Southern Pipe and Supply, our family-held company, was founded here in 1938, so we have long and deep ties to Meridian.
One of the significant reasons for our ability to endure for over 80 years has been our “underdog mentality”. We compete with companies much larger than we are, and to that extent, we are underdogs. To compete successfully against these much larger companies, we have to work harder and have a stronger will to win than they do.
Tom Brady, the Tampa Bay quarterback who owns a record seven Super Bowl championship rings, said recently, “I never forget where I came from, and I always realize I have to put the work in to get the job done.” Like Tom Brady, we never forget where we came from and that we have to put the work in to beat much larger competitors.
Meridian has been good to our family, and Southern Pipe is what it is, because Meridian is what it is – a great place to raise a company, and a great place to raise a family. We want to see Meridian grow, and be a place that is an enjoyable place for our citizens to live in, and a place that our children and grandchildren want to come back to. The key to making that growth happen is getting more jobs in Meridian. And, the key to that is the East Mississippi Business Development Corporation (EMBDC).
In the EMBDC, we have a single point of focus to coordinate and facilitate our collective efforts to get more jobs in Meridian. Just as Southern Pipe has been successful because we have created a strong team, dedicated to serving our customers, EMBDC will be successful if we have a team of people (our Meridian “Family”), dedicated to working with them to get more jobs in Meridian.
That team consists, of as many companies in Meridian as possible, being members of EMBDC. It consists of a mayor and city council, as well as a county board of supervisors having a high priority of creating more jobs in Meridian. And lastly, it consists of our Meridian citizens continually asking what they can do to make Meridian a better place to live, because the more that happens, the more attractive Meridian will be for new industry.
There is probably no venture more competitive in America than getting a new industry. Meridian is competing against cities much larger, and with many more monetary incentives than we have.
Because of that, an “underdog mentality”, with a strong will to win will be required to attract new industry here. It is a journey that will sometimes be one step forward, and two steps back – but we can never, ever give up. We have to understand that we are going to have to work harder, than our competitor cities, to be successful.
With the leadership and community support of the EMBDC, the teamwork of our Meridian family, and a strong will to win, Meridian will grow, and be an even greater place to live in the future, than it has been in the past.
Marty Davidson is Chairman of the Board of Southern Pipe and Supply Inc.