Hired as City Manager of Covington on Nov. 8, Allen Dressler has been employed by the City of Covington since March 1, 1993, the year he was hired as director of parks and recreation.
Dressler remarked, “I started working for the City of Covington in 1993.”
He continued, “Now that I’m city manager, I still oversee the parks and recreation department.”
The position of director of parks and recreation requires the director to manage parks, playgrounds, travel sports tournaments and city beautification projects.
For nearly 30 years, Dressler, a 1980 graduate of Covington High School where he lettered in baseball, basketball and football, has worked with area youth and developed recreational sports programs, improving and adding to recreational facilities.
The pickleball courts added recently serve as an example of his leadership in staying on the cutting edge of the trend in sports.
The son of D.L. Dressler, a professional horticulturalist who was employed by the White Sulphur Springs Retail Nursery before being hired as groundskeeper superintendent at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College (renamed Mountain Gateway Community College on July 1), Allen was inspired by his father.
He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in forest resource management at VPI (renamed Virginia Tech) in 1984, and went to work in Salem for LawnMark, a national professional lawn maintenance company that specializes in lawn care and fertilizers.
Allen remembered, “I was hired by David Dew, the city manager of Covington at the time in 1993.”
Amelia Estridge Dressler, Allen’s mother, has seen Allen and his three younger brothers all become successful: W.L., superintendent of groundskeeping at Mountain Gateway Community College; Steve, an employee of the Roanoke City Schools; and Neal, an employee at WestRock.
“Over the years, I’ve served on four occasions as interim city manager and interim director of the public works department,” Allen recalled.
B.B. Bryant, Allen’s high school teammate in basketball and lifelong friend, served as interim city manager until Allen returned from a short vacation to assume his new duties as city manager, ones like directing the “Lighting of the Christmas Tree Ceremony” on Sun., Nov. 27, in front of the Covington City Hall.
As for moving forward as city manager, Allen said, “Moving in a positive direction is important so we meet the needs of our citizens.”
“It is important to maintain a positive rapport with our staff,” he continued.
Allen noted, “Their daily hard work is critical to serving our citizens.”
In terms of working with other localities, Allen observed, “Our working relationship with localities and area businesses is critical to the success of Covington and the Alleghany Highlands.”
Allen is married to Machelle Watts Dressler, and he has two stepchildren, Beth Woodson and Kenny Farren. He is an avid Green Bay Packer fan, and his favorite country music star is George Strait.
Having gained valuable experience while serving as interim director of public works and interim city manager while continuing to maintain his position as director of parks and recreation, Allen has “hit the ground running” during his first month in office as the Covington City Manager.
“I appreciate the vote of confidence that city council has in me as their city manager, and I look forward to moving Covington and the Alleghany Highlands in a positive direction respective to my college education motto,” Allen revealed.
He concluded that the motto, UT PROSIM, is Latin for “That I may serve.”
For nearly 30 years, Allen has played a vital role in developing Covington’s recreational facilities, organizing tournaments and events at the Jackson River Sports Complex and River Rock Amphitheatre that draw thousands to Covington and creating recreational opportunities for youth in the Alleghany Highlands.