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Snipes, Miller selected to speak at 2019 National Main Street Conference in Seattle, Washington

Snipes, Miller selected to speak at 2019 National Main Street Conference in Seattle, Washington
JACKSON, Miss. – Brantley Snipes of Main Street Greenwood and Jan Miller of the Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) have been selected to present at the 2019 Main Street Now Conference in Seattle, Washington on March 25-27, 2019.

Snipes and Miller submitted a session proposal in a competitive selection process, and their session, “Aligning Your Plan of Work with Your Community’s Vision for Downtown,” was selected to be part of the conference programming. 
The session is based on a community visioning process that Snipes and Miller led in Greenwood in 2017 called "How Downtown." The successful community engagement program won a Main Street state award in the category of Organization for Outstanding Community Education Campaign this year. 
The purpose of the "How Downtown" program was to re-organize Main Street Greenwood's plan of work and ensure the organization was aligning projects with the visions of the community.

 The "How Downtown" Visioning Process consisted of a brief survey sent to community members allowing them to express their concerns or issues with downtown. The results were tallied and organized into talking points on how Main Street Greenwood could achieve change in downtown and then discussed during the "How Downtown" community meeting. More than 50 community members attended the public meeting and provided real, tangible ideas, goals and objectives for Main Street Greenwood to pursue over the course of the next five years.

Snipes and Miller will be sharing about this process at the National Conference where more than 1,600 downtown revitalization professionals are expected to attend from across the nation.
“It is quite an honor to be selected, and we are excited to share our ideas from Mississippi with attendees from all over and be able to learn from them as well," said Brantley Snipes, Director of Main Street Greenwood.

Woodville to Receive Mississippi Main Street “Refresh” Visit, Oct. 28-30

Woodville to Receive Mississippi Main Street "Refresh" Visit, Oct. 28-30
WOODVILLE, Miss. – The Woodville/Wilkinson County Main Street Association will participate in a Community Visioning Workshop conducted by the Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) on Oct. 28-30 in downtown Woodville.  The staff and board of Woodville Main Street applied for this program earlier this year with MMSA. The two-day workshop will help continue the advancement of the downtown area. 

The workshop provides services to assist Woodville Main Street to define community-informed and market-driven strategies that can direct and strengthen its revitalization efforts. 
"Woodville/Wilkinson County Main Street looks forward to this Visioning Workshop with Mississippi Main Street," said Polly Rosenblatt, Director of Woodville/Wilkinson County Main Street. "Our hopes are to incorporate the ideas and input from local residents into a plan of work that will be realistic in our community's capacity to carry out this work, and that the MMSA staff will offer advice, observations, and education."   
"Woodville/Wilkinson County Main Street has done so much for its community, and we are confident that the public and private sectors will be actively engaged in this process to take downtown Woodville to the next level through the recommendations we present based on community input and market opportunities," said Jeannie Waller Zieren, MMSA Director of Training and Marketing.

The visit will involve community input by a pre-visit survey, meetings with focus groups, a public meeting on Monday evening (Oct. 29), research on market conditions, specific gaps, and key opportunities that can strengthen the downtown district.
Woodville has been a certified Mississippi Main Street Community since 2004.

For a workshop agenda and meeting locations, contact Polly Rosenblatt at or 601.888.3998. For more information on the Main Street program, visit Woodville Main Street on Facebook at, Mississippi Main Street Association at the National Main Street Center at

Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) has been improving the quality of life in Mississippi for more than 30 years by developing Mississippi's downtowns. Main Street is an economic development program based in historic preservation. The mission of the Mississippi Main Street Association is to provide visionary leadership, guidance and counsel to Mississippi Main Street communities through organization, promotion, design and economic development to make our cities and towns better places to work, live and play. Since 1993, MMSA has generated more than $5.3 billion in private and public investment (including nearly $1.3 billion in public investment), 37,547 net new jobs, 5,741 net new businesses, rehabilitated 3,321 buildings and added 2,883 downtown residential units. MMSA is a program of the National Main Street Center, with many public and private partners. 

New Officers elected to Miss. Main Street Board of Directors


JACKSON, Miss. – A new slate of executive officers has been elected to the Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) Board of Directors. The new member and officers were elected at the recent annual awards meeting held in Jackson.

Ed Gardner of Entergy Mississippi in Jackson has been elected as the MMSA Board President for 2018-2019.
“The Main Street program is essential to economic development efforts in Mississippi,” said Ed Gardner, MMSA Board President. “It is one of the key quality of life drivers that attracts new business and industry. I am honored to lead the state organization as we seek to lead and grow the visibility of the more than 50 cities and towns we work in.”

As Director of Business and Economic Development for Entergy, Gardner is an experienced economic developer with more than 20 years at the regional level in both the public and private sectors. 
Before joining Entergy Mississippi in 2015, Gardner served as the economic development representative in Florida for PowerSouth Energy Cooperative, which is a generation and transmission cooperative headquartered in South Alabama. Gardner led the development of a two-year targeted aerospace marketing campaign that resulted in a significant increase in project activity. While in Florida, Gardner served as Chairman of Florida’s Great Northwest and the Chair for Enterprise Florida’s Stakeholder’s Council.

