A Toolkit for  21st Century Leaders - Virginia Tech - Roanoke Higher Education Center - A professional development certrificate program
 Toolkit for  21st Century Leaders - Virginia Tech - Roanoke Higher Education Center - A professional development certrificate program

Instructors & Coaches


B. Scott Crawford
Professional Development Officer at ValleyStar Credit Union, Roanoke

Scott is employed as a trainer for StarValley Credit Union and previously worked at Member One Federal Credit Union. In addition to his work at StarValley and Member One, he brings over 20 years of experience in education, having served as a high school history teacher, social studies coordinator and a director of education for a fine arts museum. At Member One, Scott developed new curriculum that allowed for a humanities and arts-based approach to business training. This unique method earned Member One national recognition with the 2013 Credit Union National Association Human Resources/Training Development (CUNA HR/TD) Excellence in Employee Engagement Award. Scott is a strong believer in the use of games to help make work fun and improve performance.

In addition, Scott serves on the City of Roanoke's Arts Commission and is employed as an adjunct instructor at Virginia Western Community College. He recently published a book called "Dating Jane" chronicling his research on a heretofore unknown postmortem portrait by the 19th century American artist Lilly Martin Spencer.

Scott is a graduate of Old Dominion University having earned a master's degree in History.

Gwin Ellis
City of Roanoke's Coordinator of Organization Development and Learning

Gwin Ellis currently serves as the City of Roanoke’s Coordinator of Organization Development and Learning. A Michigan native with deep-rooted family ties to the Roanoke Valley, Gwin fulfilled a lifelong dream when she relocated to Virginia. Prior to relocating, she served as Director of Human Resources for an affiliate of Southeastern Michigan's electric and gas utility, DTE Energy, Inc. She joined the City of Roanoke Department of Human Resources in 2001. Since then she has contributed as the Human Resources’ Learning Specialist; the Assistant to the City Manager in the City Manager’s Office; and Neighborhood Services Coordinator. In her current role in Human Resources, Gwin manages the organization's development and employee learning processes.

Gwin has enjoyed supporting Michigan and Virginia communities through Boysville of Michigan, Welfare to Work, Literacy Volunteers of America, as well as, Roanoke Public Schools' Help One Student to Succeed (HOSTS) mentor program. Her current projects include serving as the chair of the Diversity Advisory Council, project manager for several City initiatives, including the organizational culture change effort, the Lean Management Project and the organization’s Leadership Development Initiative.

Lesa L. Hanlin, Ed.D.
Executive Director of Roanoke Regional Initiatives, Virginia Tech

Lesa serves as the chief administrator for the Virginia Tech Roanoke Center (VTRC) and the Center for Organizational and Technological Advancement (COTA). In addition to managing a portfolio of continuing education programming, Lesa creates, customizes and facilitates a series of human development coursework for organizations in the private and public sector. She also provides center management, new business development and promotes regional partnerships.

Prior to her work in higher education, Dr. Hanlin was a secondary school teacher and principal, and business owner. She holds doctorate and master's degrees in education from The George Washington University, a Bachelor's in biology and safety from Marshall University, and is a certified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Practitioner.

Lesa is also the Founder and Executive Director of Gowns for Hounds, a nonprofit whose mission is to sell gently loved, donated gowns to raise money for mini grants for companion pet owners in need.

Lesa is a 2016 graduate of LEAD Peninsula, a leadership program through the Chamber of Commerce that serves to connect thought leaders on the Virginia Peninsula, where she formerly resided.

In the past, Lesa was named the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce Small Businessperson of the Year and the Denbigh High School and Newport News City High School Teacher of the Year. She resides in Roanoke, Va.

Elizabeth "Eli" Jamison
Adjunct Professor at Virginia Tech

Eli has been engaged in leadership and organizational development consulting for public, private, and nonprofit organizations for over 20 years. She spent more than 10 years at Radford University serving as director of the Master of Business Administration program and Leadership Development Center, and as an adjunct instructor of management in the College of Business and Economics. She is currently an adjunct professor at Virginia Tech.

