Bill Hannah – Jackson, MS





Bob Luke, Chairman of the Board, 601-693-9990,

Debbie Mathis, Chief Operating Officer, 601-693-1306,


Bill Hannah Is Top Choice for EMBDC President/CEO


MERIDIAN, MS – The board of directors of the EMBDC is pleased to announce the selection of Bill Hannah as the President/CEO for the East Mississippi Business Development Corporation.


After considering four finalists, the Executive Committee of the EMBDC Board of Directors voted unanimously on Tuesday to recommend Hannah, who had also been the unanimous choice of the Search Committee. Hannah is Vice President for Business Development of McCarty Architects/McCarty King Construction of Tupelo and Jackson, Mississippi.


“It has been a very organized methodical process with all parties understanding the importance of selecting the right professional to lead our organization and community forward,” said Bob Luke, Chairman of the Board. “The skills and experience that Mr. Hannah brings to the position as well as his passion for leading the EMBDC as we move forward with a focused vision with a single voice the “right Choice”.


Wade Jones resigned as EMBDC President in September after more than 13 years in the job. “The search process has been lengthy,” said Luke, who is Principal Architect at LPK Architects in Meridian. “However, we all understand the importance of making the right choice.”

Hannah had been the president and CEO of the Ashland Alliance in Ashland, Kentucky, from 2012 until he resigned early last year. The Alliance functions as the Chamber of Commerce for Boyd and Greenup counties in Kentucky. There, Hannah drew praise for promoting regional cooperation. “He strengthened our relationship with a number of groups, including the state house and the governor’s office and the economic development authority up there,” said Alliance Chairman Ed Neely. “We’ve been fortunate to have him.”


As President and CEO of the EMBDC, Hannah will work with all levels of government as well as with workforce development organizations and many other groups, both public and private. He would oversee a wide range of economic development programs and services.


Hannah had been President of Journal Logistics, a real estate company in Tupelo, before moving to the Ashland Alliance. He has also been Vice President of Sales and Marketing for JESCO Inc. Construction, working for the company first in Montgomery, Alabama, and then in Atlanta and Tupelo. He began his career at the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, where he rose to become Manager for Economic Development. Hannah is a 1982 graduate of Auburn University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in personnel management. He has worked in private business, including 14 years with an industrial construction company in Montgomery, as well as in economic development.


The EMBDC ( is a not-for-profit organization that serves as the Chamber of Commerce and economic development agency for Meridian and Lauderdale County. Formed in late 1996 by a group of visionary business leaders, the EMBDC serves the City of Meridian, the City of Marion, Lauderdale County, and over 1,400 dues-paying members. Its mission is to empower a diverse leadership culture to achieve economic wealth through excellence in education, new investment, and the nurturing of existing business and industry.