Positioned for Progress Conference Tackles State`s


Positioned for Progress Conference Tackles State`s
Positioned for Progress Conference Tackles State’s
Stubborn Challenges
Groups combine in ‘super conference’ to meet Blueprint Mississippi goals
How can we create large-scale social and economic
change in Mississippi? That’s the question members of
Mississippi’s non-profit, government and philanthropic
organizations worked to answer this week as they
gathered in Jackson for the 2013 Positioned for
Progress conference.
The ‘super conference,’ May 6 and 7, combined four
state organizations’ annual conferences into one mass
gathering where professionals from the varied groups
shared their diverse experiences, opinions and ideas on
the challenges the state faces.
“This event was developed based on the goals of
Blueprint Mississippi, the major statewide initiative
designed to create an action strategy for putting
Mississippi in the place of greatest opportunity,” said
Haley Fisackerly, 2013 chairman of the Mississippi
Economic Council and president and CEO of Entergy
Mississippi, Inc. “A key way for this to happen is to
bring all sectors together so each can have a voice in
what it will take to move the state forward.”
Stronger together. Entergy Corporation’s Chairman and CEO
Leo Denault gave the event’s keynote address, thanking
conference attendees for their work to provide opportunity,
training and employment for those in search of the
American dream.
The opening day’s keynote speaker, Entergy
Corporation Chairman and CEO Leo Denault, told how
Entergy began its low-income customer assistance
program as a way to reinvest in its communities and
enhance the quality of life in those areas that are
largely responsible for the corporation’s success, and
ultimately end poverty in the region.
“So much of what separates those living in abundance
from those living in need is simply opportunity,” said
Denault to the group. “The opportunity that I enjoyed.
The opportunity that you all provide. Now I am not
here to say that all those provided with an opportunity
will achieve tremendous success. But without it,
failure is all but guaranteed.”
New faces. Entergy employees staffing the conference got
the chance to meet with Leo Denault, Entergy Corporation’s
Chairman and CEO, before he gave the keynote address.
Pictured above are Patricia Rucker, Jean Jacobs, Denault,
Mary Davis and Kelly Scrivner.
Check out some video excerpts from Denault’s speech at the event (.wmv file, 4
The closing day’s keynote speaker, United Way U.S. President Stacey D. Stewart, addressed efforts by United Way
to create lasting changes in three key areas: education, financial stability and health care. She also noted that
to address community problems, organizations of all types must come together to establish a shared vision for
change, a common understanding of the problem and a joint approach to solving it through agreed upon actions.
Stewart noted several successful examples of this type of community problem-solving throughout the country.
This was the annual conference’s second year. Partners included the Mississippi Association of Community Action
Agencies, Mississippi Center for Nonprofits, Volunteer Mississippi and the Mississippi Grantmakers Association.
Entergy Mississippi was one of the presenting sponsors of the event.