Annual Chamber Partnership Banquet held at the Rosenwald

Published 7:29 am Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The annual Chamber Partnership Banquet was held Tuesday night at the Rosenwald Building on the Prentiss Institute campus in Prentiss.

Awards were presented to business, industry and citizen of the year. Star Student and Star Teacher awards were also presented to the seniors and their chosen teacher of each of the three high schools. This is the first time since the year 2000 that all three schools awarded a Star Student, and it will also be the last.

The crowd was entertained by Myesha Randolph and MiRillie Trude Magee prior to the awards portion of the evening.

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Randolph is the daughter of James and Betty Randolph and a resident of the Progress community in JDC. She is active in her church and enjoys singing and spending time with family and friends when not busy with her studies. Myesha presently attends the Mississippi School of the Arts in Brookhaven.

MiRillie Trude Magee is the daughter of Janon Marie Magee. She attends G. W. Carver Elementary in Bassfield. She is an active member at Shorts Chapel C.M.E. Church. She is a member of the youth choir and praise team.

Speaker for the banquet was Dr. Mark Miller. Miller is a professor of geography at Southern Miss., with a specialty in economic development.

As an avid biker, Dr. Miller first learned of the beauty of Jefferson Davis County while biking the Long Leaf Trace between Hattiesburg and Prentiss.

In 2015, Dr. Miller’s knowledge of the community was deepened when students in his graduate class did a qualitative research project in Jeff Davis County. Their research focused on both the challenges faced, and the opportunities available, for future economic development in our county.

Dr. Miller’s next book, titled “Economic Development for Every- one: Creating Jobs, Growing Businesses, and Building Resilience in Low-Income Communities,” will be published in June.

The industry of the year award was presented to Foley Products. The Concrete Company was established in 1951 in Columbus, Georgia, primarily for the purpose of supplying ready-mix concrete. In1981 Foley Products Company was established as a subsidiary of The Concrete Company. Foley Products today manufactures, sells, and delivers pre-cast concrete manholes/catch basins, pre-cast concrete communications/electric manholes, pre-cast concrete median barriers, and concrete pipe. Foley Products currently has plants in Newnan, Winder, and Waco Georgia, Clanton and Athens, Alabama, and Prentiss.

Foley Products is the largest of The Concrete Companies subsidiaries employing 300 people. Foley Products is an approved supplier to the Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee Departments of Transportation (DOT), City of Atlanta, and numerous other agencies and municipalities. Today, Foley Products Company holds a position of prominence in their industry and is proud of the role it plays in the success of their customers.

In early 2011, Foley Products made the decision to build a new plant in Mississippi and looked at several options. After much thought and assistance from the JDC Board of Supervisors, the economic development office, Foley made the decision to locate in Prentiss.

Foley began construction of the facility in early 2013 and competed the plant in early 2014. Foley then decided to increase its production capacity in Prentiss and completed this increased plant capacity in early 2015. Today Foley Products employs approximately 50 people at the Prentiss plant.

The Prentiss plant is a very important part of Foley Products Company enabling Foley to supply its customers in Mississippi, Louisiana, southwest Alabama, and the Florida panhandle with its quality products.

Newpointe Pharmacy was awarded business of the year. Newpointe Pharmacy is owned by Robert Carr and Karl Sylvest and serves the Pine Belt with locations in Bassfield and Hattiesburg.

The Bassfield location was opened in 2005. The driving force behind the business was a love for the community, a desire to help citizens with medical needs and to provide a needed service for the county.

Carr is married to Beverly Armstrong Carr and they have one child, Sam.

When informed of receiving this award Carr stated that he doesn’t do this for publicity but because it is needed, which is indeed the statement of a true humble person.

Pastor Jessie Holloway was named citizen of the year. Born in 1950, to Jessena Myers and L.C. Holloway, Pastor Holloway was raised near the Sophia Sutton community with ties to the Mt. Zion community just east of Hwy 13. Jessie went on to excel academically in grade school throughout high school while developing into a star athlete and attaining the title as one of the greatest athletes to come through south Mississippi. Jessie lettered in basketball and baseball throughout his high school career and earned a duel sport scholarship to Grambling State University in Ruston, Louisiana, as one of the few black athletes earning an out-of-state college scholarship at that time. After winning an array of championships while in attendance at Grambling State Jessie returned to Prentiss where he would soon after find his salvation in Jesus Christ and become a preacher.

He founded Outreach Fellowship Revival Center where he resides now as pastor. Jessie met the late Barbara Jean White while in attendance at J.E. Johnson High School who he would go on to marry and raise five children in the Stamps subdivision west of Prentiss. Jessie and Barbara partnered as husband and wife and pastor and first lady for 33 years until 2016, when his wife passed.

In Jessie’s adult life he has aspired to travel the globe ministering the gospel as a missionary landing in Africa and other various foreign soils several times.

Jessie served and presided over the Jefferson Davis County School Board for 18 years until his final term ending in 2016.

Jessie will be remembered as the president of the school board who elected to allow Jefferson Davis’ two high schools to consolidate beginning as one high school in August 2017.