Desoto County News

Cannon selected for Northwest’s Alumni Professional Achievement Award

Northwest Mississippi Community College announced Calhoun City native, Michael Joe Cannon, as the recipient of their Alumni Professional Achievement Award for his outstanding success in the automobile sales business. As the owner of Cannon Motors of Mississippi, Cannon has built a Mid-South auto-empire with multiple locations and known for their iconic slogan, “Nobody Beats a Cannon Deal…NOBODY!”

Michael Joe will be honored at this year’s Northwest Soiree, the college’s premier fundraising event, alongside honorees for additional awards given this year.

“We take great pride in Michael Joe being an alumnus of Northwest and for his undeniable success,” said Patti Gordon, Executive Director of Institutional Advancement. “His down-to-earth and relatable nature makes it clear why he has achieved such great accomplishments. We are excited to honor him at this year’s Soiree.”

Having attended Northwest from 1978 to 1980, Cannon was a student athlete as part of the Ranger football team, a team he would also later coach.

Following his career as a Northwest Ranger, Cannon received a football scholarship from Memphis State University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in education. Cannon returned to Northwest in 1983, coaching defense for the Rangers under Head Coach Bobby Franklin until 1986, when he transitioned fully into the automobile sales industry.

Upon his father’s passing, Cannon took over the family’s used car business in Calhoun City. Cannon spearheaded efforts that grew the family’s first dealership into what is now the largest family-owned car dealership brand in the Magnolia State: Cannon Motors of Mississippi, which serves customers from 23 dealerships located throughout Mississippi.

Cannon often says that relationships are currency that never go out of style, creating long lasting relationships with the citizens of the Mid-South. Cannon’s humility and down-home roots have made him a local celebrity and by Northwest’s standards, someone to celebrate for his success.

Cannon, who now resides in Oxford, has also been heavily involved in the community. He served as the past president of several community organizations in Mississippi, including the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce, United Way Leflore County, Leflore County Chamber of Commerce, and the Greenwood Boys/Girls Club as well as being honored with the Leflore-Carroll County Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year and Top 10 Places to Work in Leflore County. He’s currently an active member of Pinelake in Oxford.

Cannon and his wife, Cheryl, have three children, Tyler, Morgan and Luke, as well as two grandchildren, Caroline and Amelia.

Cannon will receive this award at the Northwest Soiree on March 2, 2024 at the Heindl Center for Performing Arts on the Senatobia Campus. For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Patti Gordon at 662-560-1103 or email To reserve tickets, please go to:

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