Maynard turns focus to private company

Published 6:45 am Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Nontraditional economic models employed

Jon Maynard has been in economic development for almost three decades. The former president and CEO of the Oxford Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce, Maynard was hired in 2012 and resigned in May 2023.

But he hasn’t left economic development: He just hopped from one business-focused organization to another.

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Maynard had something new going on – a new business, in fact, called Infinite Sequence Economics (ISE). The organization stands behind Maynard’s conviction that “traditional economic development models often overlook smaller communities, focusing predominantly on larger, urban areas,” which means smaller communities just have to work harder to pull new business in and support existing businesses.

The company’s website further explained this phenomenon: “By harnessing the power of data and recognizing the power of people as the focus of local economies, ISE offers a framework that empowers even the smallest communities to understand their unique economic patterns and potentials.”

The approach facilitates data-driven decisions on seemingly minor aspects that hold significant implications for sustainable development, the site said.

ISE focuses on “nurturing local entrepreneurship to investing in education or infrastructure, [and] these data-informed strategies lead to more resilient local economies, ensuring that growth is not just concentrated in large cities, but also flourishes in smaller towns and rural areas. This inclusive, holistic approach propels ISE as a transformative tool for equitable and sustainable economic development.”

Originally from the northwestern part of Louisiana, Maynard has business experience in sales, economic development, real estate, theater and banking.

Born into a military family, he has lived in Georgia, Texas, Kansas, Alabama, Florida and Louisiana before moving to Mississippi in 2008. He holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Northwestern State University of Louisiana and is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute.

He began his economic development career as a volunteer in Natchitoches, LA, serving as a volunteer for a community that did not have the formal capacity to hire a full-time economic developer, the website stated. This situation helped broaden Maynard’s understanding of the needs of smaller communities and the tools they need for success.

After nearly a decade volunteering in Natchitoches, Maynard moved to Minden, La., to work for the Northwest Louisiana Economic Development Foundation in 2006. His next stop was Starkville in 2008 and then to Oxford in 2012.

Maynard found working at the Oxford and Starkville chambers something he quite enjoyed when it came to the organic process of updating the chamber’s business model. “Economic development has changed quite a bit in the last three to five years,” he said. “So many smaller communities are not involved in the kind of growth occurring here in Oxford.

It’s harder to keep good people in communities if the economic development is not strong. If you look at the data, you will see many businesses have gone from company-based to people-based.”

Maynard’s professional life grew from studying communities themselves, but it’s not all work and no play for him: He’s been known to play the drums, fly a plane, dive as a SCUBA instructor and show off his professional musical skills. He lives what he preaches, allowing these social activities to keep him “people focused” whether at work or at play.