Whitaker Wins 2016 Ray and Jimmy Heidel Economic Development Leadership Award


Date: February 4, 2016
Contact: Macaulay Whitaker
(662) 328-8369


Columbus, MS – The Mississippi Economic Development Council (MEDC) announced today that Macaulay Whitaker is the recipient of the 2016 Ray and Jimmy Heidel Economic Development Leadership Award.

The Ray Heidel Leadership Award was established in 1995 by the Mississippi Economic Development Council to honor the life and contributions to the profession by Ray Heidel.  In 1999 the name was changed to The Ray and Jimmy Heidel Economic Development Leadership Award to recognize Jimmy Heidel’s contributions to the profession on both the local and statewide levels. The Jimmy & Ray Heidel Economic Development Leadership Award is presented during True South Basic Economic Development Course at the University of Southern MS.   The purpose of the award is to foster further economic development practitioner leadership skills.

Macaulay Whitaker, APR, is the Vice President of Internal and External Affairs at the Golden Triangle Development LINK. She has been with the organization since 2011. 

In addition to being recognized by her peers, Whitaker will receive one-year’s tuition to begin the Certified Economic Developer program with the International Economic Development Council.

Recently, Whitaker successfully completed the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations, earning her the professional APR designation. She graduated from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Organizational Management in 2014.

Whitaker received a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism from The University of Mississippi and a Master of Science in Public Relations from The University of Southern Mississippi. Prior to her position with the GTR LINK, Whitaker worked at Mississippi University for Women in alumni relations and public affairs. She has served as an adjunct faculty member at both MUW and Mississippi State University.

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