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College of Business and Economic Development

Business Advisory Council

Thank you for your interest in the Business Advisory Council (BAC) for the College of Business and Economic Development at The University of Southern Mississippi. The BAC is comprised of individuals with the experience and insight to help the college determine the relevancy of our curricula, whether new programs are needed, and current personal and professional development needs of our students. 

The Business Advisory Council was founded in 1999 for the primary purpose of advising the dean on shaping the education provided to our current and future business students and help the College become a national leader in business education. We want to utilize the wealth of experience that comprises the BAC for betterment of our students and programs.

The financial contributions made by BAC members provide the dean with discretionary funds to support important initiatives within the college, such as...

  • Annually recognizing an Alumnus of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Providing financial assistance for research fellows
  • Funding study abroad scholarships
  • Fostering numerous student engagement activities

The time commitment as a member of the BAC is very reasonable. We typically meet two or three times per year with each meeting consisting of a lunch or dinner, along with a discussion of current, important goals. There may also be follow-up questions or discussion by email throughout the year. 

Additionally, we solicit members of the BAC to participate in our annual professional development event for students, called Experience Business Casually, where students get advice and coaching from executives on topics, such as professional attire, perfecting as elevator pitch, handshakes, interviewing skills and dining etiquette.

Full Membership

Young Membership (under 40)
$0 the first year
$250 each year until full membership is reached

Corporate Membership
$3,000 (three memberships)

Lifetime Membership


2019 - 20 Active Members

Sam Britton Mississippi’s Public Service Commissioner, Southern District
David Burckel CEO, Southern Bone & Joint
Hoppy Cole President & CEO, The First, A National Banking Association
Robert E. Donnell III Tax and Investment Oversight Principal, Robert Donnell CPA
Cindy Gaddis Retired Vice President Finance-Global Downstream Controller, Shell Oil Company
Todd Gregory Vice President, Cintas Corporation
John Griffith Executive Vice President, BancorpSouth
Michael Harvey Northern Division Manager, Mississippi Power Company
Brad Holmes Senior Vice President, First Southern Bank
Lowell Howell Vice President, First State Bank 
Brad Jones General Manager, Cintas Corporation 
Linda Keng Partner, Jones Walker LLP 
Mark Killingsworth Retired VP/GMM, Dillard's Inc.
Kenneth Lott Retired Principal, Smith Shellnut Wilson LLC
Tom McDonnell CEO, U-Save Car and Truck Rental
Sean McGee Senior Vice President of Premier Banking, BancorpSouth 
Nell Murray Owner, Murray Consulting
Chad Newell President, Area Development Partnership 
Hugh Parker Retired CEO, Horne LLP 
Christy Pickering Director, Hancock Whitney Corporation
Director, Mississippi Power Company
Brad Reynolds Owner, WBR Investment Services, LLC 
Joseph Saoud Executive Vice President of Bridgestone Americas & President of Latin America 
Brandt Schmersahl Retired Regional Human Resources Director, Cintas Corporation 
Kevin Smathers Director of HBC Executive Services, Hudson's Bay Company
Andy Stetelman CEO, London & Stetelman Commercial Realtors 
Janita Stewart District Director, U.S. Small Business Administration 
Dr. Jim Thompson CEO and Director, Healthmark Regional Medical Center 
David Tolbert Vice President, Southern Tire Mart 
Raymond Van Norman Executive Vice President & Central Mississippi President, Renasant Bank 
Benny Waddle Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending, BancorpSouth 
Bill Ward President, Ward International Trucks LLC 

If you are interested in joining, please contact J.T. Tisdale at james.tisdaleFREEMississippi


Contact Us

College of Business and Economic Development

3103 Scianna Hall
118 College Dr. #5021
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Hattiesburg Campus

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Contact Us

College of Business and Economic Development

North Academic Building
730 East Beach Blvd. 
Long Beach, MS 39560

Gulf Park Campus

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