Left to Right: Cecil Harper and Hu Meena. Photo by Deryll Stegall.
The Madison County Business League & Foundation (MCBL&F) and the Madison County Economic Development Authority (MCEDA) presented the 2019 Visionary Leadership Award to C Spire Chairman and CEO Hu Meena. Cecil Harper, MCBL&F 2018-19 Chairman, presented the award at the 11th annual Vision Celebration at the Country Club of Jackson on October 1st to a group of 485 Members, guests and elected officials.
MCEDA and the MCBL&F created the VISIONARY Leadership Award in 2011 as a means of recognizing and thanking certain outstanding Madison County individuals for their visionary leadership contributions to the community. By contributions we mean their unique or remarkable accomplishments, their investments in people and the resulting impact that their operations have on the local area economy.
Hu Meena is chairman and CEO of C Spire, a Madison County-based telecommunications and technology services company that is leading Mississippi forward with an emphasis on state of the art wireless services, fiber optic broadband, managed cloud services, workforce development and technology innovation.
Meena has fostered a culture at C Spire that is passionately focused on excellence, competitiveness and world-class customer service. In fact, the company put customers at the center of its name when it changed from Cellular South in 2011. C Spire is an abbreviation of “customer inspired.”
Under Meena’s leadership, C Spire operates the nation’s largest privately-owned wireless communications unit – the sixth largest in the U.S. C Spire provides ultra-fast broadband access to homes, businesses and governmental entities via 9000 route miles of fiber optic cable.
The company has over 1,600 employees, nearly half of which live and work in Madison County, and generates over $2 billion annually in incremental positive economic impact on local and state economies in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee through payroll, capital investments and corporate philanthropy.
From fostering smartphone adoption at twice the national rate to launching in 2013 one of the nation’s first Gigabit-speed Fiber-to-the-Home initiatives, Meena has guided C Spire’s leadership in helping spur consumer adoption of the latest technology. In 2014, the company opened a new $25 million state of the art commercial data center in Starkville to service businesses.
In 2017, Meena was instrumental in the launch of the C Spire Tech Movement, an initiative designed to move its service areas forward with an emphasis on broadband access, workforce development and technology innovation.
Last year, Meena guided the company into the next phase of its continued growth with the acquisition of Birmingham, Alabama-based TekLinks, which gave a big boost to the company’s expansion of its business services unit and the availability of innovative voice, data, IT and cloud solutions to firms of all sizes.
A leader with devout Christian faith, Meena is an officer in his church, serves as a board member of the Reformed Theological Seminary and First Presbyterian Day School.
He served as past board chair of the Associated Carriers Group and the Competitive Carriers Association.
Meena is excited about the next chapter of C Spire’s growing influence on the future of Madison County, the state of Mississippi and its other service areas in Alabama and Tennessee. Among other new opportunities, the company is testing new 5G technologies and is poised to be a major player in the telehealth and smart home sectors in the future.
Past Visionary Leadership Award winners include Mike Kent, Joel Bomgar, JoAnn Gordon, Dr. David Powe, David Landrum, Doug Hederman, H.C. (Buster) Bailey and Dr. Nancy New.