The Economic Development Foundation of Vicksburg announced Thursday, Dec. 26, that it selected Mark Buys, branch president with BancorpSouth Bank, as its chairman of the board.
“It is a great honor to be chosen by your peers to lead the economic development (ED) effort for our community,” Buys said. “It is humbling to serve in this position, and I’m committed to living up to the task that is before me and us.”
The EDF is a non-profit association of local and regional businesses that invest expertise and resources to support the economic development priorities of Vicksburg and Warren County. EDF members work to advance economic and community development policies and increase opportunities and wealth for the area’s residents.
Buys is no stranger to the Vicksburg community. He has served on numerous boards over the years for diverse organizations including the United Way of West Central Mississippi, Miss Mississippi, the Red Carpet Bowl and NRoute Transportation, among others.
“I’m a firm believer that the [economic development] effort of our community has to be led by the private sector,” Buys said. “We work hand in hand with the governmental arms because it takes us both to accomplish the goals of growing jobs and supporting local business and industry.”
Buys served as EDF chairman in 1994, but he says economic development has changed a lot in 26 years.
“We need more jobs locally that will lead to growing the housing, retail and educational markets,” Buys said. “This leads to an increased tax base that will provide more revenue for our city and county governments. They will then be able to invest more in our quality of life and infrastructure.”
The Economic Development Foundation, the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce and the Warren County Port Commission combined forces in 2017 under the umbrella of the Vicksburg-Warren Partnership. The organizations all share the goal of increasing economic development for Vicksburg and Warren County.
Buys said EDF has not finalized its priorities for 2020, but that this is the job of its January board meeting. Among the items under discussion is converting the Mississippi Hardware Company building into an innovation and tech transfer center (now under construction) and plans to increase housing in Warren County.See a typo? Report it here.