Citizen of the Year named at RiverDays

Jill Cochran isn’t from New Richmond, but she said as soon as she came to the small village she knew it was the place she wanted to raise her children and establish roots.

“There is just a great sense of community,” Cochran said about the village. “That small village atmosphere I think has given my kids a great foundation.”

And while the village has done a lot for Cochran and her family, she has done a lot to help improve the village, which is why she was named the 2011 Citizen of the Year.

“Jill was chosen because she has continuously dedicated her time and energies to the village, specifically our youth,” Mayor Ramona Carr said.

Cochran, interim executive director of The Boys and Girls Club in New Richmond, is also a member of Renaissance New Richmond and the New Richmond Parks and Recreation Commission.

“When Jill greets you her smile is the first thing that you see,” Mayor Carr said. “She is truly one who cares for others and the village of New Richmond.”

She has helped build playgrounds in the village, assisted with the downtown revitalization efforts, helped coordinate the 5k race for RiverDays, put together school supplies for the ReadyFest back to school program and much more.

“I got started by going to an event with my children and just offering to help,” Cochran said about how she got involved in the village. “That led to more invitations to other events.”

What she didn’t expect was to be recognized for her efforts.

“I was totally surprised,” Cochran said about being named citizen of the year. “It was a great honor for doing something I totally love. I didn’t see it coming.”

Village officials recognized Cochran during RiverDays on Aug. 20. She will have a bench dedicated to her in Rose Vesper Park and will have her name added to the citizen of the year board in village hall.

Cochran said there are so many dedicated people in the village that it makes it easy to get involved, and she is already looking forward to new things she can do for the village.

“It is a wonderful place to live, so it has made it easy to do all of the things I have done,” Cochran said. “It has just been a pleasure.”