ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. (WNCT) — The Town of Atlantic Beach has a new manager.

Town Council unanimously approved John A. O’Daniel as the new town manager Monday. His first day on the job will be March 6. The town’s current manager, David Walker, is set to end his 42 years of service on March 3.

“John will have some big shoes to fill,” said Mayor A. B. “Trace” Cooper III. “David Walker has been leading Atlantic Beach since 2009 and has overseen one of the most productive and successful stretches of municipal management in our town’s history. David has earned his retirement and is leaving the town in great shape with a strong leadership team and an excellent financial position.

“We had a lot of very talented people apply for our Town Manager position—the Town Council and I are excited to welcome John to the Atlantic Beach team,” Cooper added.

O’Daniel is a graduate of both North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina. He has served in local government for the past 10 years. He started his career in Bladenboro, continuing his service work in Williamston, followed by his most recent term as Town Manager of Richlands, Virginia.

“I have previous experience working for municipalities in the eastern part of North Carolina,” O’Daniel said. “This region faces unique challenges, like preparing for and recovering from hurricanes and floodplain management. The experience I have in these areas will be beneficial long term.”

The town contracted Developmental Associates LLC, a consulting firm out of Chapel Hill, to conduct a nationwide town manager search.