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• ABOUT MITCH •

Mitchell Harry Tyner, Sr. (Mitch Tyner) was born in Yazoo City, Mississippi on March 29, 1963. He is the son of the late Mr. & Mrs. Weldon Harry Tyner, Jr. and the youngest of 3 children. When Mitch was less than a year old, his family moved to Canton where his father entered into private engineering practice. They moved into a home on George Street in Canton. Mitch attended Canton Academy for 12 years and graduated with honors. He was selected "Mr. Canton Academy" beside Jan Levy (Mattice) who was selected "Ms. Canton Academy". Mitch was active in student government and was elected to his first statewide office in 1980, as President of the statewide Student Counsel Association. That same year, Mitch was also elected to serve as the statewide President of the Honor Society and organized from scratch the statewide organization, Fellowship of Christian High School Students. Mitch originally learned the legislative process through years of participation in Annual Youth Congress, under the direction of JoAnn Gordon and Attorney Ben Conner. In 1981 he was awarded, by Judy Lewis, the distinction of Superior in Parliamentary Procedure, Speaking from the Floor and Debate from the Floor. An avid supporter of free enterprise and capitalism, Mitch entered into his first business venture at the age of 9. He and his business partner, Mike Pontius built a Kool Aid stand on top of a wagon. Business was slow, so the partners entered into a new marketing plan where Mike would lay in the middle of Lakeview Drive to stop the cars and Mitch would deliver the ice cold Kool Aid to the driver while they waited for Mike to clear the street. It was a huge success. Business was brisk and the boys glowed with their first business success. In 1976, at the age of 13, Mitch applied for a job with Oak Lane Nursery, owned by Gerald & Susan Barber. Barber, of course, declined to hire Mitch because of his young age. However, Mitch was relentless, reapplying on what seemed like a monthly basis. In the spring of that year, a large load of sod was delivered and Barber had no one else to get it off the truck and decided to get Mitch to do it which would serve two purposes; 1) Get some of the sod unloaded and 2) Show this kid that he was just too young to be doing landscape and garden work. The rest is history. Mitch continued to work for Susan and Gerald on at least a part time basis until he finished high school. In 1978, Gerald Barber made the decision to close the retail portion of his landscape and nursery business, and Mitch saw an opportunity. Mitch knew that a lot of Canton families liked the small town service of helping them pick out their Christmas trees and helping them load them in their car, and even setting them up in their homes if requested. Since Barber would no longer be providing this service, Mitch asked him if he could get the name of the wholesaler and offer this service himself. With Gerald's help and approval, Mitch set about making his business plan to enter the Christmas Tree business. Mitch tried to talk the wholesaler (McLure Irrigation) into giving him credit, but the owner agreed to extend credit only after one season of paying cash. Mitch knew he had a great business plan so he went to his father to borrow the $500 needed to buy the trees. Harry, his father, listened and studied the business plan with Mitch, then told him he needed to go see Mr. Cannon at the First National Bank to get a business loan. Mitch went through the entire loan process with Mr. Cannon who required Mitch to put up everything he owned as collateral, including his prized eight track tape player. The business was a success and Mitch didn't know until years later that his father had actually gone to the bank and signed for the loan instructing Mr. Cannon to go through all the proper procedures to teach him about business and lending. Mitch's Christmas Tree Business was expanded to include multiple Fireworks stands in Canton as well as a Snowball stand. During high school, Mitch was deeply influenced by 2 youth ministers at the First Baptist Church in Canton, Bruce Fields and Andy Taggart. Mitch was active with First Baptist Church since childhood and became a born again Christian by accepting Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour when he was just a boy of 11 years. He taught Sunday School and assisted with Youth Programs as a leader of the Royal Ambassadors (RAs) and Youth Coordinator of Lay Renewal Teams throughout Mississippi. With the encouragement of Fields, Tyner applied to work at Gulfshore Baptist Assembly in Pass Christian, Mississippi during the summer of 1980. He was the youngest staff member to have been hired. Mitch worked at the Baptist Assembly for two summers where he was a lifeguard during the day and lead bible studies and worship services at night. Mitch was surrounded by students from Mississippi College that were also on staff and decided to attend M.C. In 1981 Mitch was elected President of the Freshman class at Mississippi College. That year, he selected Church Activities as a major, but changed to Computer Science as he sensed the burgeoning technology field was on the verge of exploding. With his interest in government and law, it was almost always certain that Mitch would go on to law school, but this news was not well received by his Granny, Laura Brown Tyner of Hattisburg. She remained upset that Mitch was not going to be a minister until Ed Pittman (then Mississippi Attorney General) sat on the front porch swing with her and told her "Mrs. Tyner, it's ok, we need Christian lawyers too." Only after Ed Pittman said it was ok, did Mitch receive his Granny's approval to attend law school. Mitch's parents supplemented his tuition and board for the first 2 years of college, but Mitch took over that responsibility entirely after his second year of college, and paid his own way through the last 2 years of college and all of his Law School Education at Mississippi College School of Law. In 1987, Mitch became the campaign manager for Republican Curt He'bert of Pascagoula. Determined to put the first Republican member of the Mississippi House of Representatives from District 111 in office, Mitch worked relentlessly to get Curt elected. District 111 was a seat historically held by Democrats in a heavy Union area, but after helping He'bert get elected as a Republican that seat has consistently been held by a Republican ever since. He'bert won the House seat and later went on to be appointed by Governor Fordice (the first Republican to be elected Governor since Reconstruction) to serve as the Southern District's Public Service Commissioner. After completing that term and being re-elected to the Public Service Commission, He'bert was appointed by President Bush to serve as Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In 1988, Tyner graduated from Mississippi College School of Law and passed the Mississippi Bar exam on his first attempt. He was also licensed to practice in Washington D.C., but chose to remain in Mississippi to practice law. He went into private practice with a solo practitioner, one of only a handful of trial attorneys associated with the Republican Party. In 1995, Tyner formed Tyner Law Firm, P.A. which he maintains to this day. His firm primarily represents individuals, including family farmers who were sold defective seed which destroyed their cotton crops; individuals with damages from defective products and small and large businesses in litigation, ranging from Mom & Pop businesses to an Australian Airline and a Canadian Cement Pump Company. Tyner has never lost a trial to a jury, but is quick to point out that he is very selective with the people he represents. "It's not enough to be correct legally, our firm has always maintained a policy that the represented party must also be correct morally. We have in our contract that we can withdraw from representation at any time, and we have withdrawn from cases when a client has misrepresented their version of the story or the claim appears to be frivolous. Frivolous lawsuits harm everyone and we refuse to participate in any specious claim." In 1995, Mitch married Sloane Davis of Madison. Sloane is a Gemologist and has worked with Andrew Jewelers in Jackson for over a decade. They have been blessed with 2 healthy children, Abigail (5) and Mitchell (4). Rumor has it that Sloane is due to deliver their third child on the date of the primary election in August. Mitch has emphasized his practice in Jackson, Mississippi because he believes it is important to maintain traditional Mississippi family values by being home at night for dinner with his family. "While there have been many opportunities to accept lucrative clients in other geographical areas, I feel it is important for my children to be reared by a two parent family, and that means participation in domestic duties as well as our nightly meal. While Sloane is definitely in charge of our household, I have the responsibility (privilege) of bathing our children nightly and saying their nightly prayers with them. I believe that participation of the father in these areas are essential to the health and well being of children as well as the health of the family unit and marriage. When I look into the eyes of my wife and my children, I know that I am rich." Mitch was inspired by retired Court of Appeals Judge Mary Libby Payne while in law school and became an officer of the Christian Legal Society under her direction. He has continued to participate in the Christian Legal Society attending National meetings in San Antonio, TX and Chicago, IL. Mitch and Sloane have encouraged Law Students to participate in this organization made of Christian lawyers. "Obtaining the skills of a lawyer can be used for good or evil. The practice of law is a privilege which must be tempered with wisdom and discretion for the right causes. I believe that CLS helps attorneys and law students focus on their basic beliefs and is an excellent tool to make sure its members don't lose focus while representing their clients' causes." Mitch was appointed to the Board of Bar Examiners by Supreme Court Justice Jim Smith where he wrote and graded the Constitutional Law and Criminal Law portions of the bar exam until resigning last year. He currently serves on the Ethics Committee of the Mississippi State Bar by appointment of President Don Dornan. Mitch and Sloane are members of Crossgates Baptist Church in Brandon, Mississippi and regularly attend Ridgcrest Baptist Church in Madison.

 

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