CHRISTIANSBURG — Montgomery County Administrator Craig Meadows will retire Nov. 3.
The county announced Meadows’ upcoming retirement Tuesday. The board of supervisors hired the county government leader in August 2009.
“Craig is an absolute champion for Montgomery County,” said board of supervisors Chairwoman Sherri Blevins. “His leadership has been and will continue to be valued by both the board and employees. Montgomery County has been extremely fortunate to have such an exemplary leader like Craig. We will all miss him greatly, but we wish him and his family the very best in his retirement.”
Meadows, 62, also serves in leadership roles with state and national organizations, including the Virginia Association of Counties, the Virginia Local Government Management Association and the International City/County Management Association.
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Meadows serves in local leadership roles on the New River Valley Water Authority, the Western Virginia Regional Jail Authority and the Economic Development Authority, among a number of other entities.
Among Meadows’ other functions the county highlighted included his role in the New River Valley Regional Public Health Task Force, a group formed in 2020 to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The group has included both public and private health officials, first responders, educational leaders and other local government representatives.
“I have enjoyed my time as county administrator in Montgomery County. Our community really is a special place, with a rich history and a very exciting future,” said Meadows, who added that he and his wife consider the area home and that they will remain engaged in the community as they enjoy retirement.
Meadows, during his 14 years on the job, has led the locality through some significant growth, but also a few tragic events “with grace and strength,” according to the county announcement. He facilitated more than 20 new construction and renovation projects that addressed education, public safety, recreation and key infrastructure needs, according to the announcement.
He also continues to focus on economic development and growing and expanding businesses in the community.
Some of the latest data show the county during Meadows’ time as administrator beginning to overtake Roanoke as the largest municipality by population in Southwest Virginia. The county is one of the few localities in Southwest Virginia to have gained population since the 2020 census, according to the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.
Other supervisors commented on Meadows’ service.
“As soon as we met Craig, we knew he was exactly what Montgomery County needed,” said Supervisor Mary Biggs, who is the only current supervisor who was on the board when it hired its administrator. “He has always been accessible and approachable. He is a wonderful collaborator with local, regional and even national partners and colleagues.”
Meadows’ service and leadership in outside organizations has brought recognition and increased knowledge to the county, Biggs said.
Among the specific tasks Meadows undertook during his tenure, the county pointed to his organization of an unprecedented regional forum during the summer of 2019 that allowed government, higher education and health care leaders to open a dialogue about how localities can be part of the planning and anticipated growth of Carilion Clinic and Virginia Tech.
Meadows already had extensive experience in municipal management prior to joining Montgomery County.
Meadows served as interim town manager of Red Springs, North Carolina. Before that, he served as city manager of Monroe, North Carolina, from 2005 to 2009 and as city manager of Bedford from 1998 to 2005.
Meadows, who’s a certified public accountant, began his career doing accounting work in the private sector for nearly six years following his college graduation, according to the county. He graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s in accounting from Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina.
Meadows is also a graduate of the municipal administration program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Government.
The county’s board of supervisors plans to soon discuss the next steps for finding Meadows’ successor.
Meadows earns a salary of $220,000.