By Debbie Adams
Vinton Town Council has appointed Richard “Pete” Peters as its next town manager. The announcement was made at the council meeting on December 1. Peters has worked for the town since 2015, first as assistant town manager/director of economic development, and then, since August 1 of this year, as acting town manager after Town Manager Barry Thompson announced he would be retiring on December 31.
“Pete Peters is going to be a great town manager for Vinton,” said Mayor Brad Grose. “Pete has done an incredible job as assistant town manager/economic development director and is already recognized as an accomplished leader in our community. Pete’s years of experience in Vinton and in his previous positions will be valuable as he assumes the role as town manager.
“Pete has many great qualifications such as education, experience, natural talent, and a great small-town demeanor,” Grose noted. “Most importantly, Pete ‘fits’ well into our community. Since Pete grew up locally, many people in Vinton already know and respect him. The business leaders in Vinton recognize Pete’s talent and they appreciate his ability to deliver on promises. Pete understands our community and wants only the absolute best for the Town of Vinton. As mayor, I have been extremely impressed with his performance and I know that he genuinely loves Vinton. Pete knows that the Town of Vinton has an exciting future and has devoted himself to making it happen! I certainly look forward to working with Pete ‘In Vinton’.”
Peters has more than 20 years of experience in local government, including the City of Roanoke and Botetourt County. He is a 1993 graduate of William Byrd High School. He earned his undergraduate degree from Ferrum College in Recreation and Leisure Services and a Graduate Certificate in Local Government Management from Virginia Tech, a program co-sponsored by the Virginia Local Government Management Association.
Before coming to Vinton, he served for 10 years as director of Parks and Recreation in Botetourt County, for two years as director of Athletic Programs and Facilities at Roanoke Catholic School, and for seven years with the City of Roanoke Department of Parks and Recreation.
Peters’ tenure with Vinton has seen many successful projects. He has played a key role in the town receiving and managing numerous state and federal grants, including overseeing a Community Development Block Grant to assist with revitalization efforts and develop business support programs for the town’s downtown business district.
Other major roles include assisting with the redevelopment of numerous properties including the former Vinton Motors property at Vinyard Station, the Lancelot Sports Complex, Gish Mill, the Roland E. Cook Lofts, the Billy Byrd Apartments, the Vinton Macado’s and the recruitment of Rosie’s Gaming Emporium.
Peters is also active in the community, representing the Town of Vinton on numerous regional boards including the Roanoke Valley Alleghany Regional Commission, Roanoke Regional Partnership and the Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce, to name a few.
“Pete has done an exceptional job with the economic growth of the Town of Vinton,” said Vice Mayor Sabrina McCarty. “He is extremely knowledgeable and approachable when citizens and business owners have questions or concerns about the town. He has gained the respect of the citizens, business owners, staff and Town Council. His hard work and close attention to detail have paid off. He is a perfect fit for the Town of Vinton. I welcome him as town manager and look forward to the amazing things that lie ahead for Vinton under his leadership.”
“Having the ability to promote someone of Mr. Peters caliber from within allows for a seamless continuity of town government and his promotion reflects council’s confidence in his ability to lead and grow Vinton,” Grose added. “We are thankful to have him at the helm.”
“I am truly honored to have been selected as Vinton’s next town manager,” Peters said. “It has been my pleasure to work with Town Council, staff, business owners, and residents during my first five years here and I look forward to continuing those relationships in this new role. Having grown up and attended high school in this community, I am very grateful for the opportunity to help shape the services that we provide to our citizens and help direct the future development activities throughout the town.
“I have learned a great deal working with Barry Thompson over the past five years; in particular, I enjoyed and appreciated how attentive he was to the residents of Vinton and how he responded to their requests or concerns,” Peters said. “Barry also possessed a calm mastery of the town’s finances and always provided steady guidance during challenging budget discussions. Barry cares a great deal for Vinton, and it showed in how he managed. He has been incredibly supportive of my selection as the next Manager and I am very thankful for the opportunity to have gotten to know Barry both personally and professionally. I wish him the best in his retirement, although I know that he is not far away and will always lend his support when needed.”
Peters is an avid outdoor enthusiast who enjoys mountain biking, kayaking, camping, hunting, fishing and hiking. He and wife Cameron have been married for 20 years and have two daughters, Cadence and Falan.