A packed audience heard leaders in banking, finance and academia share ideas about economic development as part of a comprehensive business forum held Thursday, Jan. 20 at The Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship.
The forum, titled “Impact Southern Miss: Turning Knowledge into Innovation,” was sponsored by The University of Southern Mississippi College of Business and The Trent Lott Center.
“The turnout exceeded our expectations, and I think that clearly illustrates the importance that a forum of this nature brings not only to Southern Miss but the community we serve and the state as a whole,” said Dr. Lance Nail, dean of the College of Business. “By partnering with The Trent Lott Center we changed the format of the conference a bit this year to highlight economic development and the significant role it plays in South Mississippi and beyond.”
Todd Greene, vice president, Community and Economic Development for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, delivered the keynote address. Nail noted that having an economic expert of Greene’s stature on hand lent further credibility to the conference.
“He is a major player in the financial sector and works every day in the heart of our country’s economic system,” said Nail. “We were indeed fortunate to have him agree to spend some time with us and discuss the broad-reaching impact of economic development.”
Other featured speakers included Whit Hughes, deputy director of the Mississippi Development Authority; Dr. Brian Richard and Dr. Chad Miller, assistant professors in the Southern Miss Department of Economic and Workforce Development; Dr. Tulio Sulbaran, associate professor/director of the Southern Miss School of Construction and Dr. Lou Marciani, director the The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security.
Hughes said the importance of innovation should not be underestimated in the process of developing new businesses and business opportunities in Mississippi.
“The University of Southern Mississippi has been and continues to be a wonderful resource for our state especially when it comes to innovative ideas and finding ways to put those ideas into practical applications,” said Hughes. “Putting together a forum of this kind, with so many knowledgeable experts, shows just how much value this university places on economic development.”
For more information about the College of Business at The University of Southern Mississippi call 601.266.4659 or visit www.usm.edu/business/