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Major leadership project beaming to area in April

The phrase “Just do it” has motivated people of all ages -athletic and non-athletic – since the 1990s.

Now local business leaders and citizens have the chance to hearits creator, Kevin Carroll, speak as one of 10 motivationalspeakers being brought to the community by satellite by theBrookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce.

The Advance Maximum Impact Simulcast (MIS) is a satellitebroadcast of a live gathering in Atlanta of 10 motivationalspeakers brought together by best-selling author and MIS founderJohn C. Maxwell. Trustmark’s Chris Thurman and Porter’s Body Shop’sPatrick Porter heard about the symposium and decided they wanted tobring the simulcast to Brookhaven.

“The chamber used to do some leadership training and through ourLeadership Brookhaven program,” said Thurman. “We haven’t done anyin a while, and this is something that doesn’t take a lot ofcommitment on the part of an individual or company.”

Thurman said it was exciting to be able to bring some of theworld’s top leadership speakers to Brookhaven. The speakers targetnot only current leaders, but also aspiring leaders.

“This is very 21st century,” he said. “We want to startconnecting with the new leadership in the community, and we feltlike this would be the ticket.”

Porter said the symposium, which organizers are calling theSouthwest Mississippi Leadership Symposium, will feature renownedauthors, businessmen and leadership experts whose main objective isto help encourage business leaders and help grow theirinfluence.

The Southwest Leadership Symposium will be held at EasthavenBaptist Church, which is the only facility in the area with thetechnology to host such an event.

The cost to attend is $45 per person in advance. The “day-of”cost has not been determined, although it could be up to $65 perperson, Porter said.

The lineup for the April 18 event includes Carroll, Maxwell,”Fast Company” founding editor Bill Taylor, Table Group PresidentPat Lencioni, Chick Fil-A president Dan Cathey, “Visioneering”author Andy Stanley, professional executive coach Valorie Burton,CBS Sports analyst Spencer Tillman, “The Traveler’s Gift” authorAndy Andrews, and ESPN college basketball announcer DickVitale.

“Business leaders can get together and go hear some of the bestspeakers in the country,” Porter said. “It deals with advancingyour personal and professional life, and who wouldn’t want to dothat?”

And the speakers will have something for everyone, even thecynics.

“One of the big arguments you hear is that people don’t want topay money to hear a speaker,” he said. “But if you leave somethinglike Advance without learning at least one useful thing, you’re notgoing to learn anything anyway.”

Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Cliff Brumfieldtold the Southwest Mississippi Partnership meeting Friday afternoonthat if the Advance event is successful, the chamber would beinterested in sponsoring even more speakers and similar simulcastsfor the business community.

“We really wanted to embrace the idea of bringing simulcastswith top-notch speakers to be fed here for our community,” hesaid.

Porter said the leadership seminar is something he feels thecommunity should do often.

“This is something we can continue to do,” he said. “The days ofeveryone getting together and saying, ‘We need to do better in ourbusiness’ are over.”

The Southwest Mississippi Leadership Symposium will have aslight spiritual undertone, and Porter said he thinks that’s a goodthing.

“I know a lot of people get turned off about Christianleadership, but it is there and it should be,” he said. “Churchesand business need to work together, because you don’t want to dealwith crooks.”

Thurman said the program is geared to secular leadership on thewhole, but that several of the speakers are pastors or formerpastors, including Maxwell, who became a motivational speaker after20 years in the ministry.

“He’s arguably the leading leadership expert in the country andthere’s where your slant on the spiritual side comes in,” he said.”Some of what he’ll talk about will be ethics-related andleadership from the standpoint of doing the right thing andconducting yourself as a leader with integrity at all time.”

More information on the event may be found atwww.maximumimpact.com/mis. Questions about tickets and times can bedirected to the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce at(601) 833-1411.