COLUMBUS, Miss. – The Golden Triangle Development LINK has selected American Eurocopter as its inaugural regional Industry of the Year.
Annually, the LINK plans to recognize an existing industry in the Golden Triangle for its outstanding economic impact on the community and continued development of the region. American Eurocopter will be honored at a celebration to be held on Thursday, May 30. The award coincides with both the LINK and American Eurocopter 10th anniversary.
“American Eurocopter was one of the first major industries we landed when the LINK was formed,” said Joe Max Higgins, Jr., CEO of the LINK. “They’ve been an outstanding partner over the past decade, and we’re honored to support them as they fight to keep jobs in our community.”
The event will also serve as a rally to show support for American Eurocopter’s Lakota helicopter program. Currently under threat of discontinuation due to pending president budget approval, this program provides more than 320 jobs to the Golden Triangle, with U.S. military veterans filling about half of those positions.
“It's an honor to be recognized as Industry of the Year in the Golden Triangle,” said Marc Paganini, President and CEO of American Eurocopter. “Being a part of this community for the past 10 years has been rewarding, and our employees are most deserving of this tribute. Now we need our Mississippi community to support us in communicating to lawmakers how important our work is, both for the state's economy and for the nation's defense.”
The community is urged to show their support by writing their congressmen and senators, urging them to keep these jobs and supporting this great industry. Constituents wishing to express their support can visit www.eurocopterusa.com or www.gtrlink.org to directly email their messages via a special Take Action button.
American Eurocopter manufactures, markets, sells, assembles, supports and provides training solutions for Eurocopter rotary-wing aircraft in the United States. Since beginning operations in 1969, it has become a leading provider of helicopters for U.S. civilian, law enforcement, military, homeland defense and other markets.
The Golden Triangle Development LINK is the regional economic development organization for Clay, Lowndes and Oktibbeha counties. Located in northeast Mississippi, the LINK’s current record of investment totals $4.2 billion and 5,600 jobs over 10 years.
Birmingham, AL - Marketing today can take many shapes, yet one advertising agency has found a niche in sports. Whether promoting a sporting event, sponsoring a team, advertising during a sports broadcast or utilizing a sports-related campaign theme, Quest Group has capitalized on our country’s sports obsession since the agency opened its doors in 1995.
Quest Group is a full service advertising, public relations and special events firm. Headquartered in West Point, MS, the company has grown to include locations in Jackson, MS, and Birmingham, AL – all areas that happen to be near major universities and their teams. About 50 percent of Quest’s work is sports related. The experts at Quest Group believe sports marketing is good common ground on which business clients can build relationships with their respective markets.
“Sports in some fashion is an area of interest to most people – whether they follow a favorite team or just like to stay fit,” observes partner Cindy Hodo, who holds a graduate degree in sports marketing. “Because it’s enjoyable and appeals to a friendly sense of competition, it creates good feelings. Capitalizing on those feelings and associating a company or product with them just makes sense.”
An area where Quest Group has had years of experience is in aiding clients in negotiating and fulfilling their sponsorships for Southeastern Conference universities. For example, the agency worked with Bryan Foods on its sponsorship negotiations and fulfillment when its product became the official hot dog for the athletic programs at the University of Alabama, Auburn University and Mississippi State University. These sponsorships included, among other things, managing the head coaches’ endorsements for Bryan.
Other clients have contracts with the Southeastern Conference itself. A recent project was the development of a television commercial for Golden Flake Snack Foods highlighting the company’s long-standing support of the SEC.
“We chose to work with Quest Group because of their experience with SEC universities, particularly as it related to food sponsorships,” says Julie McLaughlin, marketing director for Golden Flake. “We are very pleased with the SEC sponsorship commercial they produced and have now contracted with them to produce an image ad for us that is not sports related.”
Sometimes Quest Group’s work includes projects for sports organizations themselves. For example, projects for Mississippi State University and The Citadel have included ticket sales brochures, fundraising campaign materials and radio commercials.
Another client, Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, and Quest Group have collaborated on a number of projects, the most well known of which was the 1999 U.S. Women’s Open Championship. Quest was asked to manage all the entertainment for players, guests, sponsors and fans during the week. The agency coordinated celebrity appearances at the tournament to increase ticket sales among non-golfers. They also planned a players’ reception at a nearby antebellum home, produced a concert by Vince Gill and Patty Loveless, and staged a block party in downtown West Point featuring local and national bands and a Mississippi catfish fry. Old Waverly still boasts the second largest attendance at any U.S. Women’s Open in history with 126,000 fans.
