West Virginia Department of Commerce Mary Jo Cochran

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Mary Jo Cochran

Mary Jo Cochran


Insurance agent finds balance between work and life

FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Mary Jo Cochran grew up in Fairmont, W.Va., graduated from Fairmont State University and started her career in the Fairmont State Farm Insurance Claims Office.

Cochran left West Virginia in 2002 to work for State Farm Insurance in Frederick, Md., because she felt there was greater opportunity to advance her career as an injury claims representative, handling automobile accidents. She has been employed with State Farm for nearly nine years and her husband has worked for them for six years. They lived in Hagerstown, Md., for three of those years.

With the arrival of her son, Liam, the importance of family ties grew more important to Cochran.

“As a child I remember being very close and spending a lot of time with my grandparents. My husband and I wanted to give our son the same opportunity,” she said.

“We were able to work with our managers at State Farm to return home to West Virginia, yet continue our careers with the company. We jumped on the chance.”

Cochran and her husband work out of the Fairmont office. “My phone calls are routed through the Frederick and all of my claims work prints in Maryland,” she said.

Cochran explained that State Farm offers opportunities for mobility, great benefits, stability and job security. “Family is important to State Farm. The company understands the balance of work and life. The customer service provides and opportunity to give back to the people,” she explained.

When asked about what qualities about West Virginia attract her to being here, Cochran does not hesitate to answer: “First and foremost is family. West Virginia is a place that still values family, friends and neighbors. One should not underestimate the values of people, the pace and the quality of life, here, compared to other regions.”

Cochran said that Coopers Rock is her favorite place. “I love going there -- especially in the fall during the balloon festival. The colors of the changing leaves and the backdrop of the mountains and the colorful hot air balloons flying overhead are breathtaking.

“Liam loves the hot air balloons. He is amazed at what it takes to get them into the air.”