Grow Where You Are Planted- Young Professionals
Seeds have the ability to grow where they are planted, whether that is on purpose by a farmer or accidentally by a bird or even the wind. People have the same ability as seeds. They can flourish where they are planted, dropped, or have fallen. Although a lot of young adults dream of moving out of their hometown upon college graduation, Rankin County has been blessed with many young professionals who have decided to plant their businesses or trades here and grow within the community.By taking advantage of the opportunities they have in their lives, they have been able to establish their roots here. These steps will help build a foundation to launch the next chapter in their lives and the community. With their skills they will care for us, make us beautiful, comfort us, and give us hope for the future.These young professionals are the future and upcoming business leaders and health providers who have chosen to make Rankin County a better place and call it their home.
As we all know, there are plenty of young adults that choose to move away from Mississippi to start their careers. But here are fourteen young professionals who have chosen to plant their roots not only in Mississippi, but in Rankin County. And what a bright bunch they are. . .
Anna Grace Heimer
Ainsleigh Cunningham is 22 years old and from Jackson, Tennessee. She graduated from The University of Mississippi in May of 2021. Ainsleigh works at Annelle Primos and Associates where she is a project facilitator. She enjoys walking her golden retriever, Houston, at Winner’s Circle Park, trying new local restaurants, journaling, listening to music, and grocery shopping at Whole Foods. Ainsleigh’s favorite thing about Rankin County is trying local restaurants.
Lexie Ownby is 22 years old and from Brandon, Mississippi. She graduated from The University of Mississippi in May of 2021. Lexie works for Hometown Magazines as the advertising assistant. She enjoys photography, painting, going to different coffee shops, thrift shopping, and cooking. Her favorite thing about Rankin County is watching the sunset over the reservoir.
Meghan McClaskey is 22 years old and from Brandon, Mississippi. She graduated fromMississippi State University in 2021. Meghan works at Ergon, Inc. as an administration systems analyst. Her hobbies include researching the latest fashion trends, graphic design, baking, listening to music, cosmetology, and finding the perfect restaurant. Meghan’s favorite thing about Rankin County is driving over the causeway everyday.
Riley Stephens is 22 years old and a Brandon native. She graduated from MississippiState University in 2021. Riley is the administrative assistant at the Chamber of Flowood & Visitor Center. Her hobbies include browsing flea markets and antique shops and planning day trips with friends. Riley’s favorite thing about Rankin County is how much opportunity Rankin County has. She says a lot of people think you have to look so far outward to find your niche, but there is so much opportunity for professional growth in Rankin County.
Jayden Williams is 22 years old. She will graduate from Mississippi College this year.She has worked as the program coordinator at Bridge Builders Leadership Initiative inPearl since 2021. Jayden has also been the media director at The Bridge Church inPearl since 2017. Her hobbies include serving the community, catching a good basketball game, and
grabbing fro-yo at BerryBerry Good.Her favorite thing aboutRankin County is the community. Jayden says it feels like one big family everywhere you go.
Anna Grace Heimer is 22 years old. She did two years at Mississippi State University for nursing, and then finished up at UMMC in 2021. Anna Grace works asa registered nurse at Capital Ortho. Her hobbies include traveling to DisneyWorld, running on the nature trail, and spending time with her puppy, Libby. Anna Grace’s favorite thing aboutRankin County is the sense of community. She says there are so many great people that live here that support small businesses and residents of the county.
Maggie McCall is 21 years old. She graduated from The University of Mississippi in2021. Maggie works as a 6th grade English teacher at Northwest Rankin Middle School.She enjoys hunting, fishing, and hanging out with family and friends. Maggie’s favorite thing about RankinCounty is how everyone comes together in each community no matter the circumstance, whether it be cheering on a team that plays in a state championship or helping a family when tragedy strikes.
Trevor Faulkner is 24 years old. He graduated fromMississippi State University in 2020 and continued his education at Mississippi College, where he graduated with his master’s in 2021. Trevor works as an accounting associate at HORNE, LLP specializing in healthcare assurance. His hobbies include tennis, golf, running, hunting, and practicing piano. Trevor says that his favorite thing about Rankin County is how close-knit and inviting it is.
William Thompson is 25 years old. He graduated from Blue Mountain College in 2019. William is an opera singer, performer, worship leader, music teacher, and the founder of Thompson Tuning. His hobbies include backpacking, music production, working out, and reading. William’s favorite thing about Rankin County is being close to family and the history attached to this county.
Taveze Calhoun is 29 years old. He graduated from Mississippi State University in 2015. Taveze works as a football coach at Brandon High School. He enjoys going to different sporting events, traveling, and working out. His favorite thing about RankinCounty is the family environment. Taveze says that everyone is so welcoming and nice and treats you like you are family.
Colby Williams is27years old. He graduated in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree fromMississippi State University. He got his master’s from MSU in 2018. Colby works at Zavation as a design engineer.He enjoys hunting and says that there is nothing like being in the woods before sunrise and creating memories with family and friends. Colby’s favorite thing about Rankin County is how the hospitality here is unparalleled. The people are great and are always willing to help one another.
Ryan Keith is 23 years old. He graduated in 2020 from Blue Mountain College. Ryan works as a youth pastor at First Baptist Church of Florence. He is a sports fanatic and also spends his time watching television shows and spending time with his fiancé, Ansley.His favorite thing about Rankin County is the community feel. Ryan also loves being able to go see his students do the things they love at their high schools.
Bryce Penn is 26years old. He graduated from Mississippi State University in 2018. Bryce works as a superintendent for Thrash Commercial Contractors. He enjoys building things in his shop, hunting, snowboarding in the mountains, being on a boat on the Rez, wake boarding on the river, hitting the gym, and cooking on the grill. Bryce says that his favorite thing about Rankin County is the Reservoir.
Jack Bishop is 24 years old. He graduated fromMississippi State University in2020.Jack works as a planner for Total Transportation of Mississippi. His hobbies include playing golf, coaching baseball, and watching sports. Jack’s favorite thing about RankinCounty is the small-town atmosphere and how everywhere you go in Rankin County, people treat you like family.