After graduating from high school, she went to Millsaps College for a year, then Belhaven University (then Belhaven College). She then worked with Bill Minor at his newspaper, the Capitol Reporter, from 1979 to 1980. After that, she worked with Ed Inman for his publication from 1981 to 1982. McCarthy and Zy Addock started bi-weekly publication Jackson Style & Affairs in January 1982, which later turned into monthly publication It's Friday! After they closed the paper in September 1987, McCarthy went to work as a graphic designer for The Clarion-Ledger.
"Graphic design was what I was most interested in," she says. "(It was what I was) most good at. I can write, I can sell ... but I liked to also do the actual work of the paper."
She worked at the Ledger from 1988 to 1990, when she became the business development director for Westword Advertising. She started her own graphic-design business in May 1991. As technology changed rapidly in the late '90s and early 2000s, she worked at different businesses, doing everything from graphic design to marketing to printing, transitioning from the analogue world into a digital space.
In the late '90s, she created a website for catering company VIP Grand Events. After the success of the site, the company asked her to come work for them as its business development director in January 2000. VIP landed the contract to be the official caterer for the Mississippi Telecom Center (now the Jackson Convention Complex), and McCarthy helped open the building in December 2005.
After the business closed in July 2012, McCarthy found herself without a job for the first time in her life. She decided to go back to college at Belhaven. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in business management in 2016 and is currently working on her master's in business administration at Millsaps College.
McCarthy says the way Ross had planned on scanning them was inefficient, so McCarthy and her husband, Pat McCarthy, decided to buy a slide scanner. The project made her see a need for this service, so she started ScanSouth in 2017.
Along with seeing a need and honing in on it, McCarthy says she is also the type of person who will say yes to someone's request and then get the equipment to do that, so she is constantly adding services to ScanSouth.
That's how she began doing videos, she says. She scan everything from films to slides to negatives, and with her background in graphic design, she can also do color correction and repair on photos, among other skills.
"I know how to do it; I just was waiting for someone to want this particular (service),"
On why its important to preserve old photographs and relics, she says, "It's all about history," and also a way to stay
connected to family.
"Everybody is connected but so alone too, and this sort of gives them a (better) family experience," she says.
For more information, visit scansouth.com.