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May 16, 2016
Impact of the 2015 Conference USA Baseball Tournament
Kyle Stoner recently completed his honors thesis, The Economic Impact of the 2015 Conference USA Baseball Tournament in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, chaired by Drs. Sungsoo Kim and Chad Miller.  The Conference USA college baseball tournament brings in teams and their supporters from across the Southeast for five days and his survey found that these visitors spent an estimated $2.7m in the local economy.  Using EMSI modelling, he found this new spending yielded a change in earnings in the local area of $648,211. Additionally, it was estimated that this tournament added a total of $9,757 to the General Fund for the State of Mississippi and generated approximately $59,694 worth of local sales taxes. This is a timely study because a recent decision by the NCAA Board of Governors might prevent the state of Mississippi from hosting postseason events like this because of HB 1523.

Kyle is a graduating Senior Accounting student from Gulfport, Mississippi. Kyle will enter the Masters of Professional Accounting program in the summer of 2016. Following graduation in May of 2017, Kyle has accepted a position with Pricewaterhouse Coopers, LLP in New Orleans, Louisiana as an Audit/Assurance Associate to begin in the Fall of 2017.
College of Business Reviews Data on Insurance Premiums
The USM College of Business was asked by a group of community leaders on the Mississippi Gulf Coast to review the recently released Mississippi Property Insurance Clarity Act data and found the data was lacking in certain points (e.g., frequency of claims, claims per policy, etc.) limiting the ability to draw firm conclusions. A larger geographic context, with more data, needs to be examined in order to make policy recommendations.  

An analysis of the data by Alvarez & Marshal, commissioned by the Mississippi Insurance Department, found that homeowners' insurance premiums in Mississippi are amongst the highest in the U.S. and have been increasing to compensate for hurricane risk. The USM review did find that 71% of the losses ($2.3b) for coastal counties from 2004-2014 occurred in 2005 when Katrina hit.  A loss ratio of about 60% is generally considered to be the break-even point for insurance companies and the premium to loss since Katrina for coastal counties was 43% versus 66% for non-coastal Mississippi counties. Polynomial graphing forecasts that the ratios for coastal and non-coastal regions will intersect sometime after 2018.  This indicates that the coastal region is paying high insurance premiums and could merit a rate reduction in the next few years. Further research is needed to support this possibility and to understand the economic impact on the coast from high insurance premiums.
Lori Watts Receives Designation of Certified Economic Developer from the International Economic Development Council
Press Release: Columbia, Mississippi
Lori Watts, Project Manager at the Marion County Development Partnership (MCDP) in Columbia, Miss. recently earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), a national recognition that denotes a mastery of principal skills in economic development, professional attainment and a commitment to personal and professional growth. Watts is one of only 14 in the state of Mississippi to hold this certification, making MCDP the only economic development organization in the Pine Belt to have a staff member with such a designation. The CEcD exam was administered by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) on April 3, 2016 in Arlington, Va, at the Renaissance Capitol View Hotel. With four years of economic development experience, Watts holds a B.A. from Millsaps College and a Graduate Certificate in Economic Development from the University of Southern Mississippi.
The CEcD designation recognizes qualified and dedicated practitioners in the economic development field and sets the standard of excellence within the profession. Following the completion of prerequisite coursework, candidates must pass a rigorous and comprehensive three-part examination, which tests a practitioner's knowledge, proficiency and judgment in the key areas of economic development, including business retention and expansion, marketing, finance, workforce development, community development, real estate, strategic planning, tech-led economic development, and management.
As highly competent economic development practitioners, Certified Economic Developers work with public officials, business leaders and community members to create leadership to build upon and maximize the economic development sector. Excellence in the economic development profession improves the well-being, quality of life and opportunities for individuals, businesses and communities. There are currently more than 1,200 active CEcDs in the United States.
Southern Miss Economic Development | [email protected] | 118 College Drive #5191
Hattiesburg, MS 39401-0001