Philadelphia native William G. Yates III, CEO/President of W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Company, was elected the new chairman of the Mississippi Economic Council for 2017-2018.

The announcement of new officers was made by outgoing chair Robin Robinson.

“MEC’s mission is to build a sense of statewide business community,” she said. “As the state chamber of commerce, the organization serves as a meaningful voice on issues and initiatives focusing on the state’s future in economic development, education, workforce, business climate and image.

“Based on their excellent qualifications I have great confidence that MEC’s elected leadership will work to leave our communities and our state better than we found it!”

Prior to Yates becoming president of W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Company, he served for several years as executive vice president of the Gulf Coast Division of Yates Construction.

He received a Bachelor’s Degree in business administration from the University of Mississippi – summa cum laude and was a Taylor Medalist.  He also received a Master of Science degree in construction management from Arizona State University. Yates is also a Certified Public Accountant.

He serves on the Board of Directors for Trustmark Corporation and Trustmark National Bank.  He is a member of MEC’s Tech Masters Council.  He has been a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization since 2004. He served as the 2013-14 co-chairman of the Southeast U.S. -Japan Association Joint Meetings in both Japan and Mississippi.

Yates is a past chairman of Mississippi Associated Builders and Contractors and served as a member of the Associated Builders & Contractors National Board of Directors.  Yates has served as chairman for the American Heart Walk for the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  In 2016, Yates was recognized as one of the top CEOs of Mississippi by the Mississippi Business Journal and was awarded the University of Mississippi’s Farrington Distinguished Entrepreneurship Award. He was also selected as a Top Businessmen Under Forty, named one of South Central Construction’s top 20 under 40, and was inducted into the Roland Weeks Hall of Fame Outstanding Community Leaders Class of 2010. In 2009, Yates was named the Construction Person of the Year by the Mississippi Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors.

Yates and his wife, Tara, have two children.

Two others from Philadelphia have also chaired MEC:  Yates’ father, Bill Yates, and Don Kilgore.

Other MEC officers elected included James Daniel “Dan” Rollins, III, chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of BancorpSouth, Inc., as MEC’s 2018-2019 chair;  William A. “Lex” Taylor, III, president and chairman of the Board of The Taylor Group, Inc., as MEC’s 2019-2020 chair; and Rebecca Wiggs, Attorney at Watkins & Eager, as MEC treasurer. Wiggs will also serve as treasurer of the Mississippi Economic Council’s subsidiaries, the M.B. Swayze and the Public Education Forum of Mississippi.