Annual Meeting 2016 Press Advisory

Date: September 7, 2016

Contact: Luke Brown, 314-882-0009

Media Briefing Advisory

SEP 14: Mississippi River Mayors gather to announce: Clean Water Partnership with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.; Marine Highway projects with U.S. Dept. of Transportation; Geotourism site launch for the Mississippi River with Delta Regional Authority, National Geographic, and Big River Strategic Initiative

Press Briefing Part of MRCTI Annual Meeting in Natchez, MS

What                                                                                                                                            More than two dozen river Mayors will hold a press briefing to recommend improvements to disaster mitigation, announce a partnership with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and announce U.S. Department of Transportation Marine Highway projects. These mayors are part of the Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative (MRCTI), a mayoral-led effort comprised of 75 River Mayors committed to creating a coordinated voice for the Mississippi River.

Immediately following the briefing, Mayors will gather with the Delta Regional Authority, Mississippi River Connections Collborative, and National Geographic to launch a Geotourism Product for the Mississippi River. MRCTI is holding its annual meeting in Natchez, MS from September 13-15. 

When                                                                                                                                    MAYORS’ PRESS CONFERENCE Wednesday, September 14 at 11:30am CT (12:30pm ET) NATIONAL GEORAPHIC LAUNCH Wednesday, September 14 at 12:45pm CT (1:45pm ET)


  • Mayor Darryl Grennell, Natchez, MS (Annual Meeting Host)
  • Mayor Buz Craft, Vidalia, LA (Annual Meeting Co-Host)
  • Mayor Chris Coleman, St. Paul, MN (MRCTI Co-Chair)
  • Mayor Belinda Constant, Gretna, LA (MRCTI Co-Chair) 
  • Mayors: 
    • Hon. Dave Kleis, Mayor of St. Cloud, MN
    • Hon. Dan Bender, Mayor of Red Wing, MN
    • Hon. Bob Gallagher, Mayor of Bettendorf, IA
    • Hon. Russell Loven, Mayor of Guttenberg, IA
    • Hon. Tom Thompson, Mayor of Grafton, IL 
    • Hon. Brent Walker, Mayor of Alton, IL
    • Hon. James Spann, Mayor of Hartford, IL
    • Hon. Francis Slay, Mayor of St. Louis, MO
    • Hon. Emeka Jackson-Hicks, Mayor of East St. Louis, IL
    • Hon. David Lattus, Mayor of Hickman, KY 
    • Hon. Tyrone Coleman, Mayor of Cairo, IL
    • Hon. Harry Rediger, Mayor of Cape Girardeau, MO
    • Hon. Dick Bodi, Mayor of New Madrid, MO  
    • Hon, Bill Luckett, Mayor of Clarksdale, MS
    • Hon. Carey Estes, Mayor of Rosedale, MS
    • Hon. Carl Lewis, Mayor of Beulah, MS
    • Hon. Errick Simmons, Mayor of Greenville, MS
    • Hon. Paxton Branch, Mayor of Tallulah, LA
    • Hon. George Flaggs, Mayor of Vicksburg, MS
    • Hon. Edward L. Brown, Sr., Mayor of St. Joseph, LA
    • Hon. Buz Craft, Mayor of Vidalia, LA
    • Hon. Richard Lee, Mayor of Port Allen, LA
  • Paul 'Chip' Jaenichen, Administrator, Maritime Administration, U.S. Dept. of Transportation
  • Brittni Furrow, Senior Director, Global Sustainability, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
  • Colin Wellenkamp, Executive Director, MRCTI

National Geographic Launch

  • Chris Masingill, Federal Co-Chair, U.S. Delta Regional Authority
  • Frank Baisi, Director of Digital Development & Travel Programs, National Geographic

Where                                                                                                                                                 MAYOR'S PRESS CONFERENCE                                           NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC LAUNCH Natchez Visitor Reception Center                                         Carriage House, Stanton Hall Estate 640 South Canal Street (Main Hall)                                       401 High Street                               Natchez, MS 39120                                                                 Natchez, MS 39120

How                                                                                                                                                   Registered reporters may listen live to the Mayors’ Press Conference by calling 712-832-8330 and entering 800 9810. To reserve a spot, email or call Luke Brown at, 314-882-0009.  

Why                                                                                                                                                  In the wake of several natural disasters since January, the Mayors of the Mississippi River have come together with Federal and private sector partners to bring opportunities and hope to the region. MRCTI is an effort to bring national attention back to the Mississippi River—America’s most critical natural asset—and cultivate a new level of regional cooperation to make it more sustainable. As the ecological linchpin to the 31-state Mississippi River Basin, the River is responsible for creating $400 billion worth of U.S. GDP; providing drinking water for more than 20 million; transporting 40 percent of the nation’s agricultural output; and directly supporting more than one million jobs and millions more indirectly.