Reception for Mayor Harrell

Published 6:46 pm Tuesday, December 29, 2009

After a long tenure of service on the Bainbridge City Council, Mayor Mark Harrell will be recognized for his efforts on behalf of “The Oak City” and its citizens.

The public is invited to attend a reception in honor of Mayor Harrell on the occasion of his retirement from public office on Tuesday, Jan. 5, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce building in the Earle May Boat Basin.

Harrell, who succeeded longtime Mayor Bill K. Reynolds in 2006, did not seek re-election this past fall. Harrell, who is married and has three children, said the primary reason behind his decision not to run again was to spend more time with his family. He is a founding partner in and the current owner of Dehildren Realty.

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The reception will be hosted by the City of Bainbridge in appreciation for Harrell’s 16 years of public service in Decatur County. Please contact City Hall at 248-2000 with any questions regarding the event.

Harrell is dedicated

Harrell, 45, was born in Bainbridge, his father’s hometown, and moved to the city with his family when he was 2 years old.

Harrell is a graduate of Bainbridge High School and graduated from Florida State University in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in Finance. After graduation, Harrell returned to Bainbridge along with his brother, Mike, to work for their father, the late Jimmy Harrell, who founded Southwest Georgia Oil Company in the late 1950s.

In 1990, Mark and Mike bought Southwest Georgia Oil Company from their father.

Harrell was elected to the at-large Bainbridge City Council seat in November 1993, after former councilman and attorney Paul Fryer decided not to run again, and began serving in 1994.

In 1999, Harrell sold his interest in Southwest Georgia Oil Company to Mike and began working in the field of real estate investing.

In addition to 12 years on the council and four as mayor, Harrell previously served as chairman of the Bainbridge Tree Committee and has served on the Decatur County Board of Health.

He has also contributed his leadership through involvement with the Memorial Hospital Foundation, the Bainbridge College Foundation, the local YMCA, the Rotary Club and the Bainbridge First United Methodist Church.

In 2007, he received the prestigious Certificate of Recognition from the Georgia Municipal Training Institute at the Georgia Municipal Association’s Annual Mayors’ Day Conference in Atlanta.