Downtown Destiny event provides tools for growth

Downtown Destiny event provides tools for growth


Attracting commercial development and growing jobs were two main topics up for discussion at the Downtown Destiny workshop hosted by Mississippi Power’s Economic Development, Community Development and Marketing departments.

The event, held at the Hospitality and Resort Management Center at the Jefferson Davis Campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, was attended by elected officials and local economic development agencies from across Mississippi’s three coastal counties.

Coast Division Manager Tommy Murphy started the day with a welcome message for the attendees.

“This event is about you, your team and your town,” Murphy said. “We hope you take the topics we discuss today and turn them into jobs for your communities tomorrow.”

Topics on the agenda included community marketing, understanding and applying data, downtown retail mix and more.

The event’s timing was also important, as it was held ahead of next month’s International Council of Shopping Centers “Gulf South Idea Exchange” in Biloxi.

“ICSC is the nation’s largest retail association, and to have one of its regional conferences in our backyard is a tremendous opportunity for south Mississippi,” Commercial Development Representative Pat Wylie said.

Wylie also serves on the planning committee for the ICSC event.

“The timing of our workshop provides a heads-up on how to be prepared and ultimately take advantage of retail opportunities for their communities,” he said.

The event’s featured speakers were Chuck Branch of r360 Consulting, who matches commercial developers and cities, and Doug Neil of Daniel Community Advisors, who has a history in public and private sector development companies.

“Today’s speakers brought a tremendous amount of first-hand knowledge to share with us,” Economic Development Manager Steven Dick said. “Downtown districts are vital to the areas that we serve and the topics that were covered will help these officials and leaders make small improvements to their downtowns that could have a big difference in the future.”

Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe, reliable and environmentally responsible energy for nearly 187,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties. Mississippi Power ranked first in the Southeast Electric Exchange’s 2016 Safety Performance Reports and is consistently recognized as an industry leader in reliability, customer service and safety. Visit our websites at and, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.