MS GULF COAST-  Coast Young Professionals is pleased to announce the 2019 Chair, Shay Smith, Advertising & Communications Manager for Harrah’s Gulf Coast.

    Smith oversees Public Relations/Media Relations, Communications, Advertising and Social Media for the Caesars Entertainment resort. Smith earned both her Bachelor of Arts in Public Communications and Master of Journalism and Mass Communication from Kent State University, located in her hometown of Kent, Ohio.

    Smith says although it was a bold leap to move to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, she did in the hopes that she would grow both personally and professionally.

    “It was a scary - but exhilarating - time for me,” said Smith. “I knew at the onset, that in order to be successful, I needed to get involved.”

    Smith sought out Coast Young Professionals as a means to connect and create relationships with individuals in the community. She says it was singlehandedly the best decision she has ever made.

    “CYP gave me a community, and it connected me professionally and personally with people and organizations that inspire and motivate me every day,” says Smith. “This organization has given me invaluable tools to succeed in my business, and the skills to hopefully guide the next set of Young Professionals emerging in our region.”

    Smith has been a recipient of varying awards including the following:

    50 Leading Business Women by Mississippi Business Journal, Top 50 Faces of Travel and Tourism by Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast, Top 10 Under 40 One Coast Award, Woman of Achievement Finalist for Young Careerist Category, and Coast Young Professionals VIP Award.
    Others serving on the 2019 Board of Directors are:

    Jakavious Pickett:  Past Chair,  Praise Temple of Biloxi
    Erin Rosetti: Chair Elect, St. Patrick Catholic High School
    Hunter Easterling: Treasurer, The First, A National Banking Association
    Kaila Moran Griffith: Director,  Coast Young Professionals
    Sondra Gayle Hicks: Sondra Gayle, Allstate
    Cale Merrill: Allen & Smith Insurance
    Danielle Thomas:  Community Service Chair,  Necaise Brothers Construction Company
    Chris Vignes: City of Gulfport
    Ashleigh Connor: Hancock Whitney Bank
    Bryan Jacobs: Bryan Jacobs - State Farm
    Nicole Miller: Communications Chair, IP Casino Resort Spa
    Lauren SantaCruz:  Policy & Government Chair, Memorial Hospital
    Katie Widdows: Hancock Whitney Bank
    Jenifer Freridge: Leadership & Learning Chair,  William Carey College
    Priscilla Perry: Membership Chair, Associated Food Equipment & Supplies
    Daria Coulthurst: Keesler Air Force Base
    Johanna King: C Spire
    Jase Payne: Projects and Networking Chair, City of Gulfport
    Jenny  Levens: City of Long Beach
    Danielle Kimbrough: Mississippi Power
    Dylan Black: Community Bank
    Gardner Hewes: Community Bank

    For more information regarding the 2019 Board of Directors of Coast Young Professionals, visit mscoastchamber.com or call 228-604-0014.

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