• Phil Hardwick



HOME TOWN - Most of my working career has involved community and economic development. My particular interest is about why some communities are successful while others seem to wither and die a slow death. I’ve observed that it’s mostly about leadership, whether from an individual or a group. Consequently, I am fascinated and in admiration of the impact that Ben and Erin Napier’s HGTV Home Town show and their other efforts are having on Laurel, Mississippi. I’m sure they will tell you that they aren’t doing it alone, but they are the catalysts. Their success has resulted in HGTV planning to redo a town. Check out these stories:

Southern Living - “The Incredible Comeback of Laurel, Missississippi”

People Magazine - "HGTV Is Looking for U.S. Town In Need of a Complete Makeover for New Show — Could it Be Yours?" House Beautiful - "Forget Home Renovations—This New HGTV Show Wants to Make Over an Entire Town"


GREENWOOD, MS - Enjoyed a recent trip to Greenwood, Mississippi to facilitate a strategic planning retreat. Random thoughts about the visit. Stayed in the Alluvian Hotel, still one of the best boutique hotels anywhere. Viking Range doing fine. Lynx Grill recently moved HQ to Viking Range facility. 200 new jobs. Visited Turnrow Book Company, picked up a signed copy of John Grisham’s latest book, The Guardians. Recommend. Had delicious seafood platter at the famous Crystal Grill. Impressed with the bartender at Giardina's. He made a classic Aviation Cocktailfor me without even looking up the recipe..

*****  TUPELO, MS - Congrats to Tupelo-Lee County on being named No. 2 micropolitan in U.S.  *****  A FEW NORTH GEORGIA PLACES OF INTEREST WE HAVE VISITED  (SO FAR) -

Berry College, beautiful setting and more than 27,000 acres of land - including fields, forests, and Lavender Mountain - making it the largest contiguous college campus in the world Booth Western Art Museum, just named USA Today's No. 1 museum in country in 2020 Readers Choice poll Brasstown Bald, highest point in Georgia

John Campbell Folk School (actually in North Carolina just over the line, but only 1 hr 30 mins from our home)

Felany Performing Arts Center at Reinhardt College And lots of local restaurants in small towns *****  MY RECENT COMMENTARY IN MISSISSIPPI BUSINESS JOURNAL

 “Keep colleagues involved and part of the process” "Johari Window a useful tool for business"How to keep your meetings flowing" 


FAMILY - When people asked why we moved to north Georgia, our response is, "four grandchildren, daughter and son-in-law 30 minutes away and son an hour-and-a-hald away." We are truly enjoying this new chapter of our lives.

TENNIS - Carol and I have been playing on a mixed doubles team. We did well and still like each other.  :) Getting ready to play on regular ladies and men's adult teams this spring. Here's a definition of "tennis" for those playing as seniors: "a racquet sport in which two players compete to see who has the shortest temper, the worst memory, the poorest eyesight, and the slowest watch."   Author Unknown

PICKLEBALL - We've also discovered this phenomenon called pickleball and are playing two or three times a week indoors at our local YMCA. Lots of fun. *****


Alabama Book Festival, April 18

Arkansas Literary Festival: Six Bridges Book Festival, April 23-26

Louisiana Book Festival, November 2020

Georgia - AJC Decatur Book Festival    Sept 4-6  Mississippi Book Festival - August 15

Tennessee - Southern Festival of Books, October 9-11

*****  SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT  During an interview with the Guinness Book of World Records in 2012, Besse Cooper, then world's oldest person, was asked about the keys to living a long life. She offered two pieces of advice: “I mind my own business. And I don't eat junk food.”


P.O. Box 1293, Holly Springs, GA 30142


© 2020 Phil Hardwick


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