The key to maximizing your membership with the ADP, regardless of the size of your business, is connecting. ADP members are offered the best networking opportunities in Greater Hattiesburg through a variety of events, designed to help you learn, grow, and connect. We encourage members and member businesses to take advantage of these opportunities through event attendance and sponsorships.

  • 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.

  • 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 150-200 ADP-member representatives. Attendees enjoy food, beverages, networking, and fun.

    Business After Hours is held quarterly on Thursday evenings from 5:30 – 7:00 pm.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 October and includes both morning and afternoon flights.

  • 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 Governor Phil Bryant, best-selling author and speaker, Jon Gordon and best-selling author and speaker Bob Beaudine.


  • Hubfest
  • 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. Deadline to nominate: April 20th


    • 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


    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