Virginia Tech’s new Economic Development Fellow, Thomas L. Harned of Martinsville, Va., will be leading the annual Virginia Institute for Economic Development (VIED) for Virginia Tech.

Virginia Tech's Office of Economic Development hosts the Virginia Institute for Economic Development in partnership with the Virginia Department of Business Assistance, the Virginia Economic Developers Association, and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. Virginia Institute for Economic Development is a basic course in the economic development process and outlines how this process is used to benefit Virginia's cities, countries, and towns in furthering economic growth.

Harned brings a corporate background, a wealth of experience in the field — including in rural/distressed Virginia — and an excellent understanding of economic development to the position that will translate into updated content for Virginia Institute for Economic Development and significant professional contacts within Virginia and beyond.

He recently retired as vice president of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation and previously served as the director of economic development for the City of Martinsville, Va., for over a decade. Harned has extensive experience in the lumber and construction industry in various executive positions. A Certified Economic Developer, he has completed training in the field at Tech’s Virginia Institute for Economic Development, the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He holds a master’s from Duke University and earned his bachelor’s degree at Western Kentucky University.

Harned currently serves on the executive committees of the International Economic Development Council Board of Directors’ and the Virginia Economic Developers Association Board of Directors. Successful projects include establishment of a new business park with a shell building, a new industrial park, a small business incubator, a new Department of Motor Vehicles Customer Service Center, several expansions in Martinsville Industrial Park, a new Farmer’s Market, residential subdivision development, shopping center development, and several redevelopment projects.