ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) – Starting in June, the Town of Abingdon will have a new town manager.
In January 2022, former town manager Jimmy Morani resigned, prompting a nationwide search. Following that search, the town council selected Mike Cochran.
Cochran currently serves as city manager in Hanahan, South Carolina, but as he told News Channel 11, he fell in love with the Tri-Cities region after vacationing in the Appalachian Mountains for years.
“South Carolina is great, but I’m in the low country, which means really humid, and it keeps getting increasingly more and more traffic oriented,” Cochran said. “And while I still love the low country, I’ve always loved the mountains. And so I happen to see that Abingdon had been looking, and I looked where it was at and I was like ‘wow.'”
Cochran, a graduate of Western Carolina University, said he was drawn to the town by its beautiful parks and opportunities.
Goal-wise, Cochran hopes to develop the town’s economy along Main Street and rebuild Abingdon’s tourism industry after the havoc wreaked by COVID-19.
“I know there’s some opportunity for some business redevelopment and some further redevelopment along the main street,” Cochran said. “And those are all things that are very viable in that area. I mean, if you see that tourism is a huge part of the community and particularly in the post-COVID era and trying to redevelop some of the businesses that weren’t able to sustain the COVID situation.”
Cochran describes himself as a “consensus builder” and “idea guy” who wants to see Abingdon flourish and thrive.
His first day on the job will be June 13.