mississippi Program has elected as chair Patrice (Michelle) Hardy Whittle of Atmos Energy while MINACT, Inc.’s Maj. Gen. Augustus Leon Collins has been selected as the 2017 vice chair.  Whittle is a 2015 Leadership Mississippi graduate. Collins is a 2012 Leadership Mississippi graduate.

Leadership Mississippi is the second oldest statewide leadership program in the nation, the MEC noted. Since its inception in 1974, Leadership Mississippi has graduated more than 1,100 alumni active in Mississippi business and politics. Leadership Mississippi is endowed through a generous contribution by the late J.C. and Annie Redd.

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