Janelle Edwards was named by Our Mississippi Magazine as one of the 25 Most Influential African Americans of 2019.
Edwards just hosted her second Vicksburg Fat to Fit Olympic Games in early July. She and her husband started the program a couple of years after Edwards moved to Fayette, Miss., where Edwards immediately connected herself to the community and its service. After attending a meeting where she heard that Fayette was the most obese county in America, Edwards and her husband decided they had to take action and Fat to Fit was born.
The idea behind Fat to Fit is to make a healthy lifestyle fun and challenging. “These events address the silent epidemic of obesity by promoting increased physical activity, health literacy, knowing your primary health numbers among community residents and promoting having fun while getting fit,” Edwards said.
A gala and reception honoring Janelle Edwards, Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. and the other recipients of the Most Influential African Americans for 2019 will be held this upcoming Friday, Aug. 23, in the Hilton Jackson (1001 East County Line Road, Jackson, Miss.).
“The individuals were selected by an independent panel of state-wide business and community leaders from nominations received from the public,” the magazine’s publisher Wesley Wells said in a press release. Wells said dozens of individuals were nominated in categories that included business, education, politics, religion, media and servant leadership.
For more information on the Fat to Fit program and how you can get involved, click this link.
The other honorees are:
- Fred Banks – Senior Partner, Phelps Dunbar Law Firm in Jackson. Banks is a former Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court, trial judge and legislator.
- David Beckley – President of Rust College in Holly Springs.
- Rodney Bennett – President of the University of Southern Mississippi.
- Michael Booker – Sr. Vice-President, Corporate Banker with BancorpSouth in Jackson.
- Betina Brandon– Manager of Workforce Development and Diversity at Entergy Corporation. in Jackson.
- Bernard Bridges– Market President, Trustmark Bank in Jackson.
- William Bynum – President of Jackson State University.
- Jasmin Chapman – Chief Executive Officer of the Jackson-Hinds County Comprehensive Health Center.
- Wilbur Colom – Businessman, Founder and Senior Partner of the Colom Law Firm, with offices in Columbus and Jackson, Mississippi.
- Ronnie Crudup – Administrative Bishop for the Fellowship of International Churches. He is also Senior Pastor of New Horizon Church International, a congregation of over 3000 members in Jackson, Mississippi.
- Nettie Davis – Community activist is currently the President of the Tupelo City Council. The former teacher is the first African American to hold that distinction in the city.
- Moses Feagin – Vice President, Treasurer, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Diversity Officer, Mississippi Power.
- Juanita Gambrell Floyd – Author and journalist is the Vice-President of Administration and Finance with the Create Foundation in Tupelo.
- Chris Gillard – Director of the Mississippi Highway Patrol. Colonel Gillard over-sees the day-to-day operation of the largest, statewide law enforcement agency in Mississippi.
- Hozay Hausley – President of Renasant Bank/Aberdeen-Amory Market.
- Carla Lewis – Chief Technology Officer, C Spire in Ridgeland.
- Kenneth Mayfield – Businessman and author, Mayfield is the founder and senior attorney with the Mayfield Law Firm in Tupelo, Southaven and Memphis.
- Mitzi Dease Paige – South East Regional Director of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and is also Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi.
- Carlton Reeves – United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of Mississippi.
- Dorothy Shaw – Director of Compliance, Ethics, Community Affairs, EEO/Diversity & Inclusion for Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula.
- LeRoy Walker – Community activist, businessman and owner of LTM Enterprises in Jackson.
- Primus Wheeler – Executive Director of the Jackson Medical Mall Foundation in Jackson.
- Dorothy Wilson – Brand strategist, author, publisher, speaker and chair-elect of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce.