Desoto County News

Crystal Ball Community Honorees named

The Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi has announced Mat Lipscomb, Nan Sanders, Silo Square, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation as the 2023 Community Stars who will be honored alongside the Star of Hope at the 2024 Crystal Ball Gala, titled “Shaken, Not Stirred.”

The Community Stars support the philanthropic efforts of the Community Foundation and its mission of Connecting People Who Care With Causes That Matter.

Mat Lipscomb of Lake Cormorant has been named the 2023 Dan Maddox Man of the Year. Originally from DeSoto County, Mat moved away for college but returned to the area in 1986 when he purchased land, now shared with his wife Sandy. His professional journey led him to become the Co-CEO of Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance, which has since merged into Higginbotham Insurance, where he now serves as a Managing Partner.

Beyond his career, Mat is an active member of Longview Point Baptist Church, served as a board member for the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi for six years, and has been a prominent figure in the DeSoto Family Theatre since its establishment in 2000. Notably, he founded and chaired the Northwest Mississippi Theatre Alliance and Allie Awards.

Currently, Mat serves as one of the Founding Trustees of the Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund, which recently approved millions in projects. His involvement extends to the Society of Entrepreneurs and includes the production of Broadway Musicals in New York City. Mat is happily married to Sandy, and has a daughter, Jesse Anne, who resides in Branson, Missouri.

The Margaret Maddox Woman of the Year for 2023, Nan Sanders, is from Cleveland, Mississippi and is a proud alumna of Delta State University. With a lifelong dedication to the arts, Nan is not only a skilled painter but has also been a tireless advocate for promoting the arts in the Mississippi Delta region. As a founding member of Cleveland’s Delta Arts Alliance Board of Directors, Nan has played a pivotal role in shaping the cultural landscape. The Sanders Family, led by Nan after sculpture garden co-founder, Pam Mathews, untimely death in 2004, generously endowed the Mathews-Sanders Sculpture Garden, a visionary project that has now grown to feature 53 large-scale sculptures across Delta State’s campus, the Grammy Museum Mississippi, and downtown along Sharpe Avenue.

Nan’s commitment to community service has earned her accolades from the Chamber of Commerce, while Delta State University recognized her with the President’s Award for the Arts Alumnus of the Year in 2023. With eight years of service on the Mississippi Arts Commission, board membership in the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters, and currently in her fourth term as a Trustee of the Mississippi Museum of Art’s Board of Directors, Nan continues to shape the cultural landscape of Mississippi. Alongside her husband, Mike Sanders, Nan has called Cleveland home since their marriage, and together they have raised three children and delight in their six grandchildren.

The Community Star Man and Woman of the Year carry the names of Dan and Margaret Maddox in tribute to their legacy of service and philanthropy. Together, Margaret and Dan Maddox made a formidable team who devoted their lives to entrepreneurship, adventure, and
service. Dan and Margaret died as they lived: pursuing, with excellence, their great passions.

The Business of the Year is Silo Square located in Southaven. The “Live. Work. Play” community was established by Brian Hill and his family with the mission of giving back to the DeSoto County community through economic development. This pedestrian-friendly Traditional Neighborhood Development offers an array of local restaurants and businesses that have a heart for giving back.

Silo Square supports various nonprofits annually through fundraising events like its annual “Buy a Tree, Change A Life” event that supports Healing Hearts Child
Advocacy Center, the Blues for the Blue Crawfish and Blues Festival supporting the Southaven Police Department’s Benevolence Fund, and Cars For A Cause, which raises funds for Make-a-Wish Mid-South.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is the Nonprofit of the Year. Founded in 1930 by breakfast cereal innovator Will Keith Kellogg, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) is one of the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States.

Headquartered in Battle Creek, Michigan, WKKF operates nationally and internationally, guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life. The foundation prioritizes areas with high concentrations of poverty and significant barriers to success, focusing on Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, New Orleans, Mexico, and Haiti.

Ticket and table sales are now open for the gala. Secure your spot at this prestigious event with tickets priced at $175 each and tables at $1600. Act fast, as prices for both will increase on Jan. 1 to $200 for tickets and $1800 for tables. You can find both on our website at

For more information about this program or the Community Foundation, call 662.449.5002 or visit

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