Economic Development earns Digital 25 recognition

Economic Development earns Digital 25 recognition


Mississippi Power’s Economic Development department recently was recognized as one of the top 25 digital economic development organizations in North America at the 2017 International Economic Development Council’s (IEDC) annual conference in Toronto.

The annual Digital 25 reflects those organizations that best use digital technology to differentiate their communities online and to better serve businesses.

The recognition comes from Community Systems, a company that develops websites and software to foster economic growth and tourism in communities across the world. The Digital 25 recognition is based on results from an annual survey of more than 400 economic development organizations, analyzing how they use digital technology to drive growth and support community businesses.

“We’re excited to be recognized as a digital leader in the economic development industry,” said Brian Useforge, Economic Development director. “Our team strives to work in partnership with the Mississippi Development Authority and our local partners on all aspects of the economic development process — recruiting, project management, policy issues and communication through a variety of channels.

“Our digital resources allow us to promote all the advantages of doing business in Southeast Mississippi. They also put us in a better position as we compete globally to bring more businesses to our service territory.”

Along with adding social media profiles in 2015, the department has also worked to expand its reach through several digital database services that give interested businesses real-time information on what Mississippi has to offer.

“By using the latest software and data analysis subscriptions available for economic development, our department can more efficiently and rapidly respond to complex data requests we receive from our economic development partners, companies and site location consultants,” said Kristen Hernstrom, Economic Development research analyst.

In July and August 2017, Community Systems surveyed 436 economic development practitioners about the importance they place on digital technologies, the types of technologies they’ve adopted, as well as their overall attitudes about technology. Results showed how data-driven technology is implementing positive change throughout the economic development community.

“We’re pleased to recognize these 25 leaders in the economic development community,” said Ben Wright, CEO of Community Systems. “These are some of the most successful economic development organizations in North America and we believe that’s a direct result of how they embrace and use digital technology to help businesses and community members.”

Earlier this month, Mississippi Power’s Economic Development department was honored by Site Selection magazine on its list of “Top 10 Economic Development Teams in the United States.”

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 Southeastern 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.