Bringing Leaders Back Home


We often hear about the “brain drain” where our best and brightest leave the state to pursue their careers. In fact, the 2000 Census showed that Mississippi was one of the top ten states who lost college educated young adults between the ages 25-39. I am curious to see what the 2010 Census reveals on this trend. People who come to Mississippi enjoy the warmth and hospitality that the state has to offer. The challenge obviously is the opportunities for economic advancement. We are fortunate that the benefits of family and friends often lure some of our most talented home-grown Mississippians back. Matt Thornton is one of those Mississippians who has gone on to success out of the state, but has chosen to come home and contribute his time, talent, and energy to building companies in the state.

Thornton grew up in Cleveland, Mississippi in a modest hardworking home. After graduating with honors from Ole Miss, he took a job with Price Waterhouse Management Consulting (now part of IBM Global Services). Thornton consulted with global corporations about strategy, particularly with mergers and acquisition integration. During his career with Price Waterhouse, he lived in Dallas, New York, Tokyo, and Toronto and traveled the globe. He then settled down in Nashville as an internal business consultant with First American Bank (now Regions Bank). This work led him back to Mississippi when First American merged with Deposit Guaranty, and he moved to Jackson where he served in a leadership role through the merger with AmSouth.

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