• Accelerate


    Accelerate, formerly known as First Friday, is designed to connect our members and drive business. Accelerate will take place on the First Friday of every month at Southern Oaks House & Gardens, unless stated otherwise. Accelerate is exclusive to ADP members and provides an opportunity to hear updates pertaining to regional and statewide issues affecting the business community. CLICK HERE to save the date for the next Accelerate.

  • Business After Hours

    Business After Hours

    Business After Hours are all about business to business connections. Held at various ADP member locations, host businesses have an opportunity to showcase their business to approximately 150 ADP-member representatives. Attendees enjoy food, beverages, networking, and fun. Business After Hours is held throughout the year on Thursday evenings from 5:30 – 7:00 pm. CLICK HERE to save the date for the next Business After Hours.

  • Corporate Golf Challenge

    Corporate Golf Challenge

    The Annual ADP Corporate Golf Challenge is a unique opportunity for ADP members to connect with fellow business leaders in a fun, competitive environment. This four-man scramble is one of the area’s most laid-back tournaments, focusing more on perfecting your business game than your golf game. Sponsors provide giveaways, games, and food throughout the course and top teams are awarded prizes. The Corporate Golf Challenge is held annually in September and includes both morning and afternoon flights.

    CLICK HERE for more information about the next Corporate Golf Challenge.

  • Membership Appreciation

    Membership Appreciation

    July marks the ADP’s annually celebrated Membership Appreciation Week. Staff, Ambassadors, and Volunteers will hand-deliver ADP Membership Directories to each of our 850+ members throughout the week, and various events are held to celebrate the businesses and individuals that make the ADP successful. A Membership Appreciation Luncheon, held at Southern Oaks House and Gardens, includes a fantastic speaker, awards, gifts, and fun. Members are our focus as we recognize those individuals and businesses who have gone above and beyond in their support of the ADP and the Community. Membership Appreciation Week is held the second week in July.

  • Rise Up Professional Development Series

    Rise Up Professional Development Series

    Rise Up Professional Development Series is a program designed to help young professionals and mid-level managers advance in their career. Dynamic speakers provide valuable insight on various topics in an open-forum setting. Previous topics include: Overcoming Adversity, Brand Development And Implementation, The Art of the Deal, Transitioning from Manager to Leader, Building Strategic Partnerships, and more. The Rise Up Series is held twice throughout the year. Purchase tickets for individual sessions or the full series on the Calendar Page.

  • Legislative Forum

    Legislative Forum

    The Legislative Forum gives ADP members the opportunity to hear directly from local legislators about issues impacting Greater Hattiesburg. During this event, Senators and Representatives from Forrest, Lamar, and Perry Counties have a panel discussion at the beginning and ending of the session in Jackson. Questions from the audience are fielded by the moderator, and legislators often stay after for one-on-one time with attendees. The Legislative Forum is held annually in January and March.

  • Annual Meeting

    Annual Meeting

    The Area Development Partnership’s Annual Meeting is the most anticipated member event of the year. Attendees enjoy lunch, awards presentations, ADP Board nominations, and a fantastic keynote speaker. Previously featured speakers include best-selling author and speaker, Jon Gordon, pastor, author, speaker & podcaster, Carey Nieuwhof, and leadership expert, psychologist, and best-selling author, Dr. Henry Cloud. CLICK HERE to save the date for the next Annual Meeting.

  • Leadership Exchange

    Leadership Exchange

    The Leadership Exchange allows Hattiesburg community leaders to meet with their peers in like-minded communities across the country to learn best practices in the areas of industrial and retail development, workforce training, education, and downtown redevelopment.

  • Jumpstart to Success

    Jumpstart to Success

    Jumpstart to Success is an interactive career expo for 8th and 9th graders in Forrest, Lamar, and Perry Counties. It is part of the ADP’s Post Graduate Success Support Initiative to expose students to career opportunities available in the region. Jumpstart to Success showcases local businesses, universities, community colleges, and more to encourage students to take the first steps in planning for their future.

  • Mission: Possible

    Mission: Possible

    Mission: Possible is an experiential day of learning for 11th graders in Forrest, Lamar, and Perry Counties. As part of the Area Development Partnership’s initiative to connect students to workplace realities, this event focuses on enhancing student’s soft skills such as: resume writing, presentation and interview, business communication, and job etiquette. With partners that include The University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey University, Mission: Possible will host over 500 students from Greater Hattiesburg.

  • Small Business Leadership Award Luncheon

    Small Business Leadership Award Luncheon

    The Small Business Leadership Award was established by William Carey University and the Area Development Partnership in 1990 to recognize the important contributions small businesses make to the economic, social, and cultural life of the community and the particular achievements of one individual or family. The award is given in memory of Dr. Joe Roberts, former professor of communication at William Carey University. Dr. Roberts was also a successful businessman and one of the founders of Aycock-Roberts Furniture.


    • Nominees are required to be a member of the ADP
    • Nominees must exhibit respectable character in the community and its mission must not conflict with the mission of William Carey University
    • Nominees may be from either “for-profit” or “not-for-profit” sectors
    • Previous Small Business Leadership Award recipients are not eligible for nomination
    • Employ 100 people or less
    • Business operations are localized geographically except for marketing
    • The business is small compared to the biggest firms in the industry
    • Financing of business is supplied by one individual or small group
    • Operations are conducted in a most ethical business manner as per the Judeo-Christian ethic
    • Business is financially sound and has shown stability and growth over the years
    • Business/Professional reference required
    • Demonstration of community involvement; Nominee is involved in community service and known for having regard for individuals as people

    PAST RECIPIENTS 1990 – Mr. Jack Simmons, Simmons Furniture Co. 1991 – Mr. Robert E. Donnell, Jr., Vital Care Compounder 1992 – Ms. Jan Lacy, Copy Cats Printing 1993 – Mr. Butch Brown, Parris Jewelers 1994 – Ms. Gwen James, Coldwell Banker 1995 – Mr. Carl Amones, Amones Realty & Tax Service 1996 – Mr. David Rumbarger, Area Development Partnership 1997-98 – Mr. Doug McLelland, McLelland Television Co. 1999 – Mr. Glenn E. Galey, The Galey Agency, Inc. 2000 – Mr. Allen Anderson, Anderson Retail, Inc. 2001 – Mr. Steven L. Floyd, Steve Floyd Properties, Inc. 2002 – Myrick Family, Economy Supply Company 2003 – Mr. Gene Owens, Owens Business Machines 2004 – Dews Family, C.L. Dews & Sons Foundry & Machine Co. 2006 – Robert St. John, Mid-South Restaurant Group 2007 – Wayne Ross, Commercial Stationery Company 2009 – Dennis Pierce, Piercon, Inc. 2010 – Greg and Steve Moore, Moore Funeral Service 2011 – Phil Hanberry and Chris Hudson, Hanco Corporation 2012- Karl Ficken, Willmut Gas Company 2013- Tom White, 206 Front/Bianchi’s Pizzeria 2014- Wyche McMullan, McMullan Motors 2015 – Kyle Wallace, Shows, Dearman, and Waits, Inc. 2016 – Brad Pittman, Columbia Block & Brick 2017 – Gary Carmichael, Pridestaff 2018 – Rob & Craig Tatum, CR Properties, LLC 2019 – Andy Stetelman, London & Stetelman Commercial Realtors, 2020 – Doleac Electric Company, Inc., 2021 – Joyce Hicks, Blooms Company, 2022 – Lee Parish, Parish Tractor, 2023 Brandon & Abby Thaxton – The Lucky Rabbit

    2024 Nominations are now closed.

Sponsorship & Advertising Opportunities

Sponsoring an ADP event is a fantastic way to gain additional exposure for your business. With over 90 events annually the ADP has something to offer everyone. From Signature events such as HUBFEST and the Corporate Golf Challenge, to monthly and quarterly networking events, there’s an opportunity in store for any business no matter the size. Advertising is available in our weekly email, The Rundown as well as in our quarterly newsletter, The Navigator. For sponsorship and advertising opportunities, contact the Director of Communications and Events.