Salem names new economic development director
Tommy Miller has spent past 5 years with VEDP
Salem’s new economic development director, Tommy Miller, says he has “the entrepreneurial gene,” a trait that should come in handy with his new role.
Miller established Richmond Brewery Tours, a venture he ran from 2012 through 2020 to highlight the burgeoning craft beer industry.
“Any entrepreneurial venture should be both calculated and gut driven,” he said in a news release announcing his hire. “I certainly have an entrepreneurial gene in my DNA, and I am always interested in seeing what the next best venture is in the market.”
Miller, who begins April 18, comes to Salem from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, where he spent five years as a senior business investment manager.
“We are excited to attract a candidate of Tommy’s caliber to Salem,” said Salem City Manager Jay Taliaferro in a statement. “He has a great skill set and work-related experiences on many different levels. Plus, he has the enthusiasm needed to enhance Salem’s business and industry-friendly reputation.”
Before joining VEDP, Miller was economic development director in Orange County, where he managed 10 existing and new business development projects that resulted in nearly 600 jobs and more than $37 million in new capital investment in Orange County, according to the news release from Salem. He has worked as a marketing analyst and existing business manager in Hanover County and spent three years developing new businesses in the Franklin and Southampton County area.
“I’ve intentionally guided my career for new experiences related to all levels of economic development ranging from rural to suburban, local to state, existing business outreach to business attraction,” Miller said. “All of these experiences have helped open my network and expand my knowledge of how to provide the best resources and services.”
Miller earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he studied real estate and urban land development as an undergraduate. His master’s is in urban and regional planning.
“I have been given the opportunity to work with firms ranging from one-person startups to global Fortune 500 companies and industries ranging from life sciences to automotive,” he says. “Now, I really look forward to engaging with my new team members in Salem to see how we can work together to support the health and livelihood of the community.”