In recognition of her commitment to the businesses and townspeople of Kilmarnock, Susan Cockrell has been entrusted with new authority.
On July 3, Town Manager Tom Saunders announced the promotion of Cockrell, formerly the Assistant Town Manager, to Deputy Town Manager.
“It may not sound like much of a change, but a Deputy Manager is empowered and authorized to do things in the Town Manager’s absence that an Assistant Manager is not,” said Saunders, who added on July 8 that Cockrell can do anything that Saunders can do as far as signing work orders, handling personnel matters, dealing with emergencies and other duties.
“On a day-to-day basis it will not be noticeable, but in the event of my absence from town- say I’m on a cruise and unavailable for a day or so, or any number of situations in which I’m out of touch but something must be done – a broken water main, for instance – she can handle it on her own authority, legally and without question,” said Saunders.
“This change in title not only recognizes Susan’s important contribution to our daily operation and the leadership role she has played in several recent projects, but it puts the town ‘s administration on a better footing any time I am out of town or unavailable,” he added. “If I am struck by lightning or go on a trip, Town Hall won’t miss a beat. Susan will see to it that all of the town’s operational divisions – Police, Administration and Public Utilities – continue without a pause.
“She’s always had the ability; now she has the authority,” Saunders continued.
Cockrell said she was “lucky to do what I do” and added she was “happy to do it” for the citizens and businesses of Kilmarnock.
“If this makes things seamless in the event that our town manager is unavailable for whatever reason, then that’s what we want for them, too,” said Cockrell. “We don’t want for there to be any confusion about what’s happening or how decisions are going to get made.”
Cockrell said she appreciated the town’s vote of confidence in her abilities.
“I’m just very fortunate to have the role that I have with the town, and I’m delighted to do it,” she said.
Cockrell initially joined the Town of Kilmarnock in 2007 as Director of Community Development. She served as the town’s liaison with the town’s business community and chambers of commerce.
In 2010, Cockrell was named Assistant Town Manager and since then became involved in the recent revision of the town’s charter, the conversion of the town’s accounting software to a new system earlier this year and the recent move of Town Hall to 1 North Main St. at the corner of West Church Street and Main Street in the heart of downtown Kilmarnock.
“Susan knows how to get things done and how to get others to get things done,” said Saunders. “She’s a tremendous asset to the town and to the area, and we’re just really lucky to have her on our team.”
Although she grew up in Virginia Beach, Cockrell has family roots in the Northern Neck, as her parents were from Northumberland County, and returned to her family home in Heathsville in 2006 with her husband, John Mulholland.
Cockrell holds a Bachelors of Science in Business from the College of William and Mary and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.