Spectrum Logo
A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

University appoints economic-development officer

By Catherine Doss

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 22 - February 28, 1997

Virginia Tech has named John S. Phillips, a former New River Valley banking official, to coordinate its economic-development efforts. Phillips comes to the university from First National Bank in Christiansburg where he served as vice president for commercial banking.

"We are pleased to have someone of John's caliber with us as we move ahead with our commitment to bolster the university's economic-development initiatives," said Tech President Paul Torgersen.

As economic-development officer, Phillips will coordinate university programs designed to enhance economic development across the state. He will establish a visible point of access for external corporations and organizations to provide information and follow-up on requests for assistance and will work to form beneficial alliances between Virginia Tech faculty members, students, and programs and businesses, governments, and industry. Phillips will report to the university's vice provost for outreach.

The newly created position was announced last October in a statement by Torgersen that addressed the university's plans for bolstering economic development. At that time, Torgersen also announced the formation of an external Economic Development Advisory Committee and an internal Economic Development Council, both designed to raise the awareness of the importance of assisting businesses, industries, and communities across the state. These two groups will review current initiatives supporting economic development and recommend programs that enhance public and private-sector economic development.

"The significant number of economic-development activities within the university, along with the expectations of our external constituencies, demands a more coordinated approach to economic development at the university level, "Torgersen said. "Our goal is to share more effectively the fruits of our research and education to enable the commonwealth and its citizens to succeed and prosper in the face of a rapidly changing world."

Phillips brings to Virginia Tech nine years of experience in banking, serving the financial needs of businesses ranging from start-ups to large corporations. He successfully established a new line of business for First National Bank, anew private and commercial banking center at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, and obtained and brokered Small Business Administration and other guaranteed and direct loans.

Phillips is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and received a masters degree in business administration from Virginia Tech's R.B. Pamplin College of Business.

"I'm excited about the number and range of opportunities for Tech to assist in economic development across Virginia," Phillips said. "This is an important mission of the university, and I look forward to building mutually beneficial partnerships."

For more information about economic development initiatives at Virginia Tech, call Phillips at 1-2335.