By Spencer McClenty
Lurlene Irvin, director of the Center for Business Development & Economic Research at Jackson State University, was recently selected by the Mississippi Business Journal as one of 10 finalists for Business Woman of the Year. The announcement was made during a luncheon held at the Hilton Hotel in Jackson
“This is one of Mississippi’s greatest honors,” Irvin said. “It indicates that the business community appreciates my contribution to our local, state and regional economy.”
The Business Woman of the Year program honors the achievements and contributions of women in business from across the state. It is held annually in conjunction with the Mississippi Business & Technology EXPO, presented by Comcast Business Class.
The JSU Center for Business Development & Economic Research houses the state’s largest small business development center, which was recently recognized as an Economic Development Administration funded University Center. It’s the only Historically Black College or University center to be honored as such.
“This recognition is also a testament of the quality of higher education in Mississippi,” said Irvin, who received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Mississippi, a master’s in business administration from Millsaps College and a doctorate in economics from JSU. “My education has served me well over the years.”
Also during the luncheon, Lori Stewart, director of Communications and Outreach in the Office of Student Life, was recognized among the Mississippi Business Journal’s 2010 50 Leading Business Women in
Stewart, who also was named among the magazine’s 2008 Top 40 Under 40, which recognizes the state’s 40 up-and-coming business leaders under the age of 40, was grateful for the recognition.
“It was indeed an honor because not only was I able to share this great recognition with 49 other talented women from across the state but it was a great personal accomplishment for me,” said Stewart, a former Miss Jackson State University (’98-’99). “I enjoy being a mentor to young women to empower and inspire them to be their best and strive to reach their goals. I am very honored to have been selected to join the ranks of so many successful women.”
Finalists for Business Woman of the Year are selected from among the 50 Leading Business Women in the State. The winner of the 2010 Business Woman of the Year award was Rosi Johnson, chief executive officer of Mississippi Music and the Mississippi Music Acceptance Corporation.