Chad Newell President
Chad Newell

Chad NewellPresident

Chad Newell serves as President of the Area Development Partnership (ADP) in Hattiesburg, MS, a position he has held since December 2009. The ADP is the regional chamber of commerce and economic development organization for Greater Hattiesburg, serving Forrest, Lamar, and Perry counties.

Chad has worked in the private, public, and private non-profit sectors for more than two decades in Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. He has led teams in facilitating projects that resulted in the investment of billions of dollars and thousands of jobs created across the Southeastern United States.

Chad is keenly focused on servanthood leadership, hiring right fit talent, and creating an intentional corporate culture that drives results. He serves on numerous boards and advisory councils locally and around the nation and is an active leader at Venture Church in Hattiesburg.

Chad, a native Mississippian, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Mississippi State University and earned a Master’s degree in Economic Development from The University of Southern Mississippi. He and his wife Jennifer have been married for 23 years and have two sons, Garrett and Brooks, and one daughter, Jordan.

Speaking Topics:
CACTUS: 12 Steps to Prosperity, The Art of The Deal, Economic Updates, Leadership, Organizational Fundraising, Corporate Culture/Right Fit-Talent

Valencia Williamson, IOM Executive Vice President
Valencia Williamson, IOM

Valencia Williamson, IOMExecutive Vice President

Valencia Williamson is the Executive Vice President of the Area Development Partnership (ADP) in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Valencia oversees all aspects of the Chamber of Commerce division including Membership Recruitment/Retention, Membership Development, Business Development, Communications/Marketing and Events, Leadership Pinebelt and the ADP’s Retiree and Physician Recruitment efforts.

A graduate of Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, Valencia received a B.S. in Agricultural Business & Economics, and with 10 years in the Chamber industry, has an extensive background in membership development and strategic planning. Valencia has completed the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Southeast Institute for Organization Management at the University of Georgia where she received an IOM certification in Organization Management.

Speaking Topics:
Sales, Organizational Management, Recruitment & Retention

Jan Delancey, CPA Vice President, Finance & Administration
Jan Delancey, CPA

Jan Delancey, CPAVice President, Finance & Administration

Jan Delancey currently serves as Vice President of Finance and Administration. Her responsibilities include financial and treasury management, human resource management and supervision of the administrative and IT functions of the ADP.

A native of Laurel, Jan is a graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi, where she received her B.S.B.A. in accounting prior to becoming licensed as a Certified Public Accountant. Jan’s career includes experience of public accounting and over 18 years in industry and non-profit accounting, including The University of Southern Mississippi and the USM Foundation. Jan and her husband James have been married for over 30 years and are the parents of two.

Gwen Hicks Finance Director
Gwen Hicks

Gwen HicksFinance Director

Gwen Hicks is currently the Finance Director for the Area Development Partnership (ADP). A native of Hattiesburg, Gwen is a 1994 graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi, where she received her B.S.B.A. in accounting. Gwen has 20 years of experience, both in profit and non-profit accounting. She also has almost 10 years of banking experience.

Todd Jackson Vice President, Economic Development
Todd Jackson

Todd JacksonVice President, Economic Development

Todd Jackson has spent the last ten years as an Engineer in advanced manufacturing facilities and is utilizing that background to serve the Area Development Partnership as Business Development Director in the Economic Development division. Todd’s focus in this role is to support the recruitment of new industry to Greater Hattiesburg and to assist existing employers in their growth needs. He is responsible for working with the local business community and local entities of government on economic development initiatives that support the growth of the Greater Hattiesburg economy.

The first seven years of Todd’s career were spent in the engineering ranks of GE Plastics at various locations around the country as a part of GE’s Operations Management and Leadership Program. This unique experience afforded him the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and skills in the manufacturing sector, as well as exposure to hands-on engineering practices in a variety of settings. In 2011, Todd was afforded the privilege of moving back home to work with Stion, and spent three years in technical leadership roles with the hi-tech startup company.

A native of Poplarville, Mississippi, Todd is a 2004 graduate of Mississippi State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering. He serves as a Deacon at Crosspoint Community Church and enjoys serving the church and local community as much as possible. In 2013, Todd was honored by his Leadership Pinebelt Class with the Susan Walker Community Leadership Award, for exemplifying outstanding leadership and commitment to the enhancement of Greater Hattiesburg.

Markus Simmons Project Manager, Economic Development
Markus Simmons

Markus SimmonsProject Manager, Economic Development

Markus Simmons serves as the Economic Development division’s Project Manager at the Area Development Partnership (ADP). In this role, Markus is responsible for business recruitment, retention and expansion, as well as development of available economic development sites for commercial and industrial use. In addition to these duties, he assists the community development and research managers in their initiatives to support the growth of Greater Hattiesburg.

A native of Petal, Markus attended The University of Mississippi and earned his B.B.A in Marketing Communication in 2011. Markus  began his career as a sales representative for New York Life Insurance and Annuity Corporation and most recently worked in housing administration at Southern Miss while earning his Master of Business Administration.

Daniel Jayroe Community Development Director
Daniel Jayroe

Daniel JayroeCommunity Development Director

Daniel Jayroe serves as the Community Development Manager, in the Economic Development division, at the Area Development Partnership (ADP). In this role, Daniel is responsible for Post-Graduate Success Support Initiatives, developing and maintaining strong relationships with local, state, and federal elected officials, and is charged with numerous community outreach endeavors. In addition to these duties, he assists the rest of the Economic Development team with various projects and research to further help diversify and continue the growth of the regional economy.

Daniel received M.S. in Economic Development (MSED) from the University of Southern Mississippi. Prior to graduate work, Daniel earned his B.S.B.A in Healthcare Marketing from Southern Miss while being actively involved in leadership roles and volunteer work for various student organizations. Daniel is originally from Mobile, Alabama.

Chelsey Everett Research Manager, Economic Development
Chelsey Everett

Chelsey EverettResearch Manager, Economic Development

Chelsey was born in Denver, Colorado and moved to Hattiesburg, Mississippi in 2001 where she graduated with a Bachelors of Art in Public Relations and Marketing from The University of Southern Mississippi in May of 2013. After completing her undergraduate studies, Chelsey entered the Economic Development and Tourism Master’s program in Spring of 2014. Throughout her graduate career Chelsey served as President of the Student Economic Development Association, Research Assistant to the Director of the Trent Lott National Center and as an economic development intern for Stone County Economic Development Partnership. In Fall of 2014 Chelsey was selected as one of 12 graduate students to be elected into the first (annual) 2015 graduate student hall of fame for her capstone project on Adventure Tourism Impact Study in Covington County. She recently accepted a position as Research Manager for the Area Development Partnership and is thrilled about the opportunity to support the Greater Hattiesburg Area.

Haley White Membership Director
Haley White

Haley WhiteMembership Director

Haley Bolivar White currently serves as Membership Director for the Area Development Partnership’s Chamber of Commerce division. She is responsible for all membership recruitment activities as well as maintaining relationships with existing members. Haley coordinates ribbon cuttings, ground breakings and grand openings.

As a native of Laurel, Haley attended The University of Southern Mississippi and received her B.S. in Business Administration majoring in Healthcare Marketing. Haley began her career as a Corporate Health Consultant with Rush Hospital in Meridian, MS, and most recently served as the Business Development Representative for Premier Health in Baton Rouge, LA. While there, Haley gained a broad exposure in relationship building, event planning, and project management.

Lindsay Pace Communications & Events Director
Lindsay Pace

Lindsay PaceCommunications & Events Director

Lindsay Pace currently serves as the Communications & Events Director for the Area Development Partnership’s Chamber of Commerce division. Lindsay overseas a variety of monthly and signature events including HUBFEST, the Corporate Golf Challenge, First Friday Breakfast, Annual Meeting, Business After Hours, and more. She also facilitates the ADP website, weekly emails, newsletter, and social media content.

A native of Hattiesburg, Lindsay attended Mississippi State University where she received her B.A. in Marketing. Lindsay began her career in Tallahassee, FL working as the Marketing Coordinator for Aramark at Florida State University. Though she loved living in Tallahassee, Lindsay is excited to have returned home with her family and friends in Hattiesburg.

Kelsey Barrett Investor Relations Coordinator
Kelsey Barrett

Kelsey BarrettInvestor Relations Coordinator

Kelsey Barrett currently serves as the Investor Relations Coordinator for the Area Development Partnership’s Chamber of Commerce division. She is responsible for all membership retention activities as well as membership development endeavors. Kelsey initiates efforts of increasing membership value and maintains engagement amongst members and the entire business community of Hattiesburg.

Kelsey is a native of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She attended the University of Southern Mississippi where she received her B.S. in Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management. While attending USM, Kelsey participated in many extra-curricular activities, held several student leadership positions, and earned the College of Business’ 2016 Spirit of Hospitality Award.


Meagan Duckworth Events Coordinator
Meagan Duckworth

Meagan DuckworthEvents Coordinator

Meagan Duckworth currently serves as the Events Coordinator for the Area Development Partnership. She is responsible for organizing many events including; HUBFEST, First Friday Breakfast, Business After Hours, and more. Meagan is a native of Petal, and attended William Carey University where she received a B.S. in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. While attending WCU, she gained experience at ShyPR as Marketing Administrator where she performed public relation duties for the Live Oak Arts Festival in Pascagoula as well as several small businesses in Hattiesburg. Upon graduation, Meagan accepted the role as Marketing Coordinator for DIME Entertainment Magazine, where she coordinated marketing and events for the publication. Meagan is married to Jason Duckworth and they have one son, Jude.

Dinah Dillon Office Assistant
Dinah Dillon

Dinah DillonOffice Assistant

Dinah Dillon is currently the Office Assistant for the Area Development Partnership (ADP) where she acts as the initial contact for prospective clients, members, and the general public and is responsible for providing administrative support to the entire ADP staff.

Dinah attended The University of New Orleans where she majored in Business Administration. Most recently she served as an administrative assistant to the Chief Risk Officer of Risk Management for one of the largest banks in Memphis, TN, where her more than 30 years of experience allowed her to support senior level executives, attorneys, middle managers and their staff and other employees within the bank. She has been extensively trained in the following areas: customer service, conflict resolution, communication, diversity and sensitivity training.