On Friday, The Skills Foundation of Mississippi, Inc. announced that Amy Tate, Government Affairs Director for the Tennessee Valley Authority and 2017 Member of the Mississippi Top 50, has been elected to Chair the organization for 2018, succeeding former Hancock Bank CEO & former Mayor of Gulfport George Schloegel. The Skills Foundation of Mississippi is a Mississippi based non-profit focused on growing the quantity of in-demand skilled labor across the state.

“Workforce development, and more specifically SKILLS development, is the most important issue Mississippi faces to spur greater economic growth, and The Skills Foundation is created to help move the needle for the state”, said Tate. “A shortage of skills is a challenge nationally and globally. Mississippi has the opportunity to set the curve on growing the supply of skills, and with more skills in the workforce, Mississippi families and our economy will be the winners.”

In addition to the election of Amy Tate as Chair, the inaugural Board of Directors was elected and Curnis Upkins, Vice President of Human Resources for the Mississippi Hospital Association Solutions, Inc., was elected Vice Chairman for The Skills Foundation. Below is the complete list of the inaugural members of the Board of Directors:



Christa Bishop – Senior Vice President Communications – Cooperative Energy
Carol Burger – President/CEO – United Way of the Capitol Area
Ashley Edwards – President/CEO – Gulf Coast Business Council
Ed Gardner – Director of Business & Economic Development – Entergy Mississippi
Jennifer Johnson – Policy Director – Southern Bancorp Community Partners
Jay Moon – President/CEO – Mississippi Manufacturers Association
George Schloegel (Chairman Emeritus)- Former Mayor of Gulfport, Former Director State Workforce Investment Board, Retired CEO of Hancock Bank
Amy Tate – Government Relations Manager – Tennessee Valley Authority
Curnis Upkins – Vice President, Human Resources & Workforce Development – Mississippi Hospital Association Solutions, Inc.
Brian Useforge – Economic Development Director – Mississippi Power Company
Amy Walker – Area Sales Manager – Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions

About The Skills Foundation of Mississippi, Inc.
The Skills Foundation of Mississippi is a non-profit organization that seeks to facilitate greater collaboration between the public and private sectors and develop strategies for the purpose of increasing Mississippi’s supply of skilled workforce. For individuals, families and Mississippi, our competitiveness and quality of life depend on having the skills to meet the economic demands of the 21st century.