Delta Leadership Institute Graduates 6 MS Leaders Poised to Support Economic Development Efforts

July 30, 2018

Left to right: Tray Hairston, Jean Gross, Emanuel Edmond, Chris Caldwell (DRA chairman), La Shon Brooks, Jo Ann Clark, and Eric Atchison.

PADUCAH, Ky. – The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) congratulates six new Mississippi graduates of the Delta Leadership Institute (DLI) Executive Academy who now have the tools to support DRA’s efforts to create jobs, build communities, and improve lives across Mississippi and the Delta region.

The six graduates completed the year-long DLI Executive Academy, a training program that brings together public, private, and nonprofit-sector leaders from each of the eight states served by DRA. The program equips participants with the tools, experiences and networks that will help them create new economic opportunities in Delta communities as well as support the growth of the region’s economy.

“DLI is an important tool to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of economic development efforts in the Delta region,” DRA Chairman Chris Caldwell said. “We are investing in these Mississippi leaders who are ready to help us and our partners contribute to job growth for Delta residents.”

The graduates participated in six training sessions over the past year to educate them on the regional and local economic and community development tools that are working for Delta communities to spark ideas that can be implemented in their own communities.

“I appreciate the support and training the Delta Leadership Institute provides to help prepare leaders who can contribute to the future growth of Mississippi,” said Gov. Phil Bryant. “I look forward to the contributions this group will make to enhancing economic development in their communities, in our state and in our region.”

The Mississippi graduates are:

  • Eric Atchison, Jackson | Director of System Analysis, Research, & Enrollment Management, Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning
  • La Shon Brooks, Greenwood | Chief of Staff & Legislative Liaison, Mississippi Valley State University
  • Jo Ann Clark, Ridgeland | Constituent Services Representative, U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith
  • Emanuel Edmond, Greenville | Chief Monitoring & Compliance Officer, Delta Regional Authority
  • Jean Gross, Vicksburg | Vice President/Community Development Coordinator, Trustmark National Bank
  • Tray Hairston, Madison | Attorney, Butler Snow

DLI fellows learn from local, regional and national experts in infrastructure and transportation, small business and entrepreneurship, workforce training, public health and other fields necessary for economic growth in the Delta region.

Since 2005, DLI's Executive Academy has enhanced the leadership skills, policy knowledge and networks of community members in the Delta region. After graduation, the Mississippi graduates become members of the Delta Leadership Network, which includes more than 500 community leaders who understand the importance of regional collaboration, resource sharing and innovative thinking.

DLI is a program of DRA in partnership with three institutions of higher education in the Delta region: The University of Alabama, Arkansas State University-Jonesboro and the University of Louisiana Monroe.

Contact: Andrew Moreau