Eli's expertise, engaging presentation style, and ability to create customized training programs have afforded her the opportunity to provide keynote addresses for a variety of professional associations, as well as deliver customized training programs for organizations both locally and across the United States. Eli received her bachelor's degree from James Madison University, master's degree from Vanderbilt University, and doctorate from Virginia Tech.

Bill Kennan, Ph.D.
Professor of Communication, Radford University

Bill has recently returned to the faculty at Radford University after 17 years in administration. He has served as the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Associate Dean of the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences, and Chair of the Department of Communication. As a professor of communication of 35 years, he taught a variety of classes at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including organizational communication, persuasion, research methods, public speaking, change and innovation, and training and development. His research focuses on social capital and public relations.

Bill has also served as a consultant and trainer for a variety of organizations. His skills in this area include teamwork, leadership, conflict, change management, information management, and international and intercultural communication.

Christian Matheis
Director, Office of Recruitment, Diversity and Inclusion, Graduate School Visiting Assistant Professor, School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech

Christian directs the Virginia Tech Graduate School’s Office of Recruitment and Diversity Initiatives, and serves as visiting assistant professor in the School of Public and International Affairs.

He specializes in ethics, political philosophy and philosophy of liberation with concentrations in feminism, race, indigeneity and global justice. His recent research focuses on different forms of solidarity in liberatory social movements, problems caused by identity politics and moral criteria regulating how state administrative agencies treat refugees. He has over 15 years of applied experience in grassroots/community organizing, government relations and human relations facilitation.

Christian is the co-editor of Migration Policy and Practice: Interventions and Solutions (Palgrave 2016), an emeritus editor of the journal SPECTRA: the Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Theory Archives (2012-2015), director of the Society for Philosophy in the Contemporary World (SPCW), and a Voices contributor to The Anarres Project for Alternative Futures. His work appears in various anthologies and edited collections.

Professional Coaches

Janet Crawford

As a professional coach, Janet leverages her experience as a health care executive where she learned the value and challenge of creating and maintaining an engaged and highly trained staff, of balancing attention on both strategy and operations, and of cultivating a style of courage and collaboration to improve results. Janet served on numerous state and national policy-making committees which strengthened her ability to find sustainable solutions by honing in on the common-ground issues. Personally committed to continuous learning and growth, Janet works with organizations and leaders who recognize the critical importance of emotional intelligence and communication skills to achieve their strategic initiatives while maximizing operational excellence. She applies the principals of neuroscience to help her clients find ways to thrive in times of change, take calculated risks and live into their potential. As a coach, presenter and meeting facilitator, Janet is known for her ability to challenge conventional thinking and promote possibility thinking to create sustainable change.

Janet holds a bachelor's in Business Administration from Baylor University and an MBA/MHA from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is a graduate of Coaching University and has earned the designation of Professional Certified Coach from the International Coach Federation (ICF). For 18 years, Janet enjoyed a fulfilling and rewarding career in healthcare leadership positions working for Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) and Carilion Clinic. In 2004, she stepped officially into the world of entrepreneurship launching her career as a Professional Coach and Speaker through her business Extra Ordinary Living. Janet is active in the ICF Virginia Chapter and has incorporated coaching principles and philosophies into all of her life as she pursues the journey of extraordinary.

Susan Swan Consulting LLC

Susan focuses her practice on coaching executives and managers to assist them in effectively communicating with others. She conducts seminars on effective communication, teambuilding, managing conflict and adapting to an ever changing workplace. Susan is a certified coach and an individual who assists companies with their hiring process to ensure the skill set of applicants matches the job duties and the culture of the company.

Her background includes the development of policies for a drug free workplace and she has served as a consultant for the US Department of Labor and the Island of Bermuda. As Vice President of Reach Workplace Solutions; a division of Diamond Healthcare Corporation; she was responsible for nine sites and 60 employees. Susan served as Executive Director of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for central Virginia for 18 years, and under her leadership the EAP won several awards including the best EAP for small business from the White House Conference for a Drug Free America. Virginia Tech called upon her in 2007 to counsel and support faculty and students in dealing with the deadly shooting where 32 individuals were killed and 17 wounded.

Susan holds a Master of Science degree in Management from Lesley University and she completed additional graduate work in counseling. Her undergraduate focus was in sociology and psychology.

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