The wait is finally over …
After months of soliciting and reviewing nominations, photograph sessions and other preparations, the 2019 class of Meridian Home & Style Magazine and The Meridian Star’s TOP twenty under 40 presented by Mississippi Power were presented Thursday evening at The Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience in downtown Meridian.
The honor recognizes 20 young leaders under the age of 40 from the Meridian are who not only excel in their works, but also have a record of excellence in their civic engagement and philanthropic efforts. These young women and men give selflessly to their community and are involved in working with local non-profits as volunteers or board members, or are up-and-coming leaders in their community or place of business.
This year’s class is the fourth in this annual recognition. The honorees were selected from a field of more than 60 submitted nominations, our biggest number to date. Narrowing down the number of honorees to 20 was not easy, which says a lot about the caliber of young leaders who are key movers and shakers in the Meridian area.
This year’s honorees are:
Patty Ann Bogue, 32
Profession: Teacher at Mississippi State University/College of Business in the Department of Management & Information Systems
Dr. Matt Cassell, 39
Profession: Oncologist, Anderson Cancer Center
Holley Speed Davis, 39
Profession: Student Intern Supervisor/Communications Manager at University of West Alabama/Magnolia Beverage Company
Larry Gill, 25
Profession: Office Manager, Percy Bland State Farm
Dr. Kimberly Grady, 34
Profession: Dentist, Happy Smiles Dentistry
Tiffany Brooke Hickman, 31
Profession: Meridian Public Schools, Sports Medicine/Health Instructor
Crystal Jones, 39
Profession: General Manager, Wendy’s
Russell Keene, 38
Profession: Principal of Southeast Lauderdale High School
Kim Blackwell Knight, 37
Profession: President/Owner of Midas Medical LLC
Hospital Corpsman First Class Quenton Morgan, 34
Profession: United States Navy, NAS Meridian
Brittney Mosley, 31
Profession: Community Health Director, MS Dept. of Health
Alicia Ruffin, 33
Profession: People Services Coordinator at iQor
Danny Russell, 32
Profession: Citizens National Bank, Relationship Banker
Master-at-Arms First Class Petty Officer Samuel Shipley, 34
Profession: United States Navy, stationed at NAS Meridian
Justin Smith, 32
Profession: Project Manager/Estimator at Glass Inc.
Jamie Smith, 32
Profession: Accounts Manager at Insurance Advisory Group
Centel Truman, 39
Profession: Southeast Lauderdale HS Coach/pastor Greater Calvary BC
Ronald Turner II, 28
Profession: Meridian Police Department
Mary Ellen Waters, 39
Profession: Head of School, Kemper Academy
Anna Wile, 32
Profession: Dermatologist, Center for Dermatology
Thursday’s reception was attended by family, coworkers and friends and in addition to food, featured music by local guitarist Steve Watson. Each TOP twenty under 40 honoree was presented a “swag bag,” filled with items donated by local businesses, as well as a TOP twenty under 40 T-shirt and a framed copy of their photo which appears in the August/September issue of Meridian Home & Style Magazine.
The 2019 TOP twenty under 40 honorees also will be featured on billboards located near Meridian Community College and the Coca-Cola Bottling Company.
The August/September edition of Meridian Home & Style Magazine is available at local businesses, at The Meridian Star office at 814 22nd Ave. and can be viewed online at www.meridianstar.com.
Along with presenting sponsor Mississippi Power, the Meridian Home & Style Top twenty under 40's primary sponsors include Monster, The Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience and Nova Tech.