Santa Fe resident Polly Dement grew up in Vicksburg, where her cousin Susan Mitchell says her most vivid image of Dement in their childhood is that of her “bent over my dad’s manual typewriter, hair in pigtails, glasses on my nose, fingers flying.”
A graduate of Vicksburg’s H.V. Cooper High School, Dement went on to Millsaps College, where she said the school’s liberal arts education “prepared me for life.”
Highlights of three decades in Washington, D.C., include writing profiles of committee witnesses for the Senate Watergate Committee, reporting and developing new products for the Congressional Monitor, serving as communications director for the National Commission on Children, and working for communications firm Hager Sharp Inc. Freelance assignments included stories about investors and entrepreneurs for the National Association of Investment Cos. She also served on the boards of directors of American Rivers and the Potomac Conservancy.
Describe what “Mississippi Entrepreneurs,” which highlights the backgrounds and achievements of some of the state’s premier business people, is all about.
In telling the stories of the courageous men and women who have taken risks to create successful business, social and cultural enterprises,“Mississippi Entrepreneurs”is the first book to chronicle this aspect of the state’s history. The entrepreneurs tell in their own words “how they did it,” and we hope that those words will inspire people with entrepreneurial dreams to action and make the rest of us proud.
How did you choose the business people who were included?
Cat Island Books, the publisher, selected those featured in “Mississippi Entrepreneurs,” and that job wasn’t easy. One of the lessons of this project is that there are more successful enterprise creators in Mississippi than you would imagine, certainly more than one book could include. Factors for selection included the number of people an enterprise employs and other contributors to economic development. The publishers also wanted the book to be representative of the state in terms of geography, race, ethnicity, gender, age and nature of the enterprise. The search led to a rich mix of business, social and cultural enterprises.
‘Mississippi Entrepreneurs’By Polly Dement
Publisher: University Press of Mississippi/Cat Island Books