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Brownsburg Taps Geans, Cook to be Co-Interim Town Managers

The Brownsburg Town Council accepted the resignation of Town Manager Jeffery A. Eder at its meeting on Thursday, July 8 and named Assistant Town Manager Al Geans and Economic Development Director Deb Cook as Co-Interim Town Managers. The two started their new duties immediately.

“In Deb and Al we realized that we have two very strong leaders in our community currently,” said Town Council President Travis Tschaenn in making the announcement. “We’re trying to maximize their talents and we look forward to their leadership.”

Geans and Cook joined the Town of Brownsburg on the same day: Jan. 6, 2020. Geans is the first Black man and Cook the first woman to lead the Town in this capacity.

“I look forward to serving the Town and I am committed to doing an excellent job,” said Geans. He and his wife, Tonya, moved from Cincinnati to Brownsburg before purchasing a home in Avon. Geans has spent much of the past year and a half getting involved in both the Brownsburg and Hendricks County communities. Since joining the staff, Geans has evaluated the effectiveness of each department and worked with the Town’s Human Resources Manager to develop a process to help employees set and meet department goals. He also has initiated a diversity, equity and inclusion effort that is in its early stages.

“I feel good about the team we are building,” said Geans. “There’s been a lot of change and staff has managed this well. I appreciate how patient staff have been. I’ve asked staff to trust the process and they’ve done it. I believe this will lead to long-term success for our Town.”

Cook and her husband, Jim Staton, relocated to Brownsburg from Kokomo. Cook’s impressive career includes serving 19 years in the City of Kokomo’s Department of Development. Her roles included working as a Planner/Community Specialist, Development Manager and ultimately Development Director. In 2012, Cook became the CEO of Kokomo’s Housing Authority.

Since joining the Town of Brownsburg, Cook has created a small business grant program funded with EDIT and a Duke Energy Foundation grant to support businesses affected by COVID-19. The program awarded $24,868 to local businesses to purchase personal protective equipment, sanitizing equipment and other items to protect employees and customers.

Since January of this year, Cook has ushered in $71.3 million in estimated capital investment that could result in 600 full-time jobs. The average estimated salary for these newly created jobs is $52,275.

Cook is currently working closely with the Hendricks County Economic Development Partnership on a Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) opportunity that would also include Montgomery, Putnam and Boone counties.

Cook assured the Town Council she will continue to work passionately to increase economic development while in her new role. “I appreciate the opportunity,” she said. “I look forward to continuing to fuel business development while working alongside Al.”

The two will split supervision of the Town’s departments, with Cook overseeing Economic Development, Development Services, Human Resources, Community Engagement and Parks, while Geans will supervise Capital Projects, Streets, Fleet, Water Utilities (wastewater and water) and public safety.

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 FM WYRZ and WYRZ.org. Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at brian@wyrz.org.

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