Ken joined Botetourt County, Virginia in July 2016 as Director of Economic Development, following seven years as executive director of the Blue Ridge Crossroads Economic Development Authority in southwestern Virginia. Located in the Roanoke Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), Botetourt County is engaged in all facets of economic development, including industrial recruitment and expansion, small business development, and workforce development. Ken’s organizations and their accomplishments have been recognized by the Center for Rural Virginia, Virginia Association of Counties, and Southern Economic Development Council.
Ken’s economic development experience is diverse, ranging from industrial recruitment to downtown revitalization and historic preservation. Ken served on the Virginia Economic Developers Association (VEDA) Board of Directors, as president in 2018, and chaired the Legislative Day committee. In 2017, Governor-Elect Ralph Northam’s Transition Team asked Ken to participate in the Policy Council on Commerce and Trade, which delivered a detailed policy document to the governor at the beginning of his term. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership has asked Ken to serve on its strategic planning and Virginia Business Ready Sites Program committees. In 2018, he was nominated for “Small Business Advocate” with the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Ken has completed the County Administration course and Basic Economic Development Course at the School of Government, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He presents frequently at the Virginia Institute for Economic Development and Virginia Industrial Development Authorities Institute, coordinated by Virginia Tech, and has delivered presentations at the requests of Governors McAuliffe’s and Northam’s administrations.
Previously, Ken served in county and municipal management, attaining International City/County Management Association (ICMA-CM) Credentialed Manager status, and also with a non-profit economic development organization that promoted the White House’s American Heritage Rivers Initiative. He is an Eagle Scout and past president of his Rotary Club. Ken earned an undergraduate degree in history & pre-law and a master degree in public administration from Appalachian State University, where he also taught as an adjunct instructor in political science. And, for the fun of it, he earned a master degree in American history from Emory & Henry College.
Ken is involved in Scouting, currently serving as an assistant scoutmaster for Troop 211 in Daleville, Virginia. Ken and his wife, Melanie, have two children, Sara and Conor, and they reside in Fincastle, VA.