Janita Russell Stewart, Vicksburg, Mississippi native, is a graduate of the U.S. Small Business Administration's District Director Candidate Development Program where she took on rotational assignments in directing the SBA offices in Charlotte, North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia. She received her B.S. Degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg and has approximately 37 years of federal government service. In addition to the SBA, she also has served at the U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers in the Vicksburg and New Orleans Districts in the capacities of Contract Specialist, Procurement Analyst, Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Specialist (SADBU), and Special Assistant and Advisor to the Commander and District Engineer for the Corps’ multi-million dollar Small Business Programs.
As SBA District Director for the state of Mississippi, Stewart is responsible for supervising the activities of 11 employees in the Mississippi District and Gulfport Branch Offices. Her responsibility entails the supervision of the delivery of a wide range of SBA programs and services to the small business community, including financial assistance, entrepreneurial development, minority enterprise development, and related special emphasis programs such as women's business ownership, international trade and veterans’ affairs. She oversees the State Office of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of Mississippi and its 8 SBDC Subcenters located at various colleges and universities throughout the state, along with 8 SBDC Business Assistance Centers; the coordination of the Gulfcoast Chapter of SCORE; and the MACE Women’s Business Center in Greenville.
Some of Stewart 's associations/affiliations include the GreaterJackson Chamber Partnership; Vicksburg Chamber of Commerce; Mississippi Economic Council; Mississippi Minority Business Alliance; Delta Regional Minority Business Association; Leadership Jackson Alumni; Former Member of the Governor's Special Task Force for Economic Development Planning; Federal Manager of the Year by the Greater Jackson Area Federal Execution Association; Recipient of the Greater Jackson Area Federal Executive Association's Pacesetter Award; Honoree of the Mississippi Business Journal's 50 Leading Business Women; Named one of 50 of the Most Influential African Americans in Mississippi ; Named in the Inaugural edition of Who’s Who in Black Mississippi, etc. Some of her favorite charities include Feed the Children, Gateway Rescue Mission, Stewpot Community Services, and Habitat for Humanity.