Lesley brings home the bacon from State of Region meeting

Union County MS Bo Collins of BNA Bank at State of the Region meeting
BNA President Bo Collins, chairman of the Create Board, presides over the annual State of the Region meeting.
May 21st, 2019     People

New Albany MS – Thanks to Joann Lesley, New Albany and Union County took honors for having the most representation at the CREATE Foundation’s State of the Region meeting Tuesday morning in Tupelo.

As she has in several previous years, Joanne Lesley of the Union County Development Association (UCDA) worked the phones, sent text messages, and sent emails urging local people to attend the annual event. Twenty-seven people from Union County signed in for the meeting at the Bancorp Conference Center. The next closest had less than half that many.

It was worth a bit of money: UCDA took the $1,000 prize which CREATE awards for the best attendance.

As with most of what happens at UCDA, Joanne Lesley is the person who makes things happen.

It was a doubly-sweet occasion for New Albany and Union County, because BNA Bank President Bo Collins, this year’s CREATE Board Chairman, presided at the event.

Expanding trained workforce is focus of meeting

The main focus of the annual State of the Region meeting is expanding the trained workforce in the 17-county north Mississippi region served by CREATE.

Speakers for this year’s event included: Allegra Brigham, chairman of the Commission on the Future of Northeast Mississippi; Jay Moon, president and CEO of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association; Dr. Kristy Luse, CREATE vice-president in charge of the Toyota Wellspring Education Fund, and Dickie Scruggs, founder of 2nd Chance MS.

Create Commission on the future of Northeast Mississippi

CREATE’S Commission on the future of Northeast Mississippi is the organizer of the annual State of the Region meeting. The Commission comprises 54 volunteer leaders who study data, identify key issues, establish regional goals and objectives, and craft solutions.

The overall goal of the Commission is to increase per capita income.

The primary supporting goal is improving educational attainment.

The secondary supporting goals include: helping build a diversified economy and accelerating development and completion of four-lane highways.

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