By: Karen Wilson- WJTV
Cindy Ayers-Elliott has qualified to be a candidate for the office of State Senator for Senate District 28. The position became vacant following the death of Senator Alice Harden. T special election will be held February 5, 2013. A native of Mississippi, Dr. Ayers was educated in the public school system. She received a Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Higher Education from Jackson State University. Her Dissertation Title: The Vision of Jake Ayers: his Impact on Higher Education in the State of Mississippi; focused on the history and journey of Jake Ayers, her great-uncle and namesake of the Mississippi Ayers litigation and legislation to provide adequate funding for Black Colleges and Universities in Mississippi.
Dr. Ayers is President and CEO of Foot Print Farms, where she grows vegetables and raises goats in Jackson, Mississippi. In an effort to help bring fresh affordable locally grown food to our communities, and to open doors and influence policy development of the United State Department Agriculture (USDA), Natural Resource Conservation Services, (NRCS), and Foot Print 2.10 LLC, an IT-Management, Research and Projects Management Group, Dr. Ayers partners with other farmers and businesses across the state. Ayers-Elliott state, “her commitment for positive change and her love for people, along with great mentors continue to solidify her dedication to the City of Jackson and the state of Mississippi.”
Ayers-Elliott led the charge to establish First American Bank (now Liberty Bank), the first African American owned bank in Mississippi since reconstruction. Dr. Ayers became the first woman Chairman of a Financial Institution in the Southeast United States. She has worked on Wall Street as a Senior Vice-President Investment Banker and as a result, Dr. Ayers has had the fortunate opportunity to travel to countries around the world. Dr. Ayers served as President/CEO of Delta Foundation Inc., and Chairman of Delta Enterprises. She served as assistant Treasurer to former State Treasurer Marshall Bennett for eight years.
Dr. Ayers has received distinguished honors and awards including being named as The Mississippi Business Journal top 50 Businesswomen in Mississippi. In 2009, her first publication’s Book chapter, Selected Works of Catalysts for Change in Urban Higher Education received the National Small Business Diversity Award.