Tom Rowley has nearly 30 years experience in the economic and community development arena--from policy research and analysis to outreach to on-the-ground practice. He comes to Roanoke from Oregon, where he served as a Regional Development Officer with the State's Business Development Department. In that role, he managed a three-county portfolio of business recruitment, retention and expansion and municipal infrastructure finance. Prior to that, he served as the Bend Area Director with Economic Development for Central Oregon. His work experience also includes stops at the US Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service, the University of Kentucky's TVA Rural Studies Program and the Rural Policy Research Institute at the Universities of Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa State. He also ran a consultancy and co-founded and led the US wing of an international nature conservation nonprofit. Tom has a masters degree in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas. Tom and his wife, Maria, have two teenage sons and one Labrador Retriever and are thrilled to be returning to Virginia to be near family and friends (as well as national forests, fishing streams and golf courses).