Quest’s success in sports marketing is a natural crossover with its event-production specialty.
“Our events have run the gamut from golf and tennis tournaments to shooting sports and even bull riding,” laughs partner Kathy Kenne, who heads the company’s events department. “We stage corporate grand openings, performing arts exhibitions, even air shows, but so many times it circles back around to sports.”
Another company that has taken notice of Quest’s expertise is Calhoun Apparel, a Calhoun City, MS-based clothing manufacturer. The company turned to Quest Group to produce a more efficient method of communicating with their customers who needed custom sports uniforms. Quest was asked to create an interactive online “uniform builder” that would allow coaches to customize the uniforms they wanted.
“The uniform builder designed by Quest Group expedites our custom sports uniform sales process,” explains Brandon Lee, vice president of Calhoun Apparel. “The interactive builder saves production time, which is critical during peak seasons.”
Other Quest Group clients have used sports themes in advertisements to promote their products – a racecar theme for a credit union, a yachtsman for an insurance company and a track coach for an ophthalmologist.
“We really are very diverse in what we offer,” shares Hodo. “Since we’ve worked from every angle, we have an understanding of what any client needs to gain from his or her marketing. Our desire is simply to create the best way for our clients to connect with their customers effectively.”
Nashville, TN –Phil Valentine's film, An Inconsistent Truth, picked up the Best Documentary award of 2012 at the Nevada Film Festival in Las Vegas. The movie is a humorous and fact-filled answer to Al Gore's movie, An Inconvenient Truth.
An Inconsistent Truth beat out dozens of other documentaries from around the world vying for the top prize. The film was released in theaters in Nashville and was the top-grossing movie per screen in the country for its first two weeks out. Valentine is currently in negotiations with film distributors with plans to release the movie on DVD and in various pay-per-view outlets this year.
This is the third film festival award for the movie.
The New York City Movie Guru wrote, "Now comes An Inconsistent Truth to calm you down and open your eyes." WorldNetDaily.com says, "There's a new road bump in Gore's campaign."
Quest Group creative director, Art Shirley, designed the movie poster which has garnered high compliments.
Valentine is a popular radio talk show host in Nashville. His program is syndicated by Cumulus Media Networks and is the most listened to talk show in his home market.
West Point, MS - Old Waverly Golf Club of Mississippi is celebrating its silver anniversary this year. As the club reaches the 25-year benchmark, it honors its beginnings and the milestones that have led to the acclaim it holds today.
In the early 1980s, the idea for a championship level golf course evolved in founder George Bryan’s mind first as a state park course that adjoined Waverley Mansion in east Clay County. While legislators thought the idea justified funding a feasibility study, they ultimately decided that providing for a series of golf courses throughout Mississippi would be beyond the scope of the state’s budget.
It was at that point that Bryan turned his focus toward creating a private course. He, along with several local community leaders, put together a group of 30 founders who each bought a membership and a lot adjacent to what would become the golf course. Bryan contracted with the highly acclaimed team of Jerry Pate and Bob Cupp to design the course on a property located just east of West Point that featured rolling, contoured hills and peaceful lakes surrounded by age-old evergreens.
In a tribute to his Scottish heritage and his family’s Southern roots, Bryan named the course Old Waverly and hired architectural firm Pryor & Morrow to design the Greek revival clubhouse and other amenities, as well as to lay out the residential plan.
Bryan knew the club would need to reach beyond the small population base of Mississippi’s Golden Triangle in order to be successful.
“From the beginning, Old Waverly was developed as a regional club,” he says. “We built cottages for groups to come stay and play golf for the weekend before we built the clubhouse.”
His strategy paid off. While the majority of current members come from the 200-mile radius he targeted, it is impressive to note that the club boasts members from 22 states and several foreign countries. Some of the more well known members include NFL greats Brett Favre, Jerry Rice, Reggie Kelly and Archie Manning.
Highlights through the years include hosting the USGA’s 2005 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, several Southeastern Conference Championships and the internationally televised 1999 U.S. Women’s Open Championship. Old Waverly still holds the number two spot in all-time attendance for a U.S. Women’s Open with 126,000 fans.
“It couldn’t have been a more successful tournament,” shares Kenny Dill, mayor of West Point during the Open. “Media were here from more than 100 countries. Volunteers came from all over to make the event happen. It still gives me chills when I think about everybody’s ‘can do’ attitude – primarily George Bryan’s. After it was over, we received a number of letters from different organizations commenting on the wonderful Southern hospitality. It really made a difference in some people’s attitudes about Mississippi.”
In addition to professional and high level amateur events, Old Waverly has also been the site of a number of charity fundraisers including the Governor’s Cup – an event hosted by then-governor Haley Barbour to raise funds for rebuilding the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina.
“Over the past 25 years, Old Waverly Golf Club has been a staple of Mississippi as one of its premier courses,” says Barbour. “Beyond providing a championship quality venue for golfers everywhere, they’ve also given back to Mississippi. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Old Waverly offered to host our inaugural Governor’s Cup Golf Tournament which raised more than $300,000 for the victims of the storm. Old Waverly is a shining example of the beauty Mississippi has to offer.”
Old Waverly has been a tremendous benefit to the state in other ways as well. Having a place to entertain and house industrial prospects has been a factor in the development of over $4.6 billion in new area industry since 2003.
"Old Waverly has given us a world class facility to recruit and support world class companies," comments Joe Max Higgins, executive director of the Golden Triangle Development LINK.
Although the strengths of the club are many, Bryan attributes most of its success to the members, employees and the championship golf course.
“Our employees have a tremendous amount of experience. They treat our members and guests with sincere hospitality,” states Bryan. “Some have been in managerial positions for 20 years or longer, and our family has been involved in this, too.”
Bryan’s son, Wilkes, serves as the club’s general manager and has been a part of the club’s growth for over 20 years.
Wilkes comments on the course, “Local members never tire of playing it. The beauty of the design is in its diversity. Each hole provides a different experience. Even the changing seasons mean the course is constantly providing new looks and challenges.”
In addition to the world class golf course, many companies have found Old Waverly an ideal place for corporate retreats, making use of its conference rooms, lodging, superb dining, tennis courts, swimming pool, hiking trails and more. The full spectrum of amenities provided in such a scenic and quiet locale has been the formula that brings groups back again and again.
So what is the club’s focus now? The next generation of golfers. A standout junior program has risen to prominence in a short period of time. Pros V.J. Trolio and Tim Yelverton have become two of the most renowned teachers in the country. Junior golfers come from all over the nation to take instruction at this highly respected program. At present, a cottage is under construction that will house young golfers for golf camps beginning this summer.
“Golf can teach those life skills to youngsters that are so important to their development,” shares Bryan. “Things like discipline, judgment, character and patience are integral parts of the game that can translate to all areas of their lives.”
It is fitting that Old Waverly and the Bryan family link the future of the club to the golfers of tomorrow.
“Our own grandchildren are growing up on this course,” concludes Bryan. “The game is a legacy we hope to pass on to them as well as to others.”
June 4, 2012 – Quest Group is proud to announce the launch of New Beginnings Adoption Agency's website. New Beginnings' mission is to promote life and new beginnings for children, birthmothers and families through parenting education and adoption. The agency handles both domestic and international adoptions and has offices in Tupelo, MS; Franklin, TN and Murfreesboro, TN.
The website features a bright, clean look with beautiful photos of young children, adoptive families and birthmothers. Visitors to the site will find testimonials from those who have been blessed by New Beginnings' services and open letters from families seeking to adopt. In addition, information about adoption and the resources available to birthmothers and adoptive families can be found on the site.
"It was a privilege to work on this website," says Jennifer Noel, regional manager for Quest Group. "I have tremendous respect for the staff at New Beginnings and the work they do."
Quest Group collaborated with president Tom Velie and his staff to develop the content for the site.
"New Beginnings is appreciative to Jennifer, Cindy and the development team of Quest for the new website and blog 'look' and functionality," states Velie. "Throughout the development process, the Quest team responded quickly and flexibly to our ideas and needs. I can highly recommend choosing Quest for your website needs."
To view the website go to www.newbeginningsadoption.com.
Quest is honored to have worked with an agency whose motto is "every child deserves a forever family."