Founder (1926 – 2013)
A graduate of UCLA and Harvard Business School, Earle Jones was associated with MMI since the organization’s beginning in 1956. Mr. Jones remained consistently involved in the affairs of various hospitality-industry related boards and associations including the Board of Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, ultimately being elected to its chairmanship. He was a past president of the International Association of Holiday Inns. For many years he served on the Board of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide including a position as Chairman of the Board of Starwood’s operating corporation.
Mr. Jones combined a busy career with a wide range of charitable and civic interests. He was chairman of the Executive Committee of Communications Improvements, Inc, whose beneficiaries were Public Broadcasting and Tougaloo College. Mr. Jones served on the board of the Jackson (MS) Public Schools District. Other Board service included the Arts Alliance, New Stage Theatre, Mississippi Opera Association, Community Foundation of Greater Jackson, and Jackson 2000. Though a Presbyterian, he served in prior years as School Board president of the St. Joseph Catholic School and a board member of the Catholic Foundation.
Earle was one of five commissioners of the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority and a member of the Board of Trustees of Millsaps College. As a result of his long, upstanding career, Mr. Jones was inducted into the Mississippi Business Hall of Fame in 2008.
Mr. Jones is survived by his wife, Irene, their three children, as well as five grandchildren.