Prior to joining PowerSouth, Gardner worked as Vice President of Economic Development and Workforce at the Birmingham Business Alliance in Birmingham, Ala. In this position, Gardner was responsible for recruitment, workforce development and leading a strategic planning process for the seven-county Birmingham metro area.

Gardner has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Central Oklahoma and a Master’s Degree from Auburn University in Public Administration.

He is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), as well as a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP), with more than 13 years of local economic development experience.

The newly-elected MMSA executive officers are: President Ed Gardner, Director of Business and Economic Development, Entergy Mississippi in Jackson; President-Elect Kevin Stafford, Vice President of Neel-Schaffer, Inc. in Columbus; Treasurer Steven B. Dick, Economic Development Manager for Mississippi Power in Gulfport; and Past President Allison Beasley, Economic/Workforce Development Division Director, Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District in Gulfport.

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Ed Gardner
Kevin Stafford
Steven Dick
Allison Beasley

As a Main Street America Coordinating Program, MMSA is part of a powerful, grassroots network consisting of 45 Coordinating Programs and over 1600 neighborhoods and communities across the country committed to creating high-quality places and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. MMSA partners with the Mississippi Development Authority and many private investors in the state. 

MMSA provides training and technical assistance based on the Main Street Four-Point Approach® - Organization, Promotion, Design and Economic Vitality - to its Main Street communities. For more information, visit

Another luxury hotel to open in downtown Cleveland

Another luxury hotel to open in downtown Cleveland

Posted by: Jack Weatherly in  MBJ FEATUREReal Estate & ConstructionTourism July 24, 2018




The Cotton House. Is there better name for a luxury hotel in the Delta?


Tradition with a wink.


The $17.6 million, 95-room hotel will open early next year in downtown Cleveland, dead center in the region known for the richest soil and earthiest music in the world.


“It’ll be a very high-end product,” said Luke Chamblee, president of LRC2 Properties, whose portfolio contains The Graduate in Oxford and other properties.


Chamblee confirmed that the Cotton House at 223 Cotton Row will carry the Marriott Tribute brand, one of about 40 under that flag in the world.


“We couldn’t be more excited to be partnering with the largest hotel reservation system in the world,” Chamblee said. “This says a lot about the community and the development.”


The Delta influences the  — whether it’s art work, wall coverings, fixtures, furnishing. He and the design team explored the Mississippi Delta for a week. We explored all different parts . . . from hole in the walls to major restaurants like Lusco’s,” Chamblee said in an interview.


“It’ll be good for the immediate market and the whole Delta.”


Cleveland Mayor Billy Nowell said the Cotton House is going to be “a game-changer” for downtown.


Judson Thigpen, executive director of the Cleveland/Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce, said the hotel will “bring a feeling of place to downtown.”


On a practical note, the city cannot accommodate large groups when they come to town, having to send them to nearby towns for lodging, Thigpen said.


Chamblee’s Cotton House Hospitality LLC was approved by the Mississippi Development Authority, through  state law 57-6-1, which could mean roughly a 30 percent reimbursement over a 15-year period, if certain milestones are met.


Chamblee declined to say how much the investment was, but the  Mississippi Business Journal obtained though an Open Records Law request to the Mississippi Development Authority details about the project.


The city approved a tax increment financing, or TIF, district, by which tax revenues from the project  will be diverted to it for a limited time. The bond issue connected with it will yield $2 million toward financing the building of the hotel, according to records provided by the MDA.


Payroll will range from $1.2 million in the first year to $1.5 million in the 10th year, assuming 100 employees throughout that period.


Suresh and Dinesh Chawla, two brothers who own a chain of hotels in the Delta qualified for a rebate of roughly $6 million for their $20 million Scion hotel under construction in west Cleveland, the first of a luxury chain planned by the Trump Organization.


The special legislation benefits both Bolivar County, of which Cleveland is county seat, and Lauderdale County, where Meridian is located.


The Mississippi Grammy Museum, which opened in 2016, and the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center, or MAX, are cited as the reasons for the law.


Ascent Hospitality Management of Coral Gables, Fla. Is resurrecting the historic Threefoot Building in Meridian in a $22 million project.


The Chawlas have got what appears to be a really good development as well, Chamblee said of the West End Scion going up in Cleveland that will be owned by the Chawlas and operated by the Trump Organization.


The Cotton House will employ more than 100, with the vast majority of those jobs being full-time, he said.


The the five-story hotel on Cotton Row will have a rooftop bar and will feature a restaurant operated by Cole Ellis, a James Beard Award-winning chef who is the owner and executive chef of the Delta Meat Market in Cleveland.


Also, the hotel will include Balance Fitness Studio and Delta Blue Jean Co.


Probity Constructon of Florence is the general contractor and the architect is the Renaissance Group of Lakeland, Tenn.


LRC2 Properties is also an investor in the Hotel Indigo, which opened last week in Hattiesburg.


The 100-room Indigo is located at 103 S. 30th Ave. near the main University of Southern Mississippi entrance, according to Chief Financial Officer Seth Miles. It will include a full-service restaurant and bar. It likewise was designed by the Renaissance Group.

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Mississippi Main Street Association
P.O. Box 55747 | Jackson, MS 39296
Phone: 601/944-0113
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P.O. Box 445 | Columbus, MS 39703 | 662- 364-0435
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