Scott Waller has been named interim president and CEO of the Mississippi Economic Council effective May 1. CEO Blake Wilson will retire on June 16 after 19 years in office, a 47-year career and 37 years in association work.

Scott Waller to become interim CEO of the Mississippi Economic Council Credit: MEC

“I am excited about the future of MEC, and I am honored to have an opportunity to play a role in helping shape it,” said Waller.

“MEC is a vibrant organization that is squarely focused on the future but mindful of the vision established by our founders: the ‘voice of business,’ rooted in research, focused on policy rather than political endorsement and funded through our membership.  I am looking forward to contributing to this legacy and to working with the thousands of volunteers who contribute so much to the future of our state.”

A native of Shubuta and a graduate of Mississippi State University, Waller is in his 11th year on staff at MEC, serving most recently as executive vice president and chief operating officer, focusing specifically on driving MEC’s legislative agenda, communications and generating grassroots outreach on behalf of the MEC membership.  He pioneered MEC’s Legislative Scrambler program and played roles in managing various Blueprint Mississippi research projects, most recently MEC’s transportation infrastructure initiative.

Prior to joining MEC, he was business editor of The Clarion-Ledger and spent a 20-year career in journalism, serving in staff positions in Greenville, Columbus and Hilton Head, S.C. He also was owner and publisher of the Madison County Journal.

“Scott has both the experience and background needed at this time of transition to serve as interim CEO of MEC, as the board and leadership of the organization focus a multi-month approach on determining the strategic direction that will best solidify the next 20 years for this important organization,” said Robin J. Robinson, 2016-17 chair of MEC and director of organization development and corporate relations at Sanderson Farms.

“We are grateful for Blake Wilson’s contributions over these nearly two decades – and for his commitment to both building a strong team and providing them the professional staff development needed to be well-positioned to serve both our membership and the state in the years to come.”

Blake Wilson, CEO of the Mississippi Economic Council  Credit: MEC

“Blake Wilson came to Mississippi from Florida and Delaware, but truly embraced and celebrated the spirit that makes Mississippi great,” said William G. Yates, III, 2017-18 MEC chair and president and CEO of Yates Companies.  “We appreciate his innovative programming and use of technology to grow our reach, but also his commitment to MEC’s legacy.  It is with this legacy in mind that, working with Scott and the team, our board and leaders will focus in the coming months on our strategic direction for the future.”

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Ashley F. G. Norwood, a native of Jackson, earned a bachelor's degree in English from Jackson State University and a master’s degree from the Meek School of Journalism at the University of Mississippi. Norwood, who specializes in multimedia journalism, has been recognized nationally for her documentary film the fly in the buttermilk, which covers the history, perceptions and principles of black Greek-lettered organizations at the University of Mississippi.