Former Hanes Companies CEO to Receive Trent Lott Center Award from Southern Miss
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Contact Jana Bryant 601.266.4497   

  – Entrepreneur R. Philip Hanes, former CEO of Hanes Companies in Winston Salem, N.C., will be honored with the Trent Lott National Center of Excellence for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship Innovation Award by The University of Southern Mississippi on March 20.

Former Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott will be on hand to present the award during a noon luncheon and awards ceremony where Hanes will be the keynote speaker. The award celebrates Hanes’ lifetime of innovation and highly successful contribution to the economic development of downtown Winston-Salem.

The luncheon and awards ceremony will be held at The Bottling Company, 126 Mobile St. in Hattiesburg. Cost is $20 per person and reservations may be made by calling 601.583.4329.

“The Trent Lott Center’s mission is to foster innovation in our region and promote economic growth. Phil is the perfect example of how innovative methods can be used to improve depressed economic areas,” said Ken Malone, director of the Trent Lott Center.

In addition to his business expertise, Hanes has a remarkable record of activity in the arts and conservation communities, says Malone. “I think Mr. Hanes will provide a spark to get us thinking outside of the box on some of the issues as Hattiesburg defines strategies for moving forward with downtown redevelopment.

Hanes earned a reputation as a business leader through his achievements growing the Hanes Companies as president from 1965-77 and as the board chairman from 1978-90. His innovative leadership style is recounted in his book “How to Get Anyone to do Anything.”  

Hanes will sign copies of his book at 4 p.m. March 20 at Main Street Books in downtown Hattiesburg. In the book, Hanes shares his strategies for jump-starting seemingly impossible challenges and addresses specifics about networking, risk-taking, fund-raising and problem-solving.

As a founder of the American arts council movement, Hanes has served on the boards of more than 50 national, state and local arts agencies, most notably as a founder of the North Carolina School of the Arts, a founding member of the National Council on the Arts, and as founder and first chairman of the North Carolina Arts Council.

Throughout his lifetime, Hanes has positioned arts and culture at the forefront of economic revitalization in Winston-Salem, N.C. At 82, he is a champion of the importance of art, culture and entrepreneurship in downtown revitalization.

Today, Hanes is focused on the impact of locally-owned small-businesses and artists communities on downtown growth and vibrancy. Named Winston-Salem’s commissioner of cultural affairs in 2000, he created the Meade Willis Downtown Redevelopment Fund and secured close to $1 million to be used exclusively for low-interest loans to artist and entertainment venues, clubs and restaurants in the downtown. 

While in Hattiesburg, he also will meet with city officials, shop, restaurant and property owners, members of the Historic Downtown Hattiesburg Association and the Area Development Partnership.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our community to hear the importance of downtown revitalization efforts from someone who has devoted his life and resources to using the arts to revitalize economically distressed areas,” said Betsy Rowell, director of the Hattiesburg Downtown Association. “Mr. Hanes’ commitment is consistent with what we are trying to create in Hattiesburg; downtown as a center for arts, entertainment, specialty retailers and wonderful restaurants full of night life.”


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