Azar named Director of Economic Development of Panola Partnership
BATESVILLE—Joe Azar of Batesville has been named Director of Economic Development of Panola Partnership by the executive board according to a news release from that agency.
A current executive board member, Azar was a unanimous choice of the board. Azar has served on the Panola Partnership executive board for the past 6 years and will begin his new position Tuesday, January 17.
Born and raised in Greenville, he is a graduate of the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. He returned to the Delta to own and operate uniquely successful convenience stores called The Barn while he also owned and operated one of the state’s largest music production companies.
He later moved to Nashville where he worked in the music industry as a personal artist manager for 16 years, of which during this time, met his wife to be, Katie, who co-managed their clients.
He co-founded Azar Entertainment and Dang Records and managed recording artist Steve Azar, Vince Neil of Motley Crue, the original Crickets, The Outfield, Hank Williams III, Brady Seals of Little Texas, Jessica Andrews and several others.
He also negotiated recording agreements with major record labels; publishing deals; tours with agents, promoters, CMT and GAC, and multi-million dollar tour sponsorships with companies such as Jim Beam and ExxonMobil for his artists.
He moved his family to Panola County in 2007 to work as the operations and general manager of Mississippi Distributors, Inc. in Batesville.
After 2 years of an extensive business curriculum with Anheuser-Busch University, Azar became a successor manager to the local Anheuser-Busch wholesalership.
In 2012, he negotiated the sale of Mississippi Distributors to Southern Beverage Company of Jackson securing that 50 jobs would remain in Panola County and became the branch manager and Equity Agreement Manager of Southern Beverage Company. He successfully recruited RedBull and other suppliers for his company, leaving Batesville’s operation in 2016 with the leading portfolio in the state.
For the past nine years, Azar has also represented his company’s beverage delegation by visiting elected officials at our federal and state capitols.