Slightly over a month after being named Mississippi’s Small Business Person of the Year, Jackson State University professor John. D. Calhoun has now been named by U.S. President Barack Obama as one of 18 national
Champions of Change in business. Calhoun, who was notified of the honor on May 12, is co-founder and CEO of Integrated Management Services (IMS), a 15-year-old full-service corporation that provides engineering, emergency management, technical, program management and operations services to its clients.
“It’s a great honor to be recognized for our entrepreneurial spirit,” said Calhoun, assistant professor of Entrepreneurship in the Department of Entrepreneurship in the JSU College of Business. “Small business is the engine that keeps this economy moving. We create more jobs and more people end up working for small companies than large corporations.”
The Champions of Change program is part of the president’s Winning the Future initiative. Each week, as part of this initiative, the Obama administration highlights a group of Americans, businesses or organizations who embody the presidents’ plan to “out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world”. The 18 people chosen as Champions of Change in business were selected from among the winners of each state’s 2011 Small Business Person of the Year award, of which Calhoun was the winner in the state of Mississippi.
“I think we were chosen to be Champions of Change because even in this tough economy, IMS has opened several new offices throughout the country and has hired new engineers, scientists and technical experts,” said Calhoun, who, along with his partner Rod L. Hill, founded IMS in 1996. “IMS continues to grow because the firm works very hard to bring global solutions to local problems.”
In 2008, for the fourth consecutive year, IMS ranked 30th on the Inner City 100 Award List for the fastest growing inner-city businesses in the United States. The firm, which currently employs 189 people in nine offices, is currently working on various public and private infrastructure projects in Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi, including a $90 million, 18-mile long Byram-Clinton Parkway corridor in Hinds County, Miss.
Calhoun and the other “champions” will be honored during an event at the White House on May 19.