Foy: Creativity spurs economic growth
By Bonnie L. Jackson
Tap into your individuality is the advice Joy Foy, Director of the Mississippi Authority Asset Development Division, gave to the Hazlehurst Area Chamber of Commerce at their Quarterly Luncheon on July 18 at Rolling Hills Country Club. “Who better to ask for an opinion than a woman,” Foy stated.
She encouraged the audience, composed of chamber members, city and county leaders, to transform the Millsaps hotel, a local asset, into one that works as an economic benefit for the community.
The Calling Panther Heritage Foundation is seeking funds to renovate the historic Millsaps hotel to utilize it as a cultural arts center in Copiah County.
The building will be used as a business incubator for small start-up businesses and as an entrepreneurial training site for high school students.
This site will give local arts and crafts people, musicians, and dancers a place they can come for assistance and/or showcase their wares or hold classes and/or performances.
Foy encouraged the audience to visit other cities who have ingenuously used their history as an economic strength rather than a liability. She suggested visiting cities such as Rolling Fork and Vicksburg.
Foy listed several other tricks of the trade. “You need to brand yourself. Promote what is unique about your community.”
She continued by advising the group to “celebrate your successes. This process will take time, but it is well worth it.”
“I am excited to hear that Bobby Rush is the main attraction for this year’s Rockin’ Railroad Festival. The MDA Blues Markers are a great draw for people all over the world.
Foy offered the services of a new architect who just joined the MDA staff.
Her offered materialized in short order.
Alan Henderson, MDA Architect, is meeting with Daphine Foster on Friday at 10 a.m. to look at the Millsaps Hotel so that he can develop a rendering of how it will look when completed.