Renasant Center for IDEAs earns Community Innovation Leadership Award

The Mississippi Technology Alliance (MTA) recently presented the John I. Rucker Community Innovation Leadership Award to Wayne Averett and the Renasant Center for IDEAs.

MTA presents the award to recognize outstanding innovation-based economic development organizations that have been formed in partnership with government, academia and the private sector with the primary mission to drive innovation-led economic development efforts that benefit high growth companies and communities.

“Wayne Averett, vice president for entrepreneurship and small business development for the Community Development Foundation and the board and partners of the Renasant Center for IDEAs have done an outstanding job in helping to drive innovation-led economic development in the Tupelo/Lee County community and North Mississippi region,” said Dr. Randy Goldsmith, president and CEO of MTA. “With state-of-the-art training and networking opportunities for companies and service providers, a growing local Angel investor group and assistance with new product development for existing industry, the Renasant Center for IDEAs is living up to its name to put innovation, development and entrepreneurship into action.”

The award is named in honor of the late John I. Rucker who served a decade as the executive director of the Oktibbeha County Economic Development Authority and was credited with helping lay the ground work for several innovation-led economic development projects in the greater Starkville community. He was a visionary economic developer and a good friend to MTA. The award was presented during the 9th Annual Conference on High Technology in Jackson.

Past recipients of the John I. Rucker Award include the Natchez-Adams County Development Authority, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Technology Council, the Mississippi Delta Technology Council, and the Economic Development Authority of Jones County.

The Mississippi Technology Alliance is a non-profit organization with the mission to drive innovation and technology-based economic development for the State of Mississippi. For more information about MTA, visit http://www.technologyalliance.ms.

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