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    Chris Tyll, 34
    Pat’s Pizza - Old Port

    Chris Tyll began coming to Maine when he was 18, visiting with Annapolis roommate and good friend David Williams of Cumberland. Michigan-born Tyll fell in love with the state, and today, age 34, he remembers that “It was always in the back of my mind, that if I ever had a chance to move here and raise a family ...”

    The opportunity arose following Tyll’s four tours in Iraq and retirement from the Navy. His Naval Academy grad wife, Jen, left her high-powered job in D.C., and they “kinda followed” Williams, a fellow Navy Seal, to Maine.

    Hoping to open their own business, the Tylls did so three years ago, establishing Pat’s Pizza in the Old Port. Last Christmas, the restaurant’s Toys for Tots fundraiser brought in more money in a single day than did anywhere else in Maine. The family element has worked out, too: James is 3, Grace is 2, and Faith 8 weeks.

    Tyll is contributing to his adopted state by using his leadership skills in a number of ways, including involvement with American Legion Post 91, PROPEL, the Maine Restaurant Association and AMVETS Post 2.

    He is a member of Maine’s Commission to Protect the Lives and Health of Members of the state’s Guard, and chairs the new Portland Veterans Network, a Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce program helping veterans back from the Middle East make the transition to civilian life. Tyll, of North Yarmouth, is also running for the state Senate in District 11.

    “Anything I’ve had success in has been because I’ve had a true team making my job easier,” he says. “Whether it’s John and Chris Kyle helping with the Pat’s franchise, or Phil Harriman and Ethan Strimling as part of a strong political support network, I’ve been really fortunate to have great people surrounding me.”

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