Slideshow: Meet the Rising Stars Under 35

Continue see each Rising Star Under 35
Mary Kate Smith - System Engineer at Insitu Inc.
Lauren Black - certified financial planner at Phillips Financial
Logan Kirkland - news reporter at Starkville Daily News
Lauren Ann Cooper - owner of L.A. Green
Matt Matthews - Vice President of Commercial Lending at Cadence Bank
Paige Cannon - Graphic Designer Pecan Paper Company & Tom Smith Land & Home
Rosa Dalomba - owner of The Pop Porium
Paul Brasfield - Part Owner, Full Operator City Bagel Café & Italian Bistro
Patrick Miller - Ward 5 Alderman and Instructor at the MSU Government Extension Service
Jordan Ramsey - Associate Director, Internal Audit at Mississippi State
Jing Liao - engineer at Clearwater Consultants
Blair Edwards - owner of The People’s Cup MicroRoastery
Barton Dinkins - Managing Partner, Founder of Two Brothers Smoked Meats
Barbara Burgess - Sommelier at Restaurant Tyler
Brittany Radford-Clarke - graduate assistant at Mississippi State University
David Buys - Research Assistant Professor at the Mississippi State Extension Service
Jennifer Prather - Director of Tourism at the Greater Starkville Development Partnership
Jamey Bachman - Access Outreach Coordinator at Mississippi State University
Hagan Walker - CEO of Glo
Anna Barker - Director of Business Development VIBE, LLC
Santee Ezell - Health and Wellness Coordinator at Mississippi State University

A diverse mix of young professionals, artisans and leaders are hard at work to drive the community forward, setting the stage for unprecedented growth and change in Mississippi’s College Town.

For the inaugural Starkville Daily News Rising Stars Under 35, those nominated represent the best of what the Golden Triangle has to offer.

From rocket scientists to elected officials, the first class of Rising Stars is sure to leave a lasting impact on their community long after the awards are handed out.

We at the Starkville Daily News, along with our event partners at the Greater Starkville Development Partnership, are firm believers that this college town, and the rest of the Golden Triangle for that matter, will only improve as more young leaders take the reigns. This is why we think it is important to promote a culture that is accommodating to young business and community leaders.

Many city, county and university officials have stressed the need to stop the “brain drain” in Mississippi, as every year scores of talented scholars leave the state’s colleges and universities for what they believe to be greener pastures. This class, however, personifies the notion that talent is here to stay in Starkville.

The bigger numbers around the country and globe support this trend, underscoring the role played by young professionals in the entrepreneurial sector.

According to the latest BNP Paribas Global Entrepreneur Report, entrepreneurs under 35 are doing many things sooner, or at a higher rate than their older counterparts.

For example, the report says the average age of starting a business for people under 35 is 27, while Baby Boomers 50 and over started their businesses at an average age of 35.

Millennials are also stepping out to start businesses instead of inheriting them, with the report showing 54 percent of entrepreneurs under 35 are first generation business owners.

Being an emerging entrepreneur or public figure often goes hand-in-hand with being a community leader, which factored into the selection process for each of our 21 nominees, who were nominated by colleagues and fellow community leaders.

We look forward to seeing what these bright young minds will do and create in the years to come and are thankful to have the opportunity to let the community and the rest of the world know just how much they mean to the people of this area.

Ryan Phillips,
Executive Editor, Starkville Daily News