Board members of the Yalobusha County Economic Development District (YCEDD) officially elected Bob Tyler as director of the district during a Wednesday, December 19 meeting. Tyler had initially served as chairman of the nine-person board – and was later appointed interium director earlier in the month as the fledgling entity gets up to speed.
YCEDD Vice-Chairman Eddie Ray made the announcement during a supervisor meeting held the same morning. Ray also announced that Walt Moore, an Oakland farmer, will now serve as chairman of the YCEDD.
One of the first orders of business for the YCEDD had been to hire a director, and supervisors had suggested a January hiring date which would allow the director to make contacts during the 2008 legislative session in Jackson.
Ray told supervisors that Jan Dean Wortham, a Coffeeville resident, would contining serving as secretary/treasurer for the YCEDD board. The YCEDD was appointed in 2007, with five appointments coming from the county, one appointment coming from each of the three municipalities in Yalobusha and an at-large selection.
Tyler’s position as director will be the only paid YCEED, each of the nine appointees are not compensated for their work. His appointment leaves a vacancy on the board which will be filled by Water Valley Mayor Bill Norris.
Tyler also spoke to supervisors in December 19 meeting.
“We want to let the folks who have businesses in this county know that we are thinking about them,” Tyler said.
He touched on one specific business propect that he already made contact with
“There is a company in Tupelo that is expanding,” Tyler said. He said he had taken company officials to various locations all over the county.
Tyler also announced that the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Park’s visitor center will open in March. The visitor center is located at the new fish hatchery.
Tyler said billboards will be installed on I-55, north and south of the hathcery, which is located just below the dam off I-55 at the Enid Lake exit.
Tyler is a familiar figure in Yalobusha County. He is best known for his coaching career, where he started in 1955 at Water Valley High School. The pinnacle of coaching years was in 1973, where he led the Mississippi State Bulldogs to a 9 – 3 season and in 1974 with a Sun Bowl victory over North Carolina.
In 1992, Tyler was appointed by Governor Kirk Fordice as Director of Parks with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. He worked in this position for four years, and worked another four and a half years as deputy director of the department.
He left the agency in 2000 where he coached for three more years, before returning to the MDWFP as a consultant.