McNeal dives right into Vicksburg community

Published 7:47 pm Monday, September 24, 2018

If you’re going to live in a community, Tyler McNeal believes, you need to make an active, personal investment in it.

A commercial relationship manager associate and assistant vice president at Trustmark Bank, McNeal moved to Vicksburg four years ago. It was a move that plunged him head-first into the community.

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“I’m originally from Meridian; my wife was born and raised in Vicksburg. She brought us back here because she wanted to be close to her side of the family,” he said. “When we came over in 2014, I came to work for United Way (of West Central Mississippi); that’s when I got involved in United Way — as an employee. I was the director of marketing for a year there.”

He left United Way after Trustmark offered him a position with the bank.

“I had previously been in banking; I was in banking 5-6 years in Meridian. It (the job) was just a better fit, since I had been in banking before, but I enjoyed my time at United Way and I wanted to stay involved and do anything I could to help them and the community.

“I felt like it was good thing and I wanted to stay involved, so I continued to do whatever they wanted me to do.”

United Way, he said, “Has their finger on the pulse of the city. They know what the needs are, they know everybody in the city, because everybody has connections to United Way, it seems like.

“They’re helping people get to solve problems for the community, see that the needs are and try to come up with solutions to solve those needs, while connecting with different parts and different pieces of the city.”

Involved in UW

Presently, McNeal is United Way’s school campaign chairman for this year. He is also a member of the Excel by 5 Committee.

As the School Committee chairman, he is in charge of United Way’s campaigns at the schools.

“They asked me (to be chairman), and with my previous ties to United Way, I wanted to do something, and this seemed like a good fit.”

He oversees the fundraising activities at the schools, “Whether it’s employee campaigns, or just generating excitement from the schools if they want to do fundraisers. We’re doing a mascot challenge this year between each school, where they can vote by donating on behalf of their school, and the winning school will get money toward improving their mascot and improving their library.”

The Excel by 5 Committee, he said, is responsible for making sure Warren County is Excel by 5 certified, adding there is a checklist of things that must be done that will get the county prepared for handling and improving the lives of children ages 0-5.

“The committee is in charge of completing that checklist, whether it be requirements for daycare, hosting different educational seminars for parents, or providing parents with information on how to improve the child’s life; different activities they can do. It’s a whole different variety of things.

“I have four young children under 4 so I have a passion for helping children,” McNeal said. “I want to see my children succeed, and anything I can be involved with that I would not pass getting involved. I want to be hands-on to know I can improve anything that can involve my children. Why not?”

Besides his work with United Way and Excel by 5, McNeal is president of Vicksburg Young Professionals, an organization that brings together the young professionals in the community to network, and provides them opportunities to connect with different people and learn about what’s going on in the city.

“We provide them with lunch-and-learns, so they can hear from elected officials (and) business owners, how to be successful,” he said. “We try to have networking events where they can get together with other young professionals.

He and his family attend Triumph Church, where his wife assists with the church’s children’s ministry, and is a member of the Vicksburg Rotary Club.

“I was asked to join by our president, Tom Kendall,” he said. “ I knew from my experience in Meridian that Rotary has a big involvement in the city. So far it’s been great.

“It’s great to work for Trustmark; it really supports us being in the community, so I’m really thankful they allow us to do those sorts of things. Our customers are the community, so why wouldn’t we want to be involved with them and if we can help do something to that.”

McNeal said his work in the community is responsibility.

“If you’re living here, you want to invest yourself in the community so you can improve it. I don’t think it’s right to voice opinions or concerns if you’re not actively involved in trying to better the community.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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