NRV Commission director elected president of national organization

Kevin Byrd

Kevin Byrd, Executive Director of the New River Valley Regional Commission, was elected President of the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) recently at the organization’s annual business meeting in Reno, Nev.

Byrd has been executive director of the NRVRC, which is based in Radford, for ten years after serving as a staff planner for four years. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Association of Planning District Commissions for ten years, serving as Secretary/Treasurer for nine of those years. In 2018, he received the association’s President’s Award for helping lead it through a strategic assessment and the hiring of the organization’s first executive director.

As NADO President, he will work with the group’s board of directors, which oversees the association’s budget and operations and develops policy on issues affecting regional development organizations. NADO member organizations serve local governments and the public within their regions through various programs focused on diversifying local economies, assisting businesses, creating jobs and providing vital community services.

“We are excited for this opportunity for Kevin to put his knowledge and skills to work on the national level,” said Virginia planning commission association president President Kim Callis. “We wish him the best during his time as NADO President.”

“Kevin brings a wealth of expertise, knowledge, and leadership on regional community and economic development issues to the national level,” stated Joe McKinney, NADO’s executive director. “Most importantly, he is focused on helping our nation’s local communities pursue comprehensive regional strategies for remaining economically competitive in today’s rapidly changing global environment.”

Byrd will serve as president of NADO through Oct. 20, 2020.

The first planning district commissions were established in 1969 following enactment the prior year of the Virginia Area Development Act by the General Assembly. There are 21 planning district commissions and regional commissions in Virginia made up of elected officials and citizens appointed by local governments.

The purpose of the planning commissions is to encourage and facilitate regional solutions to problems of area-wide significance through promoting the efficient development of the physical, social, and economic policies of all districts. The planning district commissions of Virginia have joined to create the Virginia Association of Planning District Commissions to share the best practice, and to advance regionalism across the commonwealth.