Welcome to the
Hub City

3 U.S. Highways
Class 1 Rail Lines
International Airports within 2 hours
Gulf of Mexico Ports within 2 hours

170000 Total Population (ESRI 2021)

COST OF HOUSING: 29% lower than the national average (COLI 2018)


  • Franco DeFelice
    Franco DeFelice
    Plant Manager at Sofidel America

    “In the span of 10 short months, our site and 400,000 square foot facility was grubbed, graded and constructed. The seamless partnership between public and private sector community leaders has been an outstanding representation of the unparalleled support we have received from the Hattiesburg community. We look forward to a future of success here in our Hattiesburg home.”

  • Jerry Stone
    Jerry Stone
    Plant Manager at KOHLER Engines

    “In this market, quality makes the biggest difference. With a recent $7.5M expansion and over 100 new jobs, KOHLER Engines has been able to maintain our high quality end product by leveraging a high quality workforce. We’ve become a very high quality manufacturer of small engines, and that’s what has really driven our growth.”

  • Pete Westrate
    Pete Westrate
    Plant Director, Select Product Group

    “Because of the support we’ve received from the Hattiesburg community, SPG sees expansion in its horizon. With an abundant, quality workforce, we are able to excel in our market with the confidence that our community can adequately support our growth demands and needs. We take pride in being a corporate citizen in this community, and we look forward to growing alongside it.”

Recent Success

Communities qualify for Hometown Mississippi Retirement recertification

  Sites and Buildings   Business Assistance   Top Employers   Demographics 148,916 Total Population Cost of Housing: 34% Lower than National Average Over $300M investment in green solar energy Franco DeFelice Plant Manager at Sofidel America   “In the span of 10 short months, our site and...

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Contact The Team


Todd Jackson Executive Vice President
Todd Jackson

Todd JacksonExecutive Vice President

Todd spent the first ten years of his career as an Engineer in advanced manufacturing facilities around the country and is now utilizing that background to serve the Area Development Partnership as Executive Vice President, providing leadership to both the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Divisions. Much like the mission of the ADP, Todd’s focus every day is continually improving the quality of life in the region through economic progress. The ADP team is a group of talented hard-working professionals that work on a wide array of programs and projects to positively impact the community and Todd plays a vital role in that progress.

 The first seven years of Todd’s career were spent in the engineering ranks of GE Plastics in New York, Indiana, and Alabama 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 across many different advanced manufacturing facilities. In 2011, Todd had the privilege of moving back home and spent three years in engineering leadership roles with a new hi-tech startup company, which eventually introduced him to the field of economic development and the great work of the ADP.

A native of Poplarville, Mississippi, Todd is a 2004 graduate of Mississippi State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering, and since moving to Hattiesburg, has also developed a love for the Southern Miss Golden Eagles.  In 2013, Todd was honored by his Leadership Pine Belt Class with the Susan Walker Community Leadership Award for exemplifying outstanding leadership and commitment to the enhancement of Greater Hattiesburg.  He is also a graduate of the 2018 Leadership Mississippi class.  Outside of work, Todd serves as a Deacon at Crosspoint Community Church, and is very involved with the United Way of Southeast MS through his service as a volunteer, Board Member, and Chair of the Board in 2021. Todd and his wife, Jennifer, enjoy adventures with their two young boys Nolan (12) and Grant (8).

Chelsey Everett, MSED Vice President of Marketing & Research
Chelsey Everett, MSED

Chelsey Everett, MSEDVice President of Marketing & Research

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 elected into the first (annual) 2015 graduate student hall of fame for her capstone project on Adventure Tourism Impact Study in Covington County.

After graduating from the Master’s Program in 2014, Chelsey came onboard at the Area Development Partnership as Research Manager where she managed numerous research initiatives focused on job creation/retention, workforce development, and business recruitment for the Economic Development Team. Since her beginning at the ADP, Chelsey has now grown into a Vice President role and has recently been recognized for her achievements as one of Mississippi Business Journals Top 50 under 40 business leaders in the state for 2019. In 2017, the Southeastern Economic Development Council (SEDC) recognized Chelsey and the ADP Team for excellence in research and marketing, awarding them two top awards in the economic development marketing for the Southeastern United States.

When not at work, Chelsey is an avid reader, a master of power tools and woodworking, and a loving mom to her four-legged child (Keely). She is a proud member of CrossPoint Church, where she also serves as Media Director.

Adam Schraeder Economic Development Director
Adam Schraeder

Adam SchraederEconomic Development Director

Adam Schraeder is the Economic Development Director for the Area Development Partnership located in Hattiesburg, MS. In this role, Adam is responsible for developing strong working relationships with state, regional and all economic development allies to promote economic growth and improve the quality of life for the citizens of the Greater Hattiesburg area. He also provides professional project management support of new business recruitment and the retention or expansion of existing businesses in the Greater Hattiesburg area.

Prior to his role with the Area Development Partnership, Adam worked at Mississippi Power from 2014-2022 where he held several positions within Marketing and Sales before becoming a Project Manager in the Economic Development department. Adam joined Mississippi Power in September 2014 after six years at Sherwin Williams, where he was promoted through their Management Trainee Program on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

He graduated from The University of Southern Mississippi in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a minor in Marketing. He began pursuing his Master of Business Administration degree through Southern Miss in 2020 and will graduate in the spring of 2023. He is very involved in the community and has been serving on the United Way Board of Directors since 2021.

Adam and his wife Sarah have been married for 14 years. They live in Hattiesburg with their three children: Madelyn (15), Griffin (11) and Avery (10) who are all very active at their schools and are involved in plenty of extracurricular activities.

Colby Bennett, MSED Community Development Manager
Colby Bennett, MSED

Colby Bennett, MSEDCommunity Development Manager

Colby Bennett received her Master’s degree in Economic Development from the University of Southern Mississippi. Colby earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi with a major in Integrated Marketing Communication, a minor in Business Administration, and a Media Sales and Management specialization.

As a Graduate Research Assistant, Colby has worked on several projects related to economic development in Mississippi. These projects include an MS workforce funding alignment assessment, a market feasibility study for an Accelerator/Business Incubator in Jackson County, and updating The University of Southern Mississippi Economic Impact Study.

Colby’s economic development interest includes community revitalization, where strategies are created to generate jobs in underdeveloped regions. Her interests also include downtown revitalization and real estate planning. In a role as Community Development Manager, Colby can pursue these interests and assist in the economic growth of the greater Hattiesburg area.

Kaitlyn Smith Community Development Coordinator
Kaitlyn Smith

Kaitlyn SmithCommunity Development Coordinator

Kaitlyn serves as the Community Development Coordinator for the Economic Development team, where she is responsible for aiding the Community Development Manager with all Education, Military, and Legislative efforts.

Kaitlyn is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. During her pursuit of an undergraduate degree, she worked in various roles for the Southern Miss Athletics Department, including athletic marketing, football recruiting, administrative assisting, and donor relations.

Kaitlyn is also a graduate of Belmont University in Nashville, TN, earning a Master’s degree in Sports Administration. During graduate school, Kaitlyn worked as an athletic marketing graduate assistant where she served as the lead game producer for Belmont volleyball and basketball games, where she took the lead on scriptwriting and enhancing their social media presence.

Before joining the ADP, she worked as an Administrative Support Specialist for the Southern Miss Athletics Department. She provided expert administrative assistance through the precise handling of day-to-day office needs and special projects.

Kaitlyn is a Hattiesburg, MS native. She is an active member of Temple Baptist Church and a Delta Gamma alumna. In her free time, she enjoys exploring new places with her husband, Dax Smith, and their two dogs, Winnie and Woods.