Today the Mississippi Brain Drain Commission (MSBD), an initiative founded through Maris, West & Baker Advertising (MWB), announced a partnership with Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB) to jointly develop a new interactive television series. The series, titled Fast Forward, is designed to help stem the loss of intellectual capital in Mississippi. This announcement is made as part of Mississippi Innovation Month.
“It is an aberration that Mississippi is a net exporter of college graduates who have a bachelors-or-better degree,” said Tim Mask, Vice President with Maris, West & Baker and founder of the Brain Drain Initiative. “It is our goal to help young Mississippians realize they can have creative jobs within leading-edge innovative fields and in fact rise farther, faster by staying in our state.”
Fast Forward will highlight the career paths of young professionals in Mississippi and detail how Mississippi provides an ideal environment for going farther, faster, in innovative & creative fields. The series will balance features of leading edge occupations with profiles of Mississippi’s creative places, lifestyle/cultural vignettes, and entertainment venues. Media personality Marshall Ramsey is slotted to host Fast Forward once production begins.
We’ve been on a kick lately for advocating teaching coding in Mississippi elementary schools. So much so that we partnered with a few other innovative Mississippi companies and helped implement a Saturday Hackathon. As a company vested in the continued economic development and expansion of knowledge-based ventures, we believe that exposing kids to coding in 2013 is tantamount to teaching the basics of industrial mechanics in 1913. A working knowledge of coding is likely to become a valuable part of the resume, regardless if the direct job acquires coding or not.
There’s no better way to back this up than to see what an important part coding and development is right now in our growing economy. Oxford-based FNC, Inc. was the first company to develop an IT solution in the mortgage origination market. Since their founding, the company’s growth has skyrocketed. FNC has been on the Inc.com list of fastest growing private companies multiple times. The company put together a video of staff members discussing some the the innovative projects that they’re working on. Watch and get a better understanding of how incorporating coding into education would be beneficial.
Boise State University rose to prominence by having a creative football team. Seriously, if you’re not a college football fan and don’t understand the reference, just check this David and Goliath-esque clip moment from the 2006 Fiesta Bowl. Let’s just say, Boise State showed quite the innovative way to come back and win a football game against a monster opponent.
It’s no surprise then to know that when Boise State needed an innovative remote IT service system, they called upon one of the most innovative companies available: Mississippi-based Bomgar. As part of Mississippi Innovation Month, we are highlighting companies, organizations, and individuals who are helping Mississippi become a leader in the 21st century Knowledge Economy.
Boise State Football=creative, innovative football team.
Bomgar=creative, innovative Mississippi digital services company.
Show your support by tweeting using #MSInNov.
As part of Mississippi Innovation Month, MWB is sponsoring a Twitter forum to discuss November’s Hackathon Saturday and coding workshops being held for students and teachers across the state. The forum will take place on Tuesday, 11/19 from 7PM – 8PM via @MSInnovationEco, using #MSInNov to follow. Anyone with an interest in promoting digital job skills is encouraged to follow, participate, and engage.
In conjunction with Mississippi Innovation Month, a collaboration of innovation-focused entities including Innovate Mississippi, the Mississippi Development Authority, the Mississippi Department of Education, Maris, West & Baker, Venture Technologies, school districts in Rankin County, Jackson County, Jackson Public Schools, and the Highland Elementary School PTO helped to produce a series of workshops focused on introducing students and teachers to digital job skills that will prove essential in the 21st century knowledge economy. Student workshops are being held through Jackson Public Schools and Jackson County Schools on 11/16, with a Coding for Teachers workshop being held at Highland Elementary in Ridgeland on 11/16 as well. Another student workshop is being held by Rankin County Schools on 11/21.
MWB VP/Digital Creative Director Randy Lynn (a Highland Elementary parent) helped to organize the “Coding for Teachers” workshop being held on Mississippi Hackathon Saturday (11/16). Randy will be the guest expert for our forum discussing the need for incorporating coding and other digital learning curriculum into Mississippi’s educational system.
FORUM: 11/19 7PM-8PM
Via: @MSInnovationEco #MSInNov
MWB is one of the supporters of Innovation Month in Mississippi. November was so declared by Governor Phil Bryant in order to highlight the myriad of innovative people, companies, and organizations that are driving Mississippi’s economy to the top. A great example of this comes courtesy of Oxford, Mississippi-based FNC, Inc. It’s called The Forge.
FNC is a software technology company the builds systems giving mortgage lenders and servicers access to the most current residential real estate information available. The company is a national leader in the space, has grown rapidly in the past decade, and is a real success story. What’s more, FNC continues to drive innovation from within with special initiatives like The Forge.
The initiative is open to all FNC employees, and consists of a 23-straight-hour, junk-food infused, caffeine-fueled development fest. During the event, FNC staff focus on developing, creating, and innovating company products and processes which will positively impact FNC customers. And yes, there are prizes and awards.
As we move farther into a knowledge-based economy, companies will find it necessary to make creative investments in internal innovation. It is great to see a Mississippi company leading by example. Way to go, and best of luck with The Forge.
For more information about Innovation Month in Mississippi, please visit msinnovationmonth.com.
Venture Technologies is a leading edge cloud services company headquartered in Ridgeland, Mississippi, with offices throughout the south. MWB is proud to call Venture Technology a client, helping to create their competitive positioning, brand messaging, and graphic standards. Take a look at some of Venture’s success stories below.
Have you heard? Next year, 2014, is going to be declared the year of the Creative Economy in Mississippi. In advance of this, we are sponsoring a photo contest via @MSCreativeEcon. Pick a subject matter you believe depicts our state’s creative economy, and tweet it to @MSCreativeEcon using the #msCreative. We pick a winner each week who receives a $5 iTunes credit. Oh, and businesses are eligible! We’re really looking forward to seeing all the creative photography our creative people take of our creative economy!
Thursday, July 25 2013, 7pm – 8pm CST. The inaugural Twitter forum sponsored by Mississippi’s Creative Economy will be held 7/25 at 7PM and feature visionary technology executive Bruce Deer as the special guest experts. Topics will focus on Mississippi’s role as a leader in emerging technologies, and how a culture of innovation is helping Mississippi leap forward in the new knowledge economy. Follow @MsCreativeEcon and use #msCreative to track the conversation and contribute. Please contact me if you would like further details.
Mississippi’s Creative Economy is a forum for sharing information about, and promoting Mississippi’s role as a leader in technology, creativity, and innovation within the context of driving economic development. The forum is a service of Maris, West & Baker.
Bruce Deer is a visionary and progressive executive for companies with national and international operations with a focus on emerging business opportunities. Bruce has extensive experience in strategic planning, business development, product development, technical operations, engineering, software and systems development, management consulting, and development of consumer products and services. Bruce as served as as Chief Executive Officer/President for a number of prominent Mississippi technology and communications firms, including Spread Networks, Neopolis Technologies, Origin Technologies, and SkyTel.
Maris, West & Baker had the privilege of being one of the title sponsors of the first annual Bonfire on the Beach at the Mississippi Economic Development Council’s Summer Conference on June 26th. The conference was engaging and highly substantive, and congratulations to the MEDC staff and partners for pulling off yet another incredible event. The bonfire on the evening of the 26th was set to a perfect backdrop of a warm gulf breeze and a clear night in the Mississippi sky. Hard to beat that! MWB was proud to be involved, and we’re certainly looking forward to the Winter Conference early next year.
If you’re not already following the Mississippi Economic Development Council and the Mississippi Development Authority on twitter, please do so @medcinfo and @mdaworks, respectively. #medcInspired #reInventMS #reThinkMS.
They have a saying in Austin, Texas – Keep Austin Weird. Well, Austin, we did our best, thank you very much.
At this year’s American Advertising Federation’s National Addy Awards, MWB took home three Gold Addys and one Silver Addy for our Shack Up Inn poster campaign. Now, at face value, that might not strike you as weirdness, but allow me to describe the scene: It’s Marc Leffler and me in a fancy ballroom at the Austin Hilton – lights, cameras and everything. The audience is filled with the people behind some of advertising’s biggest campaigns – and us. One more thing: Marc is holding a cut-out picture of Keith Fraser’s face mounted on a stick. (See the picture above.) Keith Fraser is MWB’s associate creative director and designer of the Shack Up posters.
After a few welcoming announcements, the show begins with video of the Gold Addy winners: Leo Burnett for their brilliant Mayhem campaign for Allstate Insurance. The much-loved Superbowl commercial, “The Force”, with the mini Darth Vader, that Deutsch created for Volkswagen. A multimedia campaign for Nike, featuring the cast of Back to the Future, that raised $9 million for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Wieden+Kennedy’s fantastic “Imported from Detroit” campaign for Chrysler. Sony Playstation. McDonald’s. Snickers. Coca-Cola. HBO. Intel. And then… The Shack Up Inn posters from Maris, West & Baker. A low-budget poster campaign among million-dollar multimedia spectacles from New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. All for a Clarksdale B&B (breakfast and beer) where you can spend the night in a renovated sharecropper shack.
I heard some applause and a few whistles as we walked up to accept the Addys. Of course, the cheers quickly turned to laughter once Marc held up Keith-on-a-Stick. Here’s the full story: Keith designed the posters. Marc and I were the writers. But, unfortunately, Keith couldn’t come to the Addys due to an important Newk’s photo shoot. Marc, who has probably the biggest heart in Mississippi advertising, didn’t want Keith to be left out. So he brought a picture of Keith’s face on a stick. And Keith, as usual, stole the show even though he wasn’t actually there. We might have to start bringing Keith-on-a-Stick to client meetings. Watch out “Real Keith.”
All in all, it was an incredible experience to see our work honored among some of the best advertising campaigns on the planet. But don’t worry about us getting big egos. It was back to the real world on Thursday to roll up the sleeves and get to work. In advertising, you’re only as good as your last campaign. What really matters most is doing the best you can for the clients you’re lucky enough to have.
The AAF posted a page with the National Addy Gold winners. Here’s to the winners, the South and the Shack Up Inn!