New Biloxi Chamber president writes new history

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - By day, Angie Juzang is a sales representative here at WLOX, but after hours she's taking on a new endeavor as President of the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce.

"It was a natural progression because of what I do every day. I go out and speak to businesses every day and try to create solutions," said Angie Juzang.

While Juzang looks forward to her new role in developing Biloxi businesses, her history with the chamber began long before she was even born.

"She's a sharp lady. She brings a lot to the table," said Dennis Burke.

Burke is a former chamber president who remembers Angie's Juzang's touching story about her father's history with the Biloxi Chamber.

"The story that Angie went on to tell was, that he when he came back he felt important to be a part of the community and he wanted to join the Biloxi Chamber," said Burke.

"He attended a membership drive and the person who held the membership drive literally came back and gave him his registration fee and said that the Biloxi Chamber was not ready for a black member and that it was whites only," said Juzang.

Angie's father is the late Dr. Gilbert Mason Senior.

Dr. Mason helped integrate Biloxi Schools and Biloxi beaches, but he was also denied membership to the Biloxi Chamber.

"I think it was just a part of the environment. Clearly, people were being discriminated against," said Juzang.

In 1955, the Biloxi Chamber wasn't ready for the black doctor or his business. Now more than 50 years later, his daughter leads that same organization.

"I think it says so much for the chamber and the Biloxi community to recognize the abilities and capabilities of everyone, and she's very capable," said Burke.

"I like to take advantage of opportunities that I see are open to me as a leader on the coast. In whatever I join, I try to do it with integrity and contribute where I can because I've had that opportunity given to me by the people who work so hard in the community to have that chance," said Juzang.

Over the next year, Angie Juzang says she plans to focus on member development and encouraging businesses to utilize the resources of the chamber.