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City Manager's Blog

Learn about the City of Roanoke from the City Manager's point of view.

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Jan 14

The Week Ahead

Posted on January 14, 2019 at 4:39 PM by Whitney Slightham

Often on Sunday evening my wife will ask what the week ahead has in store for me.  Most often, my answer is meetings.  The upcoming week is no different, a plethora of meetings lies ahead.  Each of these meetings is intended to initiate something, advance something, or give me the opportunity to meet someone new or learn something I was not aware of.  I thought I would, with this post, share a bit about the week.  

Starting Something

Mid-week I will participate in the Valleys Innovations Council Regional Entrepreneurship Summit and “Star Tank” event.  Modeled after the television show Shark Tank, it offers regional entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their ideas to local investors. Businesses representing retail, technology, fashion, food products, and the service industry are anticipated to participate.  The event also includes a keynote presentation by Thomas Osha, Senior Vice President of Innovation and Economic Development with Wexford Science & Technology, LLC.

Also during the week I will be meeting with a significant regional business interested in establishing a presence here in Roanoke—that one includes dinner!  I always enjoy sharing with others the many wonderful opportunities our city offers.

Keeping Moving

Many of the meetings this week are oriented around progress on initiatives underway.  These include meetings on broadband technology, regional tourism, the innovation corridor, water and wastewater, downtown wayfinding, industrial development, and mental health.

One is of particular significance.  Mid-week I have the opportunity to join in a celebration of employees that have served our city for many years, recognizing their tenure and contribution.  It is always a delight to celebrate the work these folks do for all of us.

Meeting People and Learning Something New

I have a couple of meetings with residents who are unhappy with one or more of the services we provide.  While it’s never pleasant to hear that someone thinks you have fallen short, it is a necessary part of the job.  Such meetings afford me the opportunity to meet someone new, hear their concerns, share my perspective with them, and seek solutions satisfactory to all involved.  Such meetings may not always result in folks getting all they had hoped, but at least they know they have been heard and hopefully feel they can bring such concerns to the Municipal Building anytime they feel it is necessary.

So there you have it, a week’s worth of meetings—25 as of current scheduling to be exact!  Each an important opportunity to get something meaningful accomplished.  I hope you enjoy your week as much as I am certain I will mine.

- Bob Cowell

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