First Mississippi Company
Organized in the Fall of 2001, the First Mississippi Company celebrated its 20th Birthday at its 2021 Fall meeting and took the opportunity to thank its leaders and briefly review its history and achievements. On 20 October 2001, the Organizing Governor and Organizing Members met in Jackson, Mississippi, to approve bylaws, elect officers, and to hear a program entitled “Jamestowne and the Founding of Our Country.” On 12 May 2002, Jamestowne Society Companies’ Chair Carolyn Farmer presented the First Mississippi Company Charter, signed by the Society Secretary of State Anne Tyler Netick and Society Governor Charles “Dan” McGuire. To mark this special occasion, Charter members received Charter Member Certificates and Commemorative Virginia Quarters. The presentation of these original Company certificates began the tradition of presenting all new members attractive Company certificates featuring Jamestowne colors: burgundy ribbons and a gold seal embossed with the Company’s name.
For fourteen years the First Mississippi Company (FMC) was the only company in the state. Meetings were primarily held in Jackson, but also in other cities such as Hattiesburg and Tupelo. Today the FMC holds all of its bi-annual meetings in the Jackson metropolitan area in April and October so as not to conflict with the Society’s May and November meetings in Virginia. By 2014 the FMC had 47 members, increasing its membership 135% in thirteen years. In 2015 a second company formed to serve members in the northern part of the state, followed by the chartering of a third company to serve the southern part of the state in 2016. The FMC membership dropped to 23 as members left to join regional companies, and in 2015 the FMC began to recruit and rebuild its membership. By 2021, the FMC’s membership had risen to 116, an extraordinary five-fold increase in just six years. In 2020, FMC had to adjust its meeting schedule because of the Sars2 pandemic. However, FMC held both bi-annual meetings in 2020 and 2021.
The way the First Mississippi Company operates has significantly evolved in the last six years: focusing more on recruiting and applications assistance, becoming more interactive with its members between meetings, implementing new projects, adding more Council members and standing committees, altering the criteria for its Scholarship Award, strengthening connections with the Society, increasing attendance, and stepping up its participation in Annual Giving. These changes built a stronger, bigger company with notable achievements.
FMC operates as transparently as possible. In 2020 FMC revised its bylaws to align them with the new Society bylaws. FMC then prepared and adopted a Policies and Procedure Manual for use by officers and membership in conducting the business of the Company. The PPM also provides continuity of operations as the persons who serve in an office or on a committee change over time.
- Ethel Marlette Anepohl (Organizing Lt. Governor)
- Sharron Hailey Baird (Organizing Executive Secretary)
- Elizabeth Mullens Barnes
- Betty Bass Cleere (Organizing Historian)
- Patricia Pope Ellis (Organizing Registrar)
- Carrie Scales Evans (Organizing Recording Secretary)
- Sonya Jordan Fox (Organizing Treasurer)
- Dale Sadka Haralson (Organizing Chaplain)
- Geraldine Rudd Haviland
- Alice Wiggers Houston
- Kay Parrish Hudson (Organizing Governor)
- LTC Horace Richard Jordan
- Frances May Long
- Eleanor Hewitt McCandless
- Doris Newcomb McMurchy
- William Jack Olson
- Joy Pickett Phillips
- Chesley Thorne Smith
- Joy Moore Tindall
- Mary Stuart Wiggins