Tryon hires new town manager

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Town of Tryon will have a new manager who plans to begin employment the middle of August. 

Tryon Town Council hired Zach Ollis, who is currently the town manager of Wilson’s Mills, located in Johnston County, N.C.

Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples made the announcement of the new hire on Tuesday, July 12 and said all council members chose Ollis out of the applications. Tryon advertised for the position twice this year. With the first advertisement the town received 35 applications and 5-6 applications after the second advertisement, according to Peoples.

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Peoples said he likes Ollis’ enthusiasm and that he has the degrees Tryon was looking for, including a master’s in public administration.

“There was just a comfort there and a strength or a confidence (with Ollis),” Peoples said. “All five of us had the same feeling. He was the only person that was 5-0.”

Peoples said Ollis seems to be good with budgets, has experience, asked questions and had done a lot of research on Tryon.

“He wants to get on the street and talk to people,” Peoples said. “I think he’ll be a good fit.”

Zach Ollis

Zach Ollis

Ollis has been the town manager for Wilson’s Mills for about two years and was born and raised in Charlotte. He graduated from Appalachian State University for both his undergraduate and graduate degrees. Prior to working for Wilson’s Mills, Ollis worked at group homes as well as a homeless shelter in Boone.

Wilson’s Mills has about 2,300 residents and is located about 30 miles southeast of Raleigh.

Ollis said he plans to move to Tryon and wants to be close enough to walk to work if possible.

Ollis, 30, said Tryon is a beautiful town and he wanted to go somewhere that has the quality of living he’s looking for. He said he loves the outdoors, especially fishing and hiking so Tryon is a perfect fit for his lifestyle.

He said Tryon’s downtown has a lot of potential and with its close proximity to Asheville, Hendersonville and the Upstate of South Carolina, it has the potential to be a community that brings young people here to live. Ollis is also interested in Tryon’s many festivals, music and art.

“Another thing that really drew me to Tryon was the arts community,” Ollis said. “It reminds me of my years in Boone. It creates a more well-rounded community.”

Ollis said Tryon is already unique and can show that through its buildings and through its history.

“It offers a lot of things other places don’t,” Ollis said. “I think if I can get in there and be successful I can get more people to notice Tryon. I’m excited.”

Ollis plans to begin his employment in Tryon on Aug. 15. He said he thinks Tryon is a place he can be for a long time and is “looking forward to the adventure.”

Ollis is being hired after Tryon Town Council decided to split the joint position of town manager/fire chief earlier this year. Town manager/fire chief Joey Davis has agreed to continue as Tryon’s fire chief.