LONG BEACH - Kim
Compton has been named the new director of the Center for Tourism
and Economic Development Research (CENTED) at The University of
Southern Mississippi. Located on the Gulf Coast campus in the heart
of the gaming industry in Mississippi, CENTED strives to improve
the tourism product, increase the benefits of the tourism industry
and foster an understanding of the role tourism plays in economic
Before taking over for departing director Dr. Tony
Henthorne, Compton served as the deputy director of the Harrison
County Development Commission. In 1997, she began work with the
commission as the industrial development manager and was promoted
to deputy director in January 2001. She is a certified economic
developer, one of only 24 in Mississippi.
In 1997, Compton developed economic impact analysis
models to evaluate both ad valorem tax exemption application and
land pricing discounts. Both mathematical models have been adopted
by the Harrison County Board of Supervisors. These models are currently
being utilized by other counties across the state.
Compton holds a bachelor's degree in economics from
Millsaps College and a master's degree from Southern Miss in economic
development, where she was awarded the 1991 Munro Oil Company Award
for Outstanding Achievement by an Economic Development Graduate.
She furthered her studies at Clemson University and was awarded
a fellowship from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic
Research Service. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in
international development at Southern Miss.