Deason Promoted to MCEDA Executive Director; LINK Announces Staff Changes



Date: September 14, 2017

Contact: Joe Max Higgins

(662) 328-8369


Deason Promoted to MCEDA Executive Director; LINK Announces Staff Changes


Golden Triangle, Mississippi – The Golden Triangle Development LINK is pleased to announce the following staff promotions and additions:


Deason Promoted to MCEDA Executive Director


Joey Deason, former COO of the GTR LINK, has been named the Executive Director of the Madison County Economic Development Authority. He leaves the GTR LINK with an impressive record of hours worked and projects completed during his tenure. Among many other projects, Deason was an instrumental part of recruiting Yokohama Tire Corporation, The Mill project at Mississippi State and the development of an industrial park for Starkville and Oktibbeha County.


In his new role, he will be charged with overseeing economic development for Canton, Madison, Ridgeland, and Flora, Mississippi.


“Joey Deason is among a very small group of economic development professionals that really get it. He is incredibly intelligent and observant but with an Attala County street smart and people acumen that really allows him to connect with people. When you can connect with people like Joey does doors will open,” said Joe Max Higgins, CEO of the GTR LINK.


“He has the brainpower, work ethic, personality and passion to succeed at the highest level in the Economic Development world. In the five years he has been at the LINK, he has become family. While we will miss him tremendously, we wish him the very best in all he does. He will always have a home in the Golden Triangle!”


LINK Announces Staff Changes


Macaulay Whitaker has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer. In this new role, she will be charged with organization operations and begin training under the GTR LINK’s lead technicians who oversee economic development for the region. Whitaker has been with the organization since 2011 and has held titles of Director of Programs and Events and most recently Vice President of Internal and External Affairs. She has earned her IOM and APR Certifications and previously headed up the LINK’s workforce, military and communications divisions.


Emily McConnell has joined the economic development team as a Project Manager. McConnell joined the organization just last year as the Director of Programs and Events for the Columbus Lowndes Chamber of Commerce. She holds a master’s degree from Mississippi State University and resides in Columbus. As Project Manager McConnell will handle data processing and packaging for economic development recruitment. She will train directly under Brenda Lathan, Senior Vice President for Economic Development.




About the GTR LINK:

The Golden Triangle Development LINK is the nationally-recognized, regional economic development organization for Clay, Lowndes and Oktibbeha counties. Located in northeast Mississippi, the GTR LINK’s current record of investment totals $5.9 billion and nearly 6,000 jobs.


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