Chamber’s Leadership Lafayette 2023 class graduates 25 leaders

Published 11:31 am Thursday, September 14, 2023

Twenty-five local leaders take their fine-tuned skills into the community after graduating from the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce’s 33rd annual Leadership Lafayette Program Aug. 31. The eight-month program is centered on enhancing teamwork, generating, and executing new ideas and serving the local community.

“I’m extremely honored each year to be a part of such a prestigious group of leaders in Lafayette Oxford University community,” said Quentin Brewer, Leadership Lafayette program chair. “I know this class will do like so many of the others and go on to do great things in this community.”

The 2023 class includes the following: Rebecca Alexander, Oxford Newsmedia; Zach Bonner, Tannehill Carmean, PLLC; Mike Burks, Oxford Police Department; Courtney Carlton, Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation; Mason Chapin, Thompson Machinery; Ambry Coleman, Trustmark National Bank; Avery Davis, Daisy Gift Company; Matthew DeLoach, University of Mississippi – Division of Outreach; Cassie DiMauro; Detric Doolittle, North Mississippi Regional Center; Josh Ferguson, City of Oxford Fire Department; Allison Ferris, City of Oxford; Sydney Fields, Service Specialists, ltd Rachel Isbell, RE/MAX Legacy; Nyterica Jenkins, The University of Mississippi; Don Jones, Northwest MS Community College; Kaela King, Olin-Winchester; Jason List, The Firm; Taylor Main, Thrivent; Elizabeth Mason, University of Mississippi; Briana Murphree, University of Mississippi Division of Outreach; Amelia Ott, Oxford Newsmedia; Eliot Parker, University of Mississippi; Eathen Rainey, BankPlus; and Nate Rios, Wellspring Community Church.

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The 2023 graduating class planned diverse community projects by dividing into four teams that focused on Faulkner Alley (alley lighting and art project), Keep Oxford BEE-utiful (planting pollination gardens at Lafayette Upper Elementary School and the Boys and Girls Club), (website for non-profit listings and volunteer opportunities), and The Snack Down (fundraiser to support for a local commissary kitchen in partnership with YAC).

This year’s Leadership Lafayette class presented the 2023 Leadership Award to Elizabeth Mason. Mason has poured her heart into The Snack Down event with passion and empathy for working with her team to not only sell out of tickets for the event, but to also exceed their expected sponsorship and participation goals from the community’s vibrant artistic and culinary talents. Her meticulous planning skills helped make the execution of this event seem seamless to all involved.

“This year’s class had unprecedented chemistry in their small groups,” said Pam Swain, Leadership Lafayette program director and president/CEO of the chamber. “They each had a great amount of passion for their community and worked hard for the organizations they got involved with through their projects. I salute this unique group of leaders for the lasting impact they have left on this community through their determination and goals with their community projects.”

The chamber was grateful to have a graduation sponsorship in support of the class from Trustmark. Trustmark prides itself on integrity, service, accountability, relationships and solutions. These are the values they live by and the foundation of the trust that customers and communities have placed in Trustmark for 133 years. This is evident with their support of Leadership Lafayette. 

This year’s Leadership Lafayette class was sponsored by GreenPro and Oxford Septic Service. GreenPro is Oxford’s No. 1 utility and septic tank experts. GreenPro has recently collaborated with Oxford Septic, providing customers with septic service second to none. Oxford Septic Service has a reputation as the only name you need to know when it comes to septic tank installation, pumping, and maintenance services. 

The Leadership Lafayette is organized by a steering committee made of up hand-selected program alumni. The dedicated steering committee handles all the details of the program, including all session speakers and locations, food details, and the intense class selection process. The 2023 committee includes the following: Quentin Brewer, Paragon Bank- program chair (Class of 2015); Wayne Andrews, Yoknapatawpha Arts Council (Class of 2011); Prema Balachandran, University of Mississippi (Class of 2020/21); Peter Binder, Good Day Farms (Class of 2022); Kurt Brummett, United Way of Oxford/Lafayette County (Class of 2019); James Dowd, Legacy Realty (Class of 2022); Jody Holland, University of Mississippi/LOFT (Class of 2015); Clifton Odom, Oxford Newsmedia (Class of 2019); Brittney Marks, University of Mississippi (Class of 2022); Jeff McCutchen, Oxford Police Department (Class of 2018); Meredith Rawl, Family Crisis Services (Class of 2015); Jeremy Roberts, University of Mississippi (Class of 2014); Peter Ross, Baptist Memorial Hospital (Class of 2010); Sha’ Simpson, NMRC (Class of 2017); Shanika Ward, NMRC (Class of 2022); and Jessica Windham, Square Real Estate (Class of 2007). 

The 2023 class also chose two representatives to join other alumni on the steering committee. Those selected to join the team were Elizabeth Mason and Sydney Fields. 

The Chamber of Commerce will begin accepting applications for the 2024 Leadership Lafayette class in late October 2023.

The Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce is the most dynamic business organization in our community, where businesses and professionals come together to work to improve the business climate and quality of life for our area.  With over 740 members, the chamber strives to undertake programs and projects that seek a positive business climate conducive to growth of the private enterprise system, raising per capita income and providing strong financial, physical and human resources for the citizens of Oxford and Lafayette County. These goals are accomplished through a variety of avenues, including networking opportunities, seminars, events, marketing opportunities, referrals, exclusive discounts, leadership programs or other resources available exclusively to chamber members.