Q1. You’ve lived in Carroll County for more than 40 years and served your community in a variety of volunteer capacities. What inspired you to run for elected office?
Robbie McCraw: I have lived in Carroll County for more than 40 years and have served my community in a variety of volunteer activities alongside my family. My profession has allowed me to serve the public in many aspects and while doing so, I have listened to many disgruntled citizens voice their concerns regarding the well-being of our county. I have always had a interest in local government and now that my children are grown and have pursued their own careers, I found it time to seek an elected position with the Board of Supervisors in hopes of serving my community to the fullest extent. I firmly believe one is not allowed to complain unless there has been some proactivity; hence, if you chose to do nothing, then say nothing!
Q2. What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten? What advice would you give to others who are contemplating serving in public office?
RM: Some of the best advice I’ve ever received I believe to be very simplistic and was shared with me by a very dear friend and mentor. “You have two ears and one mouth, so listen twice as much as you speak.” I consider being an active listener to be very instrumental in serving the public. Receiving constructive criticism, whether positive or negative, is key to change. To anyone contemplating service in a public office, a few points of interest would include, but not be limited to: always listen before speaking, you will never satisfy everyone, a thick skin is best, always be honest, you are an ‘elected’ servant, and it is OK to agree to disagree!
Q3. You’ve been involved in VACo since taking office. In addition to serving on the Health and Human Resources Steering Committee, you are currently enrolled in the Certified Supervisors Program. What elements of your experience with VACo have been most relevant to your work on the Board of Supervisors?
RM: The certified supervisor training program has assisted me in gaining a much better understanding of the functions of the Board of Supervisors role in local government, educating me in the laws, codes and proper etiquette to perform my duties.
Q4. What challenges and opportunities do you see facing Carroll County in the near future?
RM: Economic Development seems to be a challenge for all the counties across our state, but particularly in Southwestern