After building the first four Holiday Inns in Memphis, Kemmons Wilson teamed up with Mississippians Wallace Johnson and Bill Walton to begin selling franchises.
Mike Sturdivant, of Glendora, was a recent Harvard graduate in 1956. He recalls meeting Wilson and opening his first Holiday Inn in Meridian. Soon Sturdivant and his former college roommate, Earle Jones, began opening Holiday Inns across the state. He remembers how the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 affected their business.
By 1976, when Studivant sat down to reflect on twenty years in the business, their company, Mississippi Management was operating over 2000 hotel rooms.
Today, MMI of Flowood. operates over 100 properties throughout the southeast.