A new manager in town

Published 6:35 pm Tuesday, July 24, 2018

By Dale Wolf

Staff Writer

Smithfield’s new town manager, 42-year-old Brian S. Thrower, has a powerful sense of service.

“Growing up in Franklin, Southampton, one thing I was involved in was Boy Scouts,” he said. Through the Scouts, he learned the importance of civic responsibility. “I eventually went through the ranks and became an Eagle Scout.”

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Thrower’s Eagle Scout project involved building picnic tables for Hunterdale Elementary School in Southampton County, where he attended kindergarten through second grade. This appreciation for community motivated him to pursue a career in local government. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

After spending 12 years with the City of Emporia, including 10 as its city manager, Thrower moved to his current job in search of “new challenges” and “a change of pace.” He and his family haven’t moved to Smithfield yet, but they will soon. Smithfield’s Town Council requires that the town manager live here.

Thrower started as Smithfield’s town manager on July 1, and he’s full of praise for the “excellent job” done by his predecessor Peter Stephenson, who served Smithfield for 22 years.

“I’m just trying to maintain and improve upon things where improvement may need to be made,” said Thrower.

“Most importantly,” said Thrower, “I’m really trying to build solid relationships with the Town Council, employees, department heads, community members and groups, overall to make life better in Smithfield for everybody.”

One of his priorities is to ensure that the 184 acres the town recently annexed gets properly developed. “That’ll be a big challenge. It’s something we’ll be working on with our planning department over the next few years.”

Thrower sees himself as a proactive leader, one who will bring ideas to the Town Council and not just wait for ideas to be brought to him. He’s also open to ideas from his staff.

Thrower describes himself as “a normal person, approachable.” He added, “I’ll sit down and talk to anybody. I love sports. I like my Virginia Tech Hokies. That’s where I went to school. I love college football.”

“Smithfield is just a great town,” said Thrower. “It’s got great quality of life.” {/mprestriction}