Wayne Strickland will retire in June as Executive Director of the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission after 42 years. Wayne joined the Regional Commission, then the Fifth District Planning District Commission, in 1979 as a Regional Planner. In 1981, he was promoted to the Chief of Land Use and Environmental Planning and in 1987 became Executive Director of the Regional Commission where he has served until his retirement this year.
During his time at the Commission, Wayne has participated in numerous business and civic activities in the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany region. He has served on the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council, the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce, Freedom First Credit Union, the Roanoke Valley Chapter of Habitat for Humanity, and the Cabell Brand Center. Additionally, Mr. Strickland was a member of the President’s Advisory Council at Hollins University, and a member of the City of Roanoke’s Career & Technical Education Advisory Council. His past civic affiliations include: Past Chairman of the Council of Community Services and Past President of the Arts Council of the Blue Ridge.
Along with these civic activities, Wayne has assumed leadership roles in various professional organizations including serving as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO), Chairman of the Southeast Regional Directors Institute, President of the Development District Association of Appalachia, President of the Rural Planning Caucus of Virginia, President of the Southwest Virginia Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration, and Vice-President of the Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association.
“I am very grateful to have been a part of the Regional Commission for most of our 50 years of service to the region. I hope that my leadership has helped shape the region into a better place for our citizens and businesses.” said Strickland.
“On behalf of the Regional Commission, I would like to thank Wayne for his service to the commission and his continued devotion to making the region a better place for everyone to live, work, and play.” said Commission Chair, Mayor Bradley Grose. “Wayne has always conducted himself in a gentlemanly manner as he has provided steady leadership for the Regional Commission. Wayne’s leadership, intelligence, and effectiveness are highly respected in our region and throughout the state. I have appreciated the opportunity to work with someone of his caliber and integrity.”
Roanoke County Board of Supervisors member, and Vice Chair of the Commission, Phil North noted that many key regional initiatives had their start at the Commission during Wayne’s tenure. “The Greenway Commission, the Western Virginia Water Authority, and the Broadband Authority have been supported by the Regional Commission in numerous ways since their inception,” North said. “Wayne and his staff have always been responsive to the needs of the Commission’s member governments throughout the region.”
“While the decision to retire was a hard one, I am confident in the work the staff has done and will continue to do under new leadership,” said Strickland. “I have enjoyed my time working with all our local governments and look forward to hearing about the continued good work of the Commission in our region.”
- Submitted by Tim Pohlad-Thomas, Outreach and Communications Specialist