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Released September 14, 2004


HATTIESBURG -- Two state economic development leaders will highlight the regional focus of the speakers' list for the New South Economic Development course at the Grand Casino in Gulfport on Sept. 26-30.

Leland Speed, executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority, will deliver the keynote address. Mike Olivier, Louisiana Economic Development director, will lead a panel discussion on regional collaboration, following the course's theme, "Strategies and Approaches to Collaboration in a Competitive Environment."

The NSEDC, sponsored by Mississippi Power Company and The University of Southern Mississippi, is an intensive training session for economic development professionals that features both classroom learning and hands-on case study experience.

A native of Jackson, Speed received a bachelor's degree in industrial management from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. He currently serves as chairman of Downtown Jackson Partners and is past chairman of the Metro Jackson Chamber of Commerce.

Olivier served more than 17 years as the executive director and chief executive of the Harrison County Development Commission in the casino and industrial region of the Mississippi Gulf Coast before returning to his home state of Louisiana. In 2002, Southern Business and Development Magazine named him one of the top 10 economic developers of the decade.

"Our speakers and participants come from all over the Southeast, from Louisiana to Georgia," said Charlotte Batson, course coordinator. "Having two state economic development leaders on the program will enable our participants to expand their perspectives beyond their home states to encompass the entire region."

The NSEDC is accredited by the International Economic Development Council, the largest membership organization serving the economic development profession. The IEDC's mission is to provide leadership and excellence in economic development and to build strong sustainable communities.

The NSEDC is equivalent to the IEDC's Introduction to Economic Development course and may be applied toward requirements to sit for the certified economic developer exam. Registrants who complete the course qualify for admission to the Economic Development Institute and to the IEDC Professional Development Series.

The NSEDC's instruction will be of benefit to planners, real estate developers, elected officials, utility and transportation personnel and business leaders interested in improving their communities and states, in addition to full- and part-time economic and community developers.

The fee for participating in the NSEDC is $600 for noncredit or $600 plus tuition for academic credit. For more detailed registration information, call (601) 266-6067 or (601) 266-5515.

The NSEDC is coordinated by The University of Southern Mississippi's Center for Community and Economic Development.


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October 8, 2004 12:03 PM