Friday, May 15, 2020

Governor Names Interim MDA Director

Governor Tate Reeves issued the following statement. 

Today, Governor Tate Reeves announced that John Rounsaville will lead the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) as Interim Director to continue growing our state's economy and win business for Mississippi. John has a proven history of fighting and leading here in our state and on the national stage—having served in offices from Representative Charles W. "Chip" Pickering to Governor Haley Barbour and serving Presidents George W. Bush and Donald J. Trump.

"John has been a true servant of Mississippi for many years and been devoted to helping our state grow. I am honored that he will take on this role to build on our state's economic development successes. He will play a critical role as MDA Interim Director as we work to restart our economy and shift it into overdrive for the people of Mississippi," said Governor Tate Reeves.

John Rounsaville has a long career of serving the people of Mississippi, dating back to his various roles for Representative Charles W. "Chip" Pickering from 1998 to 2003. After serving as Rep. Pickering's Deputy Chief of Staff, Rounsaville joined Governor Haley Barbour's office as Policy Advisor from 2004 to 2006. He was then appointed by President George W. Bush as State Director for USDA Rural Development from 2006 to 2008. He served as Vice President of Strategic Services for Waggoner Engineering, Inc. following that from 2008 to 2017.

Appointed by President Donald Trump, he currently serves as State Director for USDA Rural Development. Rounsaville holds various distinctions for his military service, including the Air Force Meritorious Service, Commendation, and Achievement Medals, Global War on Terrorism Service Ribbon, and Mississippi War Medal. He also currently serves as serve as a JAG and Major at the 186th in the Mississippi Air Force National Guard. A graduate of Mississippi State University with a Bachelor's and Master's, as well as a Juris Doctor from University of Mississippi, he has consistently delivered for Mississippi throughout his career.

John and his wife, Laura, reside in Madison with their two sons, Luke (10) and Graham (8), and a baby girl on the way.


Anonymous said...

Oh great. Just another lifelong political bureaucrat that can’t seem to find a job other than a political appointment.

Anonymous said...

John's a good guy. Done well with Rural Development. He is a great choice to lead MDA.

Anonymous said...

I misread the title and was fired up for a minute.

(I thought it said MDE Director)

Anonymous said...

Why isn't private sector experience a requirement to lead the MDA?

Anonymous said...

Why do we need this agency?

It’s a boondoggle

Waste of money!

Liberate it!

And this guy is a professional nothing.....get a job dude.

Anonymous said...

Appointing a lifelong political good ole boy with no economic development experience will work out great for the agency responsible for attracting economic development. Just you see.

Anonymous said...

Do you ever see business owners and entrepreneurs take these agency director jobs? MDA? Innovate?

Anonymous said...

Get a grip, he has leadership experience which is needed in that agency right now. He is filling a roll, to give time to find an experienced developer to run the agency. No I don’t work in government or connected to tator. Once this covid crap is over an experienced economic developer is needed to bring in new business and expand existing companies on a larger scale.

Anon-E-Mouse said...

The people are demanding blood over the $94 million wasted by the welfare department.

Those be rookie numbers compared to the MDA failures. From the beef plant to solar panels, they blow through our money faster than democrats giving it to illegals.

Anonymous said...

Solid pick. That agency is in such separate need for reform the Feel had to use TANF money for economic development. Go get 'em.

Disgruntled In Dinsmore said...

With virtually every agency in this state either crippled, ineffective or mired in waste and fraud...It's great to see the governor making a move. No matter that this is an interim appointment to a do nothing agency.

Meanwhile: MDES, Welfare, Highway Patrol, Department of Corrections and Medicaid twist in the winds of poor service and continued inefficiency.

Anonymous said...

John is very talented, hard worker and not a self-promoter. Has a wonderful family- grew up on a farm. He also has a law degree and serves in the JAG at the Mississippi National Guard. Has worked in both private and government sector. Thank goodness for people like John willing to serve.

Anonymous said...

7:05- no, business owners and entrepreneurs donate to the governor and tell him who they want and what they want the agency to do. Can you say Nisson and Toyota and the new tire plant in Clinton. Industrial and business development is a crap shoot- you win some and you loose some!

Anonymous said...

John’s a really good guy. Hopefully he’ll be forward thinking and can do something with MDA beyond “buying” jobs from companies selling factories/warehouses to the highest bidding state.

Anonymous said...

Coupled with the DOR “money grabbing” because they want to keep their paychecks flowing, our state has a corrupt group. I speak to others in different states and we are a joke. We have a Capital City that has disintegrated into what is equivalent to a third world developing country and now we have state officials who think they know more about business than business men do. You cannot put a public sector employee over an agency that has an impact such as this position will have. We need to get more business oriented private sector appointments. Now, you think things have been rough with Covid? Just wait until the money grabbers (see first sentence above) start sending letter after letter after letter. Revenues are down and businesses were closed and probably a drastic number will go out of business soon because they cannot pay their bills much less anything else. But, we have this mindset that we need large state government. That’s the one fallback in this state that will not change. Simply put, when you are a public sector employee you don’t have the accountability and drive that a person in the private sector has. Sorry to hurt y’alls feelings. Might be painting with a broad brush here but that has been my overall experience with state and federal government all my life and I’m 69....and I’m still working everyday. No retirement for me anytime soon because as a business owner I have people who work for me that are dependent on me to keep them employed and they all give it 100% everyday. That’s the rewarding part of being in the private sector.

Anonymous said...

How many people at MDA do you think have business degrees? I’d put hard money on not many at all.

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, 7:41, just as an example, Governor Bryant put his best bud and fellow alumnus, Huff, the Hattiesburg multi-millionaire and private sector lifer on committees and boards. Same with his appointments and REappointments to Wildlife and other Commissions.

The departure from Commissions filled from the private sector began with Barbour. Although it was always a fact, even when filled with private sector people...they had to belong to and follow a specific party line.

But, back to the present: Tate Reeves cares nothing about business and industry development. And that's primarily because he KNOWS nothing about it.

Anonymous said...

Does Mr Rounsaville have any specialized frontage road experience? ISpeciafically the subdivision accessing type of frontage road? Design, construction, financing, getting gubmint funding for etc?

TIA- My friend who I'm asking for is trying to get an old self propelled mower started so he can donate it- will check back later..

Anonymous said...

When is he going to name a DPS commissioner or MBN Director?

Anonymous said...

Great pick--that agency needs reform!!!

Anonymous said...

8:41 AM. I'll take your bet. At one time I worked at MDA after coming from the private sector. I managed 8 people. These included three CPAs, two with a BS in marketing and MBA, one with BS in finance and MBA, one with BS in marketing, and one with BS in accounting. All of these people had also worked in the private sector. The gentleman with the BS in marketing also ran a major part of a nationally known food manufacturer. The gentleman with the BS in accounting also worked for many years for a national manufacturer. Most of the MDA employees with the exception of those in IS, personnel, etc. had business degrees. If you don't know what you're talking about, you should keep your mouth shut.

Anonymous said...

12:32 a.m. - That's impressive. Now, name five companies that group brought to Mississippi while you managed them. Four?

Anonymous said...

Just a question for thought- why would a federal appointee leave a Top executive spot for a “temporary” state appointment? Point being that doesn’t happen unless you are running from something.

Anonymous said...

Rounsaviile’s background appears more suited to USDA than MDA. People keep saying MDA needs reform, yet nothing in the Governor’s announcement mentions any reforms that Rounsaville has implemented or been responsible for at any prior jobs.

Anonymous said...

Waiting on last midnight's list of accomplishments. Tic Tock.

Anonymous said...

Haters are out in full force on this one.

Anonymous said...

I just hope he can attract those fancy beef plants, call centers and solar farms that we love to waste money on!

Anonymous said...

6:18 AM: Not everybody at MDA works to bring companies in from out of state. My group only worked with new small business start-ups and small business expansions. Name four or five companies? I can probably name four or five thousand.

Anonymous said...

Uh Uh ohh, Kior , Beef plant, Stion, Twin Creeks, green tech, Southern Airways, Eco Elite, Alphagen, MS Forge, WPG, Sanderson Plumbing , what else do I have to say...!

Decisions made by a handful of pricks on the 15th floor....

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

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