TOM WHITE HONORED WITH SMALL BUSINESS LEADERSHIP AWARD
Hattiesburg, Miss., May 2, 2013 - William Carey University and the Area Development Partnership honored Tom White, owner of 206 Front and Bianchi’s Pizzeria in downtown Hattiesburg, with the 2013 Small Business Leadership Award during the 21st Annual Small Business Leadership Luncheon held May 1 at Southern Oaks House and Gardens.
Tom White came to Hattiesburg as a freshman at the University of Southern Mississippi and has spent 22 of the last 26 years in Hattiesburg with stops in Nashville and Atlanta working as a chef. Returning in 1998, he dreamed of opening his own restaurant. Inspired by the architecture of downtown and his immigrant Italian ancestry, 206 Front opened in July 2002 followed five years later by Bianchi’s Pizzeria. White and his wife Julie have two sons, Townes and Dom, and a daughter, Ella.
White is president of the Hattiesburg Downtown Association, chair of the Mississippi Children’s Museum, and a dedicated member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church community. He is a fan and supporter of the athletic and arts programs at USM and WCU, and in the past 11 years has employed many students from both schools and featured musicians and visual art by students at 206 Front. White said that he is grateful to the Hattiesburg community for allowing him to make this his personal and professional home.
Previous recipients of the award include Jack Simmons of Simmons Furniture Co. in 1990, the inaugural year, and most recently, Karl Ficken with Willmut Gas Company, Phil Hanberry and Christ Hudson of Hanco Corporation, the Moore family of Moore Funeral Home, Dennis Pierce of Piercon, Inc., Wayne Ross of Commercial Stationery Company, Robert St. John of New South Restaurant Group, and the Dews family of C.L. Dews & Sons Foundry & Machine Co., Inc. Other winners include Gene Owens of Owens Business Machines, the Myrick family of Economy Supply Company, Steven L. Floyd of Steve Floyd Properties, Inc., Allen Anderson of Anderson Retail, Inc., Glenn E. Galey of The Galey Agency, Inc., Doug McLelland of McLelland Television Co., David Rumbarger of Area Development Partnership, Carl Amones of Amones Realty & Tax Services, Gwen James of Coldwell Bank and Don Nace, Inc., Realtors, Jan Lacy of Copy Cats Printing, and Robert E. Donnell, Jr. of Vital-Care Compounder.
Sponsors for the 2013 SBLAL were Cspire, Comcast Spotlight, Mississippi Power, Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association, South Mississippi Electric Power Association, Southern Pines Electric Power Association, WDAMTV, and Willmut Gas & Oil Co. The keynote speaker was Curt Hébert of Madison, a partner at Brunini Grantham Grower & Hewes Law Firm.
The SBLA recognizes the important contributions of small businesses to the economic, social, and cultural life of the community and the particular achievements of one individual or family. SBLA nominees must meet several criteria including employing 100 or fewer employees, operating locally except for marketing, exhibiting Judeo-Christian ethics, being financially sound and participating in community service.