Youth Leadership Summit

The Palazzo Youth Leadership Summit gives high school juniors and seniors from schools across Mississippi's 4th Congressional District the opportunity to hear the success stories of our prestigious guest speakers. 

The event will take place Tuesday, October 17th at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. I hope to see you there!

Glenn McCullough, Jr.

MDA Executive Director

Governor Phil Bryant appointed Glenn McCullough, Jr. to lead the Mississippi Development Authority on June 8, 2015.  McCullough is a former chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority, first nominated to the board by President Bill Clinton and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 1999. President George W. Bush appointed McCullough chairman of the TVA board of Directors in 2001, a position he held until November 2005. McCullough is also a former director of the Appalachian Regional Commission and former mayor of Tupelo, Miss.

During his tenure with TVA, the utility earned national recognition for its economic development efforts and launched its megasite program. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi, Mississippi’s second original equipment manufacturer in the automobile industry, is located on a TVA megasite.

From 1993 to 1997, McCullough served as executive director of the Appalachian Regional Commission. The ARC is a federal-state partnership that focuses on economic development in 13 states.

McCullough was elected mayor of Tupelo, Miss., in 1997 and served until his appointment to TVA. During McCullough’s service as mayor, Tupelo was named an All-America City by the National Civic League.  Under McCullough’s leadership, the city launched the 50-acre Fairpark District, which includes major revitalizations, community amenities and business locations.

As MDA Executive Director he oversees approximately 250 MDA employees who provide support for communities, businesses, industries and leaders to help them reach their goals in Mississippi.

McCullough holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Mississippi State University. He and his wife Laura have two sons and four grandchildren.

Leslie Hatcher Henderson

Founder, Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company

Leslie Hatcher Henderson spends her time managing Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company, volunteering in her community, and raising two children.

After graduating from Mississippi State University in 2000 with a master’s degree in chemical engineering, she went to work for Mississippi Polymer Technologies (MPT).  This small start-up had the mission of commercializing a newly discovered high-performance polymer.  Leslie’s roll at MPT included process and plant design, set-up of the R&D lab, and leading the QA team.  On weekends, Leslie devoted her engineering skills to the art of home-brewing beer.  

This hobby would eventually lead to the formation of Mississippi’s first packaging brewery. Leslie, with her husband Mark, co-founded Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company in 2004.  Since that time LMBC has grown into a $4MM/yr company employing 15 people and selling beer in 20 states and three foreign countries.  In 2012 they lead a successful campaign to improve Mississippi’s beer laws, ushering in a growing Craft Beer Industry for our state.  In 2017 they lead a successful campaign to allow Mississippi breweries the right to sell beer direct to consumers who visit the brewery. Lazy Magnolia is a founding member of the Mississippi Brewers Guild.

Becky Pruett Denham

Assistant District Attorney for the 12th District of Mississippi

Becky Pruett Denham is a licensed attorney in Alabama, Florida and Mississippi, and has practiced as an attorney for ten years. Becky grew up in Laurel, MS, and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication. While at USM, Becky had the honor of being selected as an Academic Excellence Scholar, a Leadership Scholar, Miss Southern 1999, Speech Communication Association President, and summer intern for US Senate Majority Trent Lott in Washington, D.C. In July 2001, Becky won the title of Miss Mississippi and represented her state at the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, NJ. After serving her year as Miss Mississippi, Becky decided to trade in her pageant heels and pursue a law degree. She obtained her Juris Doctorate from the University of Alabama School of Law in 2007, graduating magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, and finishing in the Top 10% of her law class. Becky then served as a Deputy District Attorney in Shelby County, Alabama, until moving to Orlando, Florida, in 2008 where she accepted a position as a Contract Compliance Attorney for The Proposal Center, a company specializing in the procurement of Department of Defense Contracts.  

In 2010, Becky became an Assistant State Attorney in the 18th Judicial Circuit of Florida. She served as a prosecutor in Seminole County, Florida, from 2010 to 2014, where she was the recipient of the 2012 Pride in Excellence Attorney of the Year Award; recipient of the 2013 Victims' Rights Attorney of the Year Award; and selected as the State Attorney Liaison to the Seminole County Community Law Enforcement Academy.  

In 2015, Becky had the opportunity to return to the Pine Belt with her family to serve as an Assistant District Attorney in Forrest and Perry counties under the leadership of District Attorney Patricia Burchell. Becky prosecutes felonies involving murder, kidnaping, sex crimes, child abuse, and aggravated domestic violence. She currently serves as a member of the Forrest County Child Advocacy Multi-Disciplinary Team, working in conjunction with Kids Hub Child Advocacy Center. Becky also is an adjunct instructor at Southern Regional Public Safety Institute at Camp Shelby and was selected in 2015 for the Outstanding Instructor Award.

Becky is “mom” to three adventurous boys along with an adorable dog named Chewbacca. She loves traveling, watching football, and is a two-time fantasy football champion. Her family resides in Oak Grove, where she teaches Sunday School at Venture Church.