Innovate Mississippi announced today the naming of a new chairman and vice chairman to its Board of Directors. Mr. Mike Forster, of Louisville, was elected Chairman of the Board, and Mrs. Deborah Midanek Bailey, of Grenada, was elected Vice Chairman of the Board.
The Innovate Mississippi Board of Directors includes private sector CEOs, innovation and technology entrepreneurs, business leaders and investors. Representing the Board’s public sector are the presidents of Mississippi’s four research universities – Jackson State University, Mississippi State University, the University of Mississippi and the University of Southern Mississippi.
“We’re fortunate to have a dedicated Board of Directors that gives their time to strengthen the innovation economy in Mississippi,” said Tony Jeff, president and CEO of Innovate Mississippi.“Mike Forster’s years of professional experience make him a valuable resource, and we are honored to have him serve as Chairman.” said Jeff. “We are grateful that he is willing to share his time and knowledge with us to help grow the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem in Mississippi.”
“I am delighted to be working even more closely with Tony Jeff and the entire Innovate Mississippi team in this role,” said Forster. “We have some exciting new initiatives underway to better develop the coding infrastructure in our state. The Mississippi Codes and the Mississippi Coding Academy projects hold great promise for our state’s workforce and our employers who need those skills.”
“Our new Vice Chairman, Deborah Midanek Bailey, a seasoned entrepreneur and corporate director, has been an effective member of our Board for several years and with Mike is one of founders of our new coding academies,” added Jeff. “Innovate Mississippi’s staff and I are looking forward to working with her in this new role.”
“Working with Innovate Mississippi is a great privilege,” said Bailey, who serves as president of Solon Group, Inc., among other ventures. “As a veteran corporate turnaround executive – and a New York native to boot – I see Mississippi as a land of huge opportunity.”
Innovate Mississippi is a nonprofit organization with the mission to drive innovation and technology-based economic development for the State of Mississippi. Visit www.innovate.ms for more information.