print header
Living Here Header

Sep 14, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 14, 2017
Ken Oilschlager, Interim Director
Madison County Economic Development Authority


Deason brings decades of economic development experience and trust leadership to Madison County

CANTON, MS – Today, the Madison County Economic Development Authority (MCEDA) Board of Directors announced the selection of Joseph (Joey) Deason as the organization’s new executive director beginning October 1. Mr. Deason assumes the position from Ken Oilschlager who has been serving as Interim Director over the last year. The selection was made after a national search and selection process was conducted utilizing VisionFirst Advisors, which also completed an organizational assessment of MCEDA earlier in 2017.

“It is with great excitement that we announce the selection of Joey Deason as our new executive director,” said Lanny Slaughter, MCEDA Board of Directors Chairman. “Joey’s experience in economic development at both a regional and state level combined with his level of leadership will ensure that MCEDA is both focused and accountable in working with industry and community leaders.”

“The Madison County Board of Supervisors congratulates MCEDA on a tremendous hire,” said David Bishop, President of the Madison County Board of Supervisors.  “We are confident that MCEDA selected the ideal leader to take the organization to a new level of success.”

Mr. Deason comes to Madison County after four years of serving as the Chief Operating Officer at the Golden Triangle Development Link where he was integral in projects such as Yokahama Tire and SDI Steel Mill while also developing strategic partnerships with East Mississippi Community College in the creation of manufacturing training center. Prior to his tenure in the Golden Triangle, he served as President and CEO of Schulz Xtruded Products (SXP), Chief Financial Officer of the Mississippi Development Authority and worked at General Motors and Delphi Corporation for more than 17 years.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as executive director of MCEDA, a region that enjoys a recognizable brand due to its commitment to transformational economic development,” said Mr. Deason. “As executive director, I plan to lead the organization with a focus on trust and communication to strengthen our community efforts and our competitive position.”

Over the last year, MCEDA board has focused on reinvigorating the organization and its success in job creation efforts. Cornerstones of this effort are strict fiduciary standards and increased communication with elected officials and the community regarding its activities. This is a priority of the board and staff. Moving forward with a new executive director, MCEDA is steadfast in its commitment to the strictest ethical standards and implementing the recommendations outlined in the organizational assessment providing a value proposition not only to industry but to the community as a whole.


About Madison County Economic Development Authority:
Madison County Economic Development Authority's (MCEDA) mission is to assist our existing businesses and attract new investments and higher paying jobs to Madison County to increase the county’s tax base and improve the quality of life and economic wealth of its citizens. MCEDA accomplishes that mission by offerings a broad array of economic development, business development, and corporate site location assistance services to new and expanding businesses and industry. For more information visit:

About VisionFirst Advisors:
After 30 years of leading public and private economic development organizations at all levels in three states, Gray Swoope helped launch VisionFirst Advisors, LLC, an economic development consulting company that provides services focused on state, regional and local economic development strategy, and location advisory services. VisionFirst’s seasoned, innovative professionals have in-depth experience across all aspects of economic development leading and working in the field at the local, regional and state level. Currently, the organization is working in over 22 U.S. states. VisionFirst is a wholly owned subsidiary of Butler Snow LLP with nearly 400 attorneys in 17 U.S. cities as well as international offices in London, Hong Kong and Singapore. To learn more about VisionFirst visit


News Releases

Musee Bath Expands in Madison County, Miss.

Jan 25, 2018

Musee Bath Expands in Madison County, Miss. Canton, Miss. (January 24, 2018) – The...

Editorial / A more magnificent 2018

Dec 29, 2017

Quote from the editorial- “Joey Deason, the new executive director of the Madison County...

Click here to go to the news archive