Harrell Announces Run For Tax Commissioner

Mark Harrell, a lifelong resident of Decatur County, has announced his plans to run for Tax Commissioner in the upcoming election. Harrell has an extensive business background including banking, real estate, and varied business interests and experience. When asked about running for Tax Commissioner, Mark provided the following statement:

My name is Mark Harrell, and I’m committed to making your voice heard in Decatur County. Like you, I want to play an active role in making Decatur County a safer, better place to raise my children, run businesses and provide jobs.  Together we can forge a future filled with unlimited promise.   I believe a modern, efficient Tax Commissioners office can do its part to carry on and improve  the great quality of life we enjoy,  With your help,  I plan to  mold  the Tax Commissioners office to the best it can be for  current Decatur County citizens but also to future industry.   How can the Tax Assessors office help attract industry and jobs?  Simple – offer our services friendly, timely, and efficiently.  We must make our services not only available in person but also bring us to the top of online services which industry and businesses expect.  I have the education, experience, and drive to take us there.  


Mark was born and raised in Bainbridge and serves as a Deacon at Grace Church.   He grew up learning the value of hard work from his father Jimmy.  Mark worked in many areas of Southwest Georgia Oil Company (SWGO) from the age of 12.  He regularly worked as a full service gas station attendant, deli cook, and worked with equipment and did store maintenance.   He graduated from Bainbridge High School and then earned a degree from Florida State University in Finance.  He began his career with his father at SWGO as its Accountant and Comptroller.   Mark used the knowledge from his teen years of the inner workings of SWGO and led the conversion of the company from a manual accounting system to a store level computer accounting system alongside a home office computer accounting system.  He implemented this system while managing over 250 employees.  Many cost savings were generated and a structure was created which allowed SWGO to continue to grow.   

 In 2002 Mark started DeHildren Realty and currently serves as Broker/owner of this 14 year old company.   He was a Commercial Lender /VP of Bank of the Ozarks for 3 years during the realty slowdown in 2011 and his wife, Lauren, took over the leadership at DeHildren Realty.  He returned to DeHildren in 2014 and his wife Lauren began her current employment with Bainbridge State College as Executive Director of Institutional Advancement.   

 The experience Mark has that qualifies him to be your next tax commissioner:

• BS degree in Finance from Florida State University
• Extensive accounting experience 
• Implementation of software and accounting systems for multiple businesses
• Management of over 250 employees  
• Commercial banking 
• Real estate
• Served 12 years on Bainbridge City Council and 4 years as Bainbridge’s mayor          

 Harrell believes these experiences have given him the unique advantage of education plus real life know-how that will allow him to bring the Tax Collectors Office of Decatur County to be one of the top in the state. 

Civic contributions: 

• Deacon Grace Church 2013- present
• Small group Bible study leader
• Past President of Bainbridge Rotary Club 1994, Treasurer 1993 and Secretary 1992
• Paul Harris Fellow
• Leadership Georgia Graduate 1996
• Grace Christian Academy Board Chair 2013-2016
• Coaching YMCA basketball and football 
• Coaching Bainbridge Leisure service tee ball
• Coaching middle school basketball

 Why do I want to be your Tax Commissioner?

 I have always enjoyed bringing the organizations I work for to the leading edge of technology and service to my customers at an efficient and competitive price.  People often question why I am willing to put in the long hours necessary to help facilitate these conversions.  The answer is simple– I really enjoy accounting and the reward of seeing the end product though generating team work in the organization I am leading.

 I am excited at the prospect of doing that for my home county.  I have seen the Tax Commissioner office both from the perspective of a citizen and as an information user through Banking and Realty.   I know what our citizens desire and what our businesses and industries need to thrive.   If we want to attract industry and jobs, our community needs to be cutting edge in all areas.  I can help bring the Tax Commissioners office to that cutting edge.

A website to support his candidacy will be available at  www.electmarkharrell.com

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