The DeSoto County Economic Development Council promotes business and economic development and quality of life issues for this booming Mississippi county just south of Memphis.  The Council works closely with business and industry, civic organizations, city and county governments and chambers of commerce in Hernando, Horn Lake, Olive Branch, Southaven and Town of Walls.


2019 Executive Committee

Shad Sims ……...…...…….Chairman

Chris Brown……….…..Vice Chairman

Susan Reich……....………….Treasurer

Ritchie Hampton….…..….…..Secretary

James Huffman.……..……Past Chairman

Board Member

ReNita Carr, Milwaukee Electric Tool

Derek Coulter, Sephora

Vickie Blackwell, Crye-Leike Realty

Diego Lejwa, Express Employment Professionals

Kevin Doddridge, Northcentral Electric Power Association

Chris Brown, North American Electric

Shad Sims,  Atmos Energy Corp - MS Division

John Rawlsky, Fiskars

Lisa Johnson, GEODIS Logistics

Zack Davis, Edward Jones Investments

Rob Laster, Helen of Troy

Harry Welch, Intuitive Surgical

Sarah Edmiston, Southgroup Insurance

Wayne Spell, Entergy

James Huffman, Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto

Dan Cordell, Civil Link

Jennifer Ward, Community Bank

Vince Malavasi, Neel-Schaffer

Allen Whitsitt, First Commercial Bank

Shawn Clayton, Renasant Bank

Susan Reich, Brannon Professionals

Patrick Ginn, Rite Hite Manufacturing

Dr. Michael Heindl, Northwest MS Community College

Robert Hill, Titan Distributing

Jack Talbert, Planters Bank

Tracy Huffman, Waggoner Engineering

Ritchie Hampton, BancorpSouth

Rhodes Thompson, Keller Williams Commercial Realty

Bryant Cashion, BankPlus

Melissa Mire, SXP

The DeSoto County Economic Development Council's mission is to facilitate, promote and provide effective, unified leadership for economic development and improved quality of life.

The DeSoto Council was incorporated in 1978 by a group of forward-thinking citizens of DeSoto County who saw a need for a unified effort toward economic development in DeSoto County.  Since its beginning, the DeSoto Council has seen the opening and expansion of hundreds of industries, the creation of millions of jobs, and capital investment reaching into the billions.

The Council works closely with business and industry, civic organizations, city and county governments and chambers of commerce in Hernando, Horn Lake, Olive Branch, Southaven, and the Town of Walls.

Click here to download the DeSoto Council's Annual Program of Work.

  Position Name Email

President/CEO

Industrial Recruitment 

Jim Flanagan jflanagan@desotocounty.com

Business Development Specialist


Existing Industry and Workforce Development

Bryant Henley bhenley@desotocounty.com

Administrative Assistant


Property Tax Exemptions 

Cynthia Ramsey-Short crshort@desotocounty.com

Member Services Manager


Leadership DeSoto, Education Foundation, and Member Services

Susan Fernandez sfernandez@desotocounty.com