Southern Miss Business September Newsletter

Southern Miss Business Professional Sales Lab

We are very excited about the opening of our new Professional Sales lab in Scianna Hall. Unfortunately, we are unable to hold a grand opening ceremony for the lab due to COVID-19. While we plan to do so once distancing restrictions are lifted, we wanted to publicize the opening of this great resource for our students, faculty, and business partners and communicate its capabilities. Please take a look at the promotional video for the Professional Sales Lab below and the press release that was recently issued.

If you are interested in being a sponsor for the Professional Sales Lab, please contact J.T. Tisdale at james.tisdale@usm.edu.

Golden Idea Pitch Competition

The Golden Idea Pitch Competition is a "shark tank" style event that provides a platform for budding entrepreneurs to pitch their innovative products and services to established, professional entrepreneurs from the community. Individuals from the local community and Southern Miss students from all majors are encouraged to participate! Teams can be made up on 1-4 members and at least half of each team must be comprised of current Southern Miss students. Prize money will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners!

President of Coca-cola North America

Numerous top executives, entrepreneurs, and business leaders have come through the business programs at Southern Miss over the years. Most recently, we were excited to learn that Alfredo Rivera (USM MBA '84) was named President of Coca-Cola North America! Alfredo has been with Coca-Cola for 23 years and previously served as President of the Latin America group. This is an amazing accomplishment and a testament to the quality and utility of an MBA from Southern Miss! Congratulations to Alfredo and best wishes for continued success!


The School of Accountancy in The University of Southern Mississippi’s College of Business and Economic Development hosted the first virtual Meet the Firms event in September. Given the current challenges with COVID-19 and social distancing, the event was hosted entirely through the Microsoft Teams virtual platform. More than 200 individuals participated in the event, including firm and company representatives, current School of Accountancy students and alumni, faculty members and staff.

Cintas Business Student Ambassador Program

We are proud to announce our inaugural class of 23 Cintas Business Student Ambassadors. This impressive group of students represent nearly every undergraduate and graduate program offered in the college and will assist with recruitment efforts, plan and host student social events, lead tours of Scianna Hall, and become experts in their programs. Our Ambassadors include:

  • Alexis Austin | Entrepreneurship | Ridgeland, MS
  • Colin Belk | Marketing | Vancleave, MS
  • Kailee Blackledge | Accounting | Laurel, MS
  • Kiersten Brinkerhoff | Sport Management | Brandon, MS
  • Bailey Bynum | Accounting & Finance | Clinton, MS
  • Jessica Cochran | M.S. in Sport Management | Huntington Beach, CA
  • Quinn Gordon | Marketing | Brandon, MS
  • Rachel Green | Accounting | Sumrall, MS
  • Kennedy Hanna | General Business | Magee, MS
  • Victoria Hotard | Marketing | Slidell, LA
  • Michael Matrick | M.S. in Economic Development | Brandon, MS
  • Rhen McLeod | Marketing | Laurel, MS
  • Kamron Mitchell | International Business | Hattiesburg, MS
  • Meredith Moseley | Marketing | Laurel, MS
  • Elise Motes | Hospitality & Tourism Management | Jackson, AL
  • Patrick Napier | Hospitality & Tourism Management | New Orleans, LA
  • Dena Kate Norsworthy | Marketing | Florence, MS
  • Tyler Pittman | Accounting | Sumrall, MS
  • Savannah Rheams | Healthcare Marketing | Norwood, LA
  • Kristen Stull | MPA | Florence, MS
  • Lacey Wallace | MBA | Jayess, MS
  • Hailey White | Marketing | Carriere, MS
  • Matthew Yang | International Business | Petal, MS


For the sixth year in a row, the USM Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS) chapter has earned Highest Honors status! Beta Gamma Sigma is an exclusive, international honor society for AACSB-accredited business programs and Highest Honors is the greatest of three levels of distinction. Our chapter is recognized for its commitment to academic excellence, leadership, and student success. 59 new members were inducted into the USM chapter during the 2019-20 academic year. Virtual "tapping" for the honor society's 2020-2021 Fall invitees will begin in October.

USM Accounting Student accepts second KPMG Internship

Tyler Pittman, accounting student and Cintas Business Student Ambassador, has accepted an offer to be a Risk Advisory Intern with KPMG in Nashville during the summer of 2021. Tyler was an Embark Scholar Intern with KPMG this past summer and was exposed to the areas of audit, tax and advisory through the virtual opportunity. The Embark Scholars program is a relatively new initiative by KPMG to try and attract the “best and brightest” college students early in their academic careers. These internship positions are incredibly competitive and difficult to obtain.

I am very grateful for the experience I had as an Embark Scholar Intern at KPMG Jackson this past summer. Being able to have a glimpse of audit, tax, and advisory was very helpful and allowed me to learn and network with so many others. I am so excited for my future at KPMG!

Hernando MISS. Sports and Recreation Facilities Study

Drs. Sungsoo Kim, Brandon Allen, and Chris Croft recently completed a study for the City of Hernando Department of Parks & Recreation The CBED research team collaborated with Neel-Schaffer, Inc. and Trent Lott National Center for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship to conduct a study to evaluate the current sports & recreation facilities in Hernando, MS. As part of the study, researchers collected primary and secondary data, conducted a market analysis and completed onsite evaluations of the current Hernando sports/recreation facilities. The final report identified key strengths and challenges, provided recommendations to enhance current sports facilities, and suggested improvements related to current and future park activities such as tournaments or sports events. This is another great example of the commitment CBED has to the economic development of our region and the applied research of our outstanding faculty!

School of Marketing Tri-Star Student Development Program

The Tri-Star Marketing Student Development Program is designed to reward and honor undergraduate School of Marketing majors (Marketing, Merchandising, Healthcare Marketing, Hospitality and Tourism Management, and Sport Management) for their efforts in three different areas during their studies at Southern Miss:

  • Applied Marketing Experience: gaining a comprehensive applied experience will give you the opportunity to connect what you have learned in the classroom to real-world business situations.
  • Engagement in the Marketing Community: engaging with the marketing community will help you develop your role as an emerging professional as well as allow you to develop skills and build your network.
  • Research in Marketing and Business: engaging in research activities will inspire academic curiosity and enable you to develop marketing research skills, which lead to the discovery of knowledge used to guide business decision-making.

Students who manage to obtain all three stars will be awarded a School of Marketing Tri-Star Marketing Student Certificate. For more information, email tristar.somkt@gmail.com. 

Emeritus Faculty Member, Dr. Bill Smith Publishes Book

Dr. Bill Smith, retired faculty member of the School of Marketing recently published a book with coauthor, Neal Wade, titled Agents of Economic Development: An Essential Guide for Navigating Good, Bad, & Uncertain Times. Dr. Smith taught at Southern Miss for 37 years and ended his USM career by serving as Chairman of the departments of Marketing & Merchandising as well as Economic Development, Tourism, & Sport Management, becoming Professor Emeritus in 2016. The practice-oriented book provides lessons and examples for everyone involved in growing urban, rural, and regional economies – the volunteer leaders, elected officials, and, of course, the men and women who go to work every day creating and sustaining jobs in their communities.