Abney to keynote Delta Council's annual meeting June 7

By FOR THE E-T,

Delta Council President, Woods Eastland of Indianola, is pleased to announce the 84th Annual Meeting of Delta Council to be held Friday, June 7, 2019, at Delta State University’s Bologna Performing Arts Center (BPAC) in Cleveland, Mississippi.

Keynoting the business session of the meeting will be United Parcel Service Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, David Abney.

“Delta Council is pleased that our keynote speaker is a native son of the Mississippi Delta who has climbed the heights of business and commerce,” said Delta Council President, Woods Eastland. “David Abney’s story is one of hard work, dedication, and inspiration, especially to those of us who live in the Mississippi Delta. All of us are proud to see one of us reach such heights of business achievement.”

Abney was born in Cleveland, lived in Clarksdale, Leland, and Oxford before his family settled in Greenwood when he was 11 years old. He graduated from Pillow Academy and became the first in his family to attend college.

As a 19-year-old Delta State University student, Abney started working night shift for UPS, loading packages onto vans. After graduating from DSU in 1976, he decided to go full-time with his low-level UPS job, and quickly became fascinated with how the business worked. Over the next 40 years, he continued to move up through UPS until in 2014 he was appointed Chief Executive Officer and Chairman in 2016.

He regularly returns to Delta State, where he is a member of the board of directors for the university's foundation and sponsors an annual business conference at the college. David Abney is married to his college sweetheart, Sherry Tharp, and they reside in Atlanta, Georgia.

The 2019 Delta Council Day will commence with the 16th annual Salute to Delta Honor Graduates Event at 9:15 a.m., held outside of the Bologna Performing Arts Center on the lawn. Delta leaders will welcome the graduates, their families and school officials and present the graduates with certificates.

The Delta Honor Graduate event is designed to bestow special honor upon exemplary students from each of the high schools throughout the Mississippi Delta Region, including public, parochial and private schools. In addition, a $2,500 scholarship will be awarded to the top Delta Honor Graduate as selected by higher education officials in the Delta. The top Delta Honor Graduate will be recognized on stage at the Delta Council Annual Meeting during the Business Session.

At 10:30 a.m. in the auditorium of the BPAC, after the inaugural presentation of the colors, and God and Country, the Business Session will proceed into the recognition of the 2019 Good Middling Community Service Award and the tradition of the Wear Cotton contest, followed by a special message from Keynote Speaker David Abney and an introduction of him by Governor Phil Bryant.

The tradition of a fried catfish luncheon and Achievement Awards Ceremony will wrap-up Delta Council Day on the grounds of the Quadrangle on the Delta State University campus. Delta Council invites and encourages all of you to attend and participate in this 84-year-old Delta “red-letter” day.

Sponsors for the meeting are BankPlus, Catfish Farmers of Mississippi, Cotton, Inc., , Delta State University, Mississippi Corn Promotion Board, Mississippi Land Bank, Mississippi Rice Promotion Board, Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board, Sanders, and Southern Ag Credit.

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