The Montgomery Institute Board of Directors has elected Beverly Knox as president, Chairman C. D. Smith announced in a news release on Thursday.
The appointment comes as the organization celebrates its 20th anniversary and embarks on a revised mission.
Initiated by The Montgomery Institute in 2016, the Community Health Improvement Program, a rural health network, has recently merged into the Institute. As a result, the Institute is taking on a CHIN mission to coordinate the community’s response to healthcare needs identified by community health assessments performed by hospitals and other organizations in Lauderdale County.
“We are excited to have someone with Beverly’s experience and proven leadership ability to step in and lead The Montgomery Institute,” said Smith. “Her background makes her eminently qualified to lead us in this role with the Community Health Improvement Network.”
Knox, who also serves as pastor of Holy Remnant Church, has served as director of the Tobacco Free Coalition of Noxubee, Neshoba, and Kemper Counties for the past 12 years. Prior to that, she worked as network coordinator for EC-HealthNet for three years and the City of Meridian as its Keep America Beautiful Coordinator for 16 years. A native of Meridian and graduate of Meridian Junior College and the University of Southern Mississippi, she is married to Leon Knox and has two children.
The Montgomery Institute began operations in 2001 as a program of The Riley Foundation with additional support from The Phil Hardin Foundation and local contributors.
Named for the late Congressman G. V. “Sonny” Montgomery, the Institute has operated a broad program of work based on five tenets: leadership development, regional cooperation, research and exposure to new ways/ideas, building consensus, and act as a change agent for the region.
In so doing, the Institute intentionally works to exemplify one of Sonny Montgomery’s leadership legacies – building relationships – by focusing attention more on its partners’ successes than its own. Since 2001 the Institute has brought in nearly $40 million in grants and contributions to support innovation and improvement of partner organizations, which include communities, community colleges, universities, schools, health care organizations, and non-profit organizations across the bi-state region.
Current programs include the Meridian Freedom Project, the East Mississippi POWER Initiative in Kemper, Winston, Choctaw, and Webster Counties, the Tobacco Free Coalition of Noxubee, Neshoba and Kemper Counties, plus the Community Health Improvement Network in Meridian.
Current CHIN partners include the City of Meridian, the East Mississippi Business Development Corp., Anderson Regional Health System, Rush Health Systems, Greater Meridian Health Clinic, EC-HealthNet Residency Program, the Meridian Housing Authority, The Phil Hardin Foundation, Meridian Community College, Mississippi State University-Meridian, and the Mississippi State Department of Health.
The board also elected Bill Crawford, who founded the Institute in 2001, as its President-Emeritus.