A young black entrepreneur and University of Southern Mississippi alumnus who has made his mark in the business world will be the featured presenter for the university’s annual Armstrong-Branch Lecture.
Greenville resident Abe Hudson, who earned a degree in marketing from Southern Miss in 1998, will discuss his formula for success when he returns to his alma mater Tuesday, Feb. 17 to present “Creating Success.” He will give his lecture at 6:30 p.m. in the Thad Cochran Center.
The Armstrong-Branch Lecture is part of the Southern Miss Honors College’s University Forum series and Black History Month activities. The lecture is named for Gwendolyn Elaine Armstrong and Raylawni Branch, the first African-American students who enrolled at Southern Miss in 1965.
Hudson’s presentation will draw from his book “Do It! Six Purposeful Actions for Creating Success” as well as from his experience in the field of business. Through his presentation, he hopes to motivate students and aspiring entrepreneurs to utilize their skill set and knowledge base to pursue and accomplish their goals.
His second book, “Who Am I?” chronicles the life of a young boy growing up in the Mississippi Delta and the experiences that shape his life. Hudson points to this book as an example of how he accomplished an important personal goal by allotting time every day to make it happen.
“My book ‘Who Am I ?’ for example, was a process that took 10 years, but I did it by working on it at least a little bit every day,” Hudson said. “So my goal is to inspire my audiences to do the same thing, to do a little bit every day to accomplish their goals.”
The principles outlined in Do It! include learning what it is you do best; believing in yourself; finding mentors; surrounding yourself with positive people; having an imagination; and making tough decisions.
“He is someone who was driven from the moment he got on campus,” said Dr. David Echevarria, coordinator of University Forum. “And because of the fact that not that long ago he was in a seat in the classroom here, I believe he can really connect with our students.”
Hudson went on to earn master’s degrees in business administration and finance at Mississippi State University. His ability to succeed soon became evident, when at age 27, he was already an owner of three Lenny’s Sub Shop restaurants that grossed $1.5 million annually while also running a business consulting firm, Hudson Consulting LLC.
Among his many other career achievements, Hudson has worked as a financial analyst for International Paper, as director of operations for a financial services company and as a small business development center counselor at Delta State University. Today he is a referral travel agent with Your Travel Business, and has climbed to the top two percent in the company in the categories of referral and income earning.
Outside of the business world, Hudson is actively engaged in civic life in Greenville, where his wife Heather McTeer-Hudson serves as the city’s first black mayor. He is co-founder and business manager for Student Project Give Back, a non-profit organization to motivate economically and educationally deprived high school students in the Delta to pursue a higher level of financial and educational success.
He is a member of the Greenville and Cleveland chambers of commerce, the Delta Regional Minority Business Association and the Delta Community Development Group. He also serves as youth minister at Agape Storage Christian Center and plays in the church band. In 2007, he came to Southern Miss to present in the College of Business’ Executives on Campus Lecture Series.
Despite his long list of accomplishments, Hudson says it’s the journey to success that has been the most gratifying part of the process - not wealth, titles or material possessions.
“That’s the best part of being successful. A lot of people look at the end result, but it’s the journey that’s the most rewarding part,” he said. “There were times when it was joyful and other times when it was grueling, but every moment was a learning experience and helped me become stronger and grow as a person, and motivate me to pursue even loftier goals.”
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.