Jackie M. Koney, Director, Vicksburg Operations
When Chris Moore first approached Jackie Koney about his idea to bring Vicksburg’s old paper mill back to life, she was instantly curious. As a Michigan native, Koney had only known about the village of Vicksburg and its paper mill on a surface level, but when she paid a lengthy visit in Summer 2015, she knew immediately that this was a project that she could get behind.
In September 2015, Koney and her husband John Kern permanently moved to Vicksburg to be fully immersed in this project and, most importantly, in the community. With an extensive background working with and volunteering for various nonprofit organizations, Koney is exceptionally passionate about community building and creating downtown areas where folks want to spend their time. She believes The Mill will be a catalyst for that.
“Vicksburg doesn’t need to be fixed; it’s wonderful as is, and its residents whole-heartedly believe this. But The Mill is that thing that will instill even more pride for Vicksburg residents and excitement,” Koney said. “There’s a deep connection to The Mill and what it meant to Vicksburg back when it was fully operational. I hope we can recreate that feeling for generations who knew The Mill for what it originally was and new generations to come.”
In addition to her work with The Mill and the town of Vicksburg, ensuring that Chris Moore’s vision for the project gets realized in an efficient, cost-effective manner, Koney also serves as the Arts and Placemaking Committee Chair for the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and as an advisor and one of three legal incorporators for the Vicksburg Cultural Arts Center in their efforts to become a 501(c)(3) organization.
After graduating from the University of Michigan, Koney went on to receive her Masters in Nonprofit Leadership from Seattle University. She stayed put in Washington state and spent much of her professional career working mainly in the nonprofit and advertising/marketing sectors of business. Coincidentally, early in Koney’s career, she worked for Eddie Bauer as the production director, where she spent much of her time in paper mills, purchasing paper. Talk about full circle.