The Area Development Partnership offers many ways for members to become more engaged, beyond membership. Ambassadors, Leadership Pinebelt, and Pine Belt Young Professionals each provide members with leadership and growth opportunities.


The Ambassadors assist the Chamber’s mission while gaining additional exposure for their individual companies. Serving as the Chamber’s goodwill arm, this group of recognized professionals interacts with fellow Chamber members to enhance the experience for all new and existing members. Ambassadors play a critical role in the orienting and engaging new ADP members during their first year or membership, and also help in recruiting additional members to the ADP.


Leadership Pinebelt

Since 1989, Leadership Pinebelt has trained emerging and existing leaders in Greater Hattiesburg. Designed to broaden the base from which emerging leadership is derived, Leadership Pinebelt serves as a catalyst for increasing diversity among future leaders. Each class session focuses on enhancing leadership skills and garnering a better understanding of the roles of Healthcare, Cultural Arts, Economic Development, Military and Industry in Greater Hattiesburg.

Leadership Pinebelt comprises a network of leaders and community volunteers who are committed to shaping our community. Each class encompasses a very diverse group of professionals who have attained leadership positions in their fields and are likely to be tapped for greater community responsibility. Through Leadership Pinebelt, each class learns ways to make a positive contribution to the community, develop and practice their leadership skills, and gain a more comprehensive background on the contemporary issues concerning the region.IMG_0546

 2017 Leadership Pinebelt Class has been selected!

Click Here to read more or scroll down to see the 2017 Class Members.

Program Format

Orientation/Alumni Reception

Leadership Pinebelt Orientation is an introduction the program, class participants, the Area Development Partnership, Leadership Pinebelt Steering Committee, and Alumni. The class participates in a series of ice-breakers designed to help the class effectively communicate with one another and learn more about the program. Following the Orientation, Leadership Pinebelt Alumni hosts a welcome reception for the class.

REACH Course

Realistic Experiences and Challenging Horizons (REACH) is the most comprehensive ropes course in the Southeast, designed with both real and imaginary ground-based obstacles that present physical, mental, and emotional challenges to individuals/teams. The course, which is the first of its kind to be used by a hospital in the state, is now used as a training tool for patients, businesses, and civic clubs.

Community Needs

An in depth overview of needs and opportunities within the region, this session features presentations from non-profit organizations and educational institutions that need assistance with expanding their reach.


The 2-day Retreat focuses on developing leadership skills in the areas of presentation, persuasion, creating visions and purpose, communications skills, self-empowerment and motivating others, conflict resolution and team building. This session features an individual personality assessment to determine strengths and weaknesses which ultimately enhances an individual’s ability to work effectively within a team.


One of the region’s largest employers (2300), Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center is the largest reserve component training site in the state, covering 136,000 acres in Forrest and Perry Counties. Camp Shelby is the annual training location for National Guard and Reserve units located in Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. The class will visit and tour Camp Shelby to learn about the economic impact it has on the region.

Health Services Tour

Greater Hattiesburg is considered the Healthcare Hub of Southeast MS. with two major hospitals and the largest multi-specialty clinic in the state at arm’s length. The class will hear presentations from various healthcare providers, and the education programs that are linked to them to garner an understanding of how these organizations work together to create a talent pipeline, and employ almost 7,000 of the region’s residents.

Manufacturing Tour

This session features an overview of the ADP’s role in business recruitment and expansion in the region, as well as hands-on tours of local manufacturing facilities. Presenters include representatives from the ADP’s Economic Development Division, and Pearl River Community College’s workforce training program.


Hosted at William Carey University, the Education session will feature a panel discussion with University and K-12 administrators about current opportunities and challenges within the region. This discussion will also cover partnerships and alliances, as well as current and future programs.

History/Downtown Development

A walk-ride tour of downtown to showcase the rich history of the area, and plans for redevelopment. Local merchants, along with the Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association, and the Hattiesburg Tourism Commission serve as historical references to the tour.

Government Symposium

This session features an in-depth overview of local, county state and federal government.

Leadership Roundtable

Roundtable discussion with CEO’s, and elected officials about the correlation between organizational and community leadership.


The Leadership Pinebelt Graduation is the culmination of the program where the class will reveal their completed community projects, and is honored for completing the program.

*The Leadership Pinebelt Class develops community projects each year with the sole purpose of enriching the region’s quality of life. Some of these projects are completed in one year while others are on-going. No matter the status, these community-based projects are developed to make the place we call home a great place to work, play and stay.

2017 Class Members

  • LaKeisha Bryant-Hall, Forrest County Juvenile Detention Center
  • Ken Crumpton, Crumpton Insurance Agency
  • Cory Ferraez, McHard, McHard, Anderson & Associates
  • Darryl Harris, Target Corporation
  • Andrew Hatton, Bryan Nelson, P.A.
  • Justin Hill, The University of Southern Mississippi
  • Kyle Hopkins, The University of Southern Mississippi
  • Danielle Jackson, The First, A National Banking Association
  • Kristen Lang, Merit Health Wesley Wellness Center
  • Brittany Lewis, Youth Villages
  • Dab McMurray, Magnolia State Bank
  • Chad Mitchell, Mac’s Construction Company, Inc.
  • Philip Mulligan, The Divine Shine Detail Experience
  • Sarah Myers, The University of Southern Mississippi
  • Kristi Nesler, Forrest General Hospital
  • Evan Nicolosi, Trustmark National Bank
  • David Roberts, Roberts Company, Inc.
  • Joseph Tullos, Jackson, Arrington, Tullos & Rogers, PLLC
  • Michelle Wilson-Stokes , Pearl River Community College
  • Amanda Winchester, Inventiv Health

Pine Belt Young Professionals

Pine Belt Young Professionals (PBYP) is a program of the Area Development Partnership dedicated to providing opportunities for young professionals to connect with each other and their community. Members of PBYP are between the ages of 25-40 and are currently living or working in Greater Hattiesburg. Membership in PBYP is $75 annually, and is separate from ADP membership.


Focus Areas

  • Connect: PBYP is all about connecting. Success in business and in life is often about who you know. Our “Off the Clock” events are designed to help you make and strengthen those connections through networking and socializing. Off the Clocks take place every-other-month at different restaurants, bars, and venues throughout Hattiesburg.
  • Grow: As a Young Professional, is is important to continually grow and develop. One of the best ways to do this is to learn from those who have found success. We invite inspiring guest speakers to share their experiences with PBYP at our Blue Plate Special lunches every-other-month. Lunches cost $10 for PBYP members, and $15 for prospective members.
  • Serve: We love giving back! Pine Belt Young Professionals provides many opportunities to become involved in the community through service projects, volunteering, and participating in community events.

To join Pine Belt Young Professionals, CLICK HERE