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Janita Russell Stewart, Vicksburg, Mississippi native, is a graduate of the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) District Director Candidate Development Program wherein 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 over 40 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’ multimillion dollar Small Business Programs.
As SBA District Director for the state of Mississippi, Stewart is responsible for supervising the activities of 13 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 business enterprise development, related special emphasis programs such as women's business ownership, international trade, veterans’ affairs and more. She oversees the State Office of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of Mississippi and its 7 SBDC Subcenters located at various colleges and universities throughout the state, along with 8 SBDC Business Assistance Centers along with the coordination of the Gulf Coast Chapter of SCORE – America’s Counselors and its branches in Jackson, Cleveland and Belden.
Some of Stewart 's associations/affiliations include the GreaterJackson Chamber Partnership; Vicksburg Chamber of Commerce; Mississippi Economic Council; Mississippi Minority Business Alliance, Inc.; Delta Regional Authority; 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 Gateway Rescue Mission, Stewpot Community Services, Habitat for Humanity and the Mississippi Food Network