Mr. Skinner joined Blue Ridge in 2016. He has over 35 years of public sector experience serving governments at the local, county and regional level. He recently retired as the Executive Director of the LENOWISCO Planning District Commission where he led a team of professionals in planning and development support for a region undergoing an economic transition unlike any seen in the last 50 years. During this period, complex planning scenarios including transportation, water and wastewater infrastructure, renewable energy and broadband communications were planned and implemented.
While at LENOWISCO, Mr. Skinner oversaw the successful development, stabilization, and divestment of a fiber-optic broadband communications network. His expertise in rural broadband policy was further expanded when he was appointed to serve as a charter board member of Mid-Atlantic Broadband, widely believed to be the most successful middle-mile broadband project in the nation. During his tenure at LENOWISCO, he served as a member of the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) Board of Directors, overseeing a $100 million fund used for financing new projects in the region. Additionally, he served as a co-director of the Virginia Coalfield Coalition which successfully launched the first large-scale rural 4-G wireless network in the nation. Mr. Skinner served as a Co-director of the Appalachian Prosperity Project, a unique collaboration of the University of Virginia, UVA-Wise, businesses, and non-profits. Mr. Skinner was appointed by the governor of Virginia to serve as a board member of the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation, tasked with assisting the region rebuild its economy around music, art, and eco-tourism.
While Mr. Skinner served as the Wise County Administrator, the county was successful in recruiting a $1.8 Billion hybrid energy plant nearly doubling the tax base of the county. Skip’s focus throughout his career has been the development of critical infrastructure.
Mr. Skinner is a member of the LEAD Virginia class of 2008. LEAD Virginia has a mission to connect leaders to shape Virginia’s future. Skip has served as a curriculum co-chair since 2009. In this role, he assists in planning the annual LEAD Virginia’s class visit to Southwest Virginia. Skip was chosen as Lead Virginia’s Distinguished Alumnus for 2016.
Mr. Skinner earned a B.S. Degree in Business Administration with a major in Finance from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.