Two Mississippi Economic Growth Leaders Join MSET Board of Directors

The Mississippi Enterprise for Technology (MSET) announced the election of two new members to its Board of Directors: Brian Henson and Kimberly Aguillard. 

“Brian and Kimberly are dedicated leaders in the growth of Mississippi’s economy, bringing unique business expertise to MSET from their roles in higher education, government, and private enterprise,” said Davis Pace, President and CEO of MSET.

Brian Henson

University of Southern Mississippi

Director, Trent Lott National Center for International Development

Brian Henson, Director of the Trent Lott National Center for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship at the University of Southern Mississippi, has nearly two decades of experience in local and regional economic development.

“Brian is a dedicated economic developer who is committed to fostering opportunities for technology companies in Mississippi with MSET,” said Davis. 

Prior to joining USM, Brian served as Chief of Staff for the Delta Regional Authority, a federal-state partnership covering eight states, and managed a $30 million budget. 

He served for eight years as the Executive Director of the Kemper County (MS) Economic Development Authority. While in this role, Brian assisted with the initial development of the Kemper County Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle Power Plant Project and the development and construction of the John C. Stennis Memorial Hospital. He also managed the county’s business incubator facility and was responsible for numerous smaller business expansions and community development projects, including a senior citizens’ community center. 

In 2008, Brian completed the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute’s Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) curriculum. 

Brian is a Mississippi State University graduate, obtaining both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Business Administration. He is a member of the Mississippi Economic Development Council and International Economic Development Council. Brian and his wife, Mary Martha, live in Ocean Springs, MS.

Kimberly Aguillard

Huntington Ingalls Industries

Manager of Media Relations, Ingalls Shipbuilding

Kimberly K. Aguillard is the Manager of Media Relations at Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII). In this role, Aguillard serves as HII’s spokesperson for Ingalls Shipbuilding where it shares stories of the division’s programs, people, and capabilities while also responding to media queries from local and industry media. 

“Kimberly Aguillard has been a mouthpiece for some of our area’s most important economic drivers. MSET’s board of directors is lucky to have her perspective as an award-winning storyteller and public relations professional,” said Davis. 

Prior to joining HII, Aguillard served since 2014 as Manager of Marketing and Media Relations for the Mississippi State Port Authority at Gulfport. There, she was tasked with managing the port’s public relations efforts and brand development initiatives. She also has experience in nonprofit marketing and social media management. 

Aguillard holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in marketing from Loyola University, New Orleans. In 2017, she further showcased her ability to conduct strategic communication activities by receiving her Accreditation in Public Relations from the Universal Accreditation Board. 

During her career, Aguillard has served on multiple boards of directors. She is a past president and member of the Junior Auxiliary of Gulfport and the Public Relations Association of Mississippi. She is also a past board member of the Gulfport Rotary Club, Gulfport Main Street Association, and the Mississippi Public Broadcast Foundation. 

In addition to her volunteer work, Aguillard has received multiple state, regional, and national awards for public relations planning from the Southern Public Relations Federation, Public Relations Association of Mississippi, and the American Association of Port Authorities. Aguillard was recently named a One Coast “Top 10 Under 40” award recipient, presented by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce. She also received the “Young Careerist of the Year” award in 2021, presented by Lighthouse Business and Professional Women.

About MSET

The Mississippi Enterprise for Technology is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that facilitates regional economic development by leveraging the resources of Stennis Space Center, the State, and the region to foster business opportunities among public and private entities. 

Using the scientific and technical resources of NASA and other resident agencies at Stennis, MSET promotes growth in existing industry, stimulates new business, and attracts high-tech companies to the region by providing companies crucial business and technology-related services, opportunities for partnerships and collaboration, resources for entrepreneurs, and access to state and federal technology portfolios. Learn more about MSET’s Affiliate Program.