The Botetourt County Board of Supervisors accepted County Administrator Kathleen Guzi’s resignation Wednesday evening following a closed session at Greenfield Education and Training Center.
The board then agreed to hire Gary Larrowe to fill the position. Larrowe has been county administrator for Carroll County for a decade.
Guzi’s resignation is effective November 30. The board also agreed to meet the terms of her current contract, which expires March 30, 2016.
Larrowe will assume the Botetourt job on January 15, 2016 at a salary of $147,000, according to the contract the supervisors approved at the meeting.
Guzi has been county administrator for 3-1/2 years. She said in her resignation letter it was time to explore other options. She is committed to completing three projects before she leaves the job. Those include having a report ready on the board’s Agriculture Study, a report on the Exit 150 Market Study and to finalize the negotiations with the Greater Roanoke Valley Development Foundation to build an industrial development shell building at Botetourt Center at Greenfield.
“Kathleen has done a fantastic job for us the past three and a half years, and we’re sorry to see her go. Her tenure here brought positive changes and was advantageous to the people this county,” supervisors Vice-Chair Jack Leffel said in a prepared statement. We wish her the best of luck in her next adventure. Kathleen worked hard every single day, and that’s something I appreciated every time I saw her.”
Supervisor John Williamson reiterated what was in the board’s written announcement about Guzi’s resignation—that the board had anticipated the possibility of Guzi’s departure, so the board had begun looking for a new administrator recently. The board did not use a consultant for the search.
When asked how the board decided to approach Larrowe, Williamson said, “I would say no one interested in economic development in the Commonwealth is not aware of him.”
According to a biography on the Carroll County website, as County Administrator, he Larrowe also serves as Chief Economic Development Officer for the County, serves on the Board of Directors of the Crossroads Institute, the Southwest Regional Enterprise Center and the Blue Ridge Crossroads Economic Development Authority, New River Regional Water Authority and the Carroll/Galax/Grayson Solid Waste Authority, Community Policy Management Team and the Twin County Free Clinic.
He also serves as the Executive Director of the Carroll County Public Service Authority (PSA) and in charge of water and wastewater operations for the county and serves as the Executive Director of the Industrial Development Authority (IDA).
He was on faculty at Virginia Tech for 18 years prior to becoming Carroll County’s County Administrator He served in various positions from Agricultural Extension Agent to Extension Specialist in Community Initiatives where he worked on community development projects such as the Crossroads Institute and the Business Incubator program in the Carroll/Galax/Grayson region.
The website says he is a Kellogg Fellow in International Community Development and has worked in more than 15 Latin American Countries on Community Development projects. He has lectured at more than 20 Universities concerning entrepreneurship and is a co-author of the National 4-H Curriculum, B the E. He holds a BS from Virginia Tech in agricultural education/economics and a masters in adult education from Radford University.
He has one son who is a student at Virginia Tech where he is a Pamplim Scholar, a Presidential Global Scholar and an Honor student.
For more details, see next week’s Fincastle Herald.
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