Meridian Star

March 17, 2013

MSYP to hold April summit in Meridian

Special to The Star
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Some of Mississippi's brightest young professionals will descend on Meridian next month.

    On April 25 and 26 the Mississippi Young Professionals (MSYP) will host the MSYP 2013 Summit, Rethink Mississippi: No Suits, No PowerPoints, No Bull, at the Mississippi State University Riley Center, located at 2200 Fifth St., in downtown Meridian.

    The event, coordinated by the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA), will launch the first year of MSYP, a nonprofit organization designed to connect the state’s existing young professionals organizations in order to create a network that will develop, empower and retain young professionals in Mississippi. MSYP’s 19-member board is comprised of business leaders in their 20s, 30s and 40s from each region of the state.

    “The main goal of MSYP is to engage young professionals in the state and get them involved in the future of Mississippi," said Fredie Carmichael, MSYP chairman and MDA regional development manager. "The Mississippi Economic Council’s Blueprint Mississippi report noted that for our state to succeed, we must change the perception that we will be exporting half of our young talent to other states.

    “We believe it is up to MSYP to help change that perception. We want our best and brightest young people to give Mississippi a second look and realize the opportunities our great state has to offer, while also using that momentum to recruit other young professionals to Mississippi.”

    Tray Hairston, MSYP board member and associate counsel and policy advisor for Governor Phil Bryant, said he has seen many of his peers and colleagues leave Mississippi for various reasons.

    "I feel like Mississippi needs me more than any other place on earth," Hairston said. "And at the end of the day, Mississippi has too far to go for our best and brightest to simply leave.

    "Ultimately, I feel like I own a part of Mississippi, and there’s so much value in taking care of something that has taken such great care of me.”

    Speakers at the two-day event include Gov. Phil Bryant; Peavey Electronics Founder and Chief Executive Officer Hartley Peavey; creative instigator and speaker Dyana Valentine; Civil Rights leader Roscoe Jones, Sr.; young business owner Keyes Kennard of Mobile Solutions; and Paromita Mitra, Miss Mississippi USA 2013. Topics to be covered include: Post It to Facebook, Let’s Go to Work, Innovation Can Happen in Mississippi, Never Say Never and LinkedIn(to) It. The event will also include networking opportunities.

    The cost to attend the MSYP 2013 Summit is $75 per person, which includes four meals, an MSYP T-shirt, and admission to a social event on April 25. The social will include complimentary crawfish and beverages, sponsored by Mitchell Distributing, as well as live entertainment by bluesman Grady Champion in downtown Meridian’s Dumont Plaza.

    For more information or to register online, please visit or contact Fredie Carmichael at

About Mississippi Young Professionals

Mississippi Young Professionals serves to create a network that will connect, develop, empower and retain young professionals in Mississippi through community involvement, professional development and social interaction. The organization works to create a shared vision that will help retain and recruit young talent to Mississippi, while also promoting the state as a tourist destination by showcasing its benefits to young executives, such as the relative low cost-of-living and high quality of life. For more information, visit MSYP’s website at