The Mississippi Top 50 Award is being created to recognize those that help, by virtue of their position and talent, move the conversation in Mississippi forward. Mississippi is graced with tremendous talent in government, the political sphere, business, media and culture.

This is an annual list of the people judged to be the most influential leaders in the state. This bipartisan selection of leaders comes from the ranks of local, state and federal elected and appointed officials; political leaders; government affairs professionals; public policy advocates; economic development professionals; business leaders; media professionals and other leaders. Nominations are open through August 18, 2017.

The categories are:

• Elected/Appointed Government Officials
• Lobbying/Government Relations
• Business, Culture and Media

The awards are sponsored by Y’all Politics, SuperTalk Mississippi, Tower Loan Company and Capitol Resources. Awardees are nominated through an open process. There is no cost to nominate, be nominated or to receive an award. However, one must be nominated to be considered. Nominees will be notified of their nomination immediately, and awardees will be notified of their selection in September. Awardees will be announced via the website starting in early October.

Additionally, there will be a select group recognized annually for “Hall of Fame” status. These are Mississippians who have made lasting contributions to the political, business and public policy landscape. Last year, the awardees were US Senator Thad Cochran and former Governor William Winter.

There will be an awards ceremony on October at the Old Capitol Inn in Jackson. Ticket and sponsor information will be made available on the MSTop50 website in the coming weeks.

Nominations are now open and will close on Friday, August 18, 2017. Prior winners are eligible for recognition again, and people can nominate themselves for consideration. You can find more information about the inaugural MSTop50 award winners here.