MS Economic Council is nation’s No. 1 State Chamber

Published 2:00 pm Wednesday, September 14, 2022

The Mississippi Economic Council has been honored as the State Chamber of the Year for 2022 by the National Association of State Chambers.

Each year, NASC honors a state chamber that has distinguished itself by providing exceptional services and outstanding results for its members.

“As the state chamber, MEC connects businesses from all regions of Mississippi with a shared goal of growing our state’s economic competitiveness,” said Scott Waller, president and CEO of MEC. “The tremendous support of members from all business sectors is the driving force for initiating and effectively advocating proactive public policy, helping create opportunities for all Mississippians.”

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“We are proud to be members of MEC and hosts of their annual community meeting in Brookhaven,” said Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Managing Director Garrick Combs. “The work that MEC does has been important in moving Mississippi forward in education, economic development, quality of life and more.”

Brookhaven’s Bill Sones, Bill Jacobs and Ryan Holmes are all members of MEC.

Sones has been on the MEC Board of Directors for 30 years, and served as chair in 1995.

“I really believe in the Chamber of Commerce and how it builds up our communities and state,” Sones said. “We have a great Chamber of Commerce here. I was pleasantly surprised when I moved to Brookhaven (in the 1970s) to see how successful our Chamber had been over the years. Our current Chamber people do a wonderful job.”

“I can’t say enough about the MEC. The programs they have like STAR Student and STAR Teacher are wonderful, and they do a great job,” he said.

MEC — the State Chamber of Commerce — has been the voice of Mississippi business since 1949, dealing with broad issues that relate to all Mississippi businesses. MEC carries out its mission statement “to be the leading force for business in Mississippi” by using factual, data-driven research to promote collaboration between top private and public sector leaders and develop feasible solutions that will grow the state’s economy.

Some Key Public Policy Achievements

• The Comprehensive Career and Technical Education Reform Act aligns CTE courses at the high school and community college levels, requiring a return-on-investment analysis. It also creates career readiness assessments.

• The Strategically Accelerating the Recruitment and Retention of Teachers (START) Act of 2022 is a $250 million annual investment for teachers, increasing their salaries effective for the 2022-2023 school year, surpassing the regional and national averages.