Empower Mississippi Expands Communications & Outreach Team


Ridgeland, MS—Empower Mississippi announced the expansion of its communication and outreach team with the addition of Brett Kittredge to Vice President of Marketing and Communications, and the elevation of Joanna Holbert to Director of Outreach.

Kittredge served as Empower’s Director of Communications from 2015 through 2018.  He returns to the organization on the heels of his receipt of the 2020 State Policy Network’s Communications Excellence Award.  His experience includes serving as editor of the public policy solutions guide “The High Road to Freedom,” contributions to “Promoting Prosperity in Mississippi,” a publication of the Institute for Market Studies at Mississippi State University, and innumerable state and national media placements.

In his new role, Kittredge will oversee marketing and communications strategy for a portfolio of issue initiatives that include a broadening of Empower’s focus on education, the build out of an initiative focused on increasing work opportunities for Mississippians, and a holistic focus on Mississippi’s justice system.

“Mississippi is blessed to be home to some of the best people in the world. We also face some of the biggest challenges in the country. I am excited to rejoin the Empower team and help provide the right solutions so all Mississippians have the opportunity to flourish,” said Kittredge.

Working alongside Kittredge, Holbert’s efforts will be primarily devoted to strengthening Empower’s outreach to individuals who are the most affected by education, work, and justice public policies, with a renewed commitment to providing a platform for these impacted voices.  Holbert’s twenty years of experience in the newspaper industry and a resume that includes multiple successful messaging campaigns, including Waitlisted and Broken, make her uniquely qualified to find and share these human stories.

“In this role I’m grateful to be able to tell the stories of the people of my home state who have been impacted by barriers to opportunity.  It is an honor to be a part of the Empower Mississippi team as we work to change laws, unleash potential, and transform lives,” Holbert said.

These moves come just months after Empower recruited the former head of Stand Together’s economic and health care initiatives, Russ Latino, to head its advocacy efforts.

“The addition of Brett to head our strategic communications and the focusing of Joanna on outreach is all a part of Empower Mississippi’s plan to expand both its footprint and effectiveness in 2021 and beyond,” said Empower President Grant Callen.  “We are building for the future, to be the organization that tackles the biggest challenges facing Mississippians, with a singular desire to help every Mississippian rise to their potential, and I am profoundly grateful to our donor partners across the state whose generous support makes our work possible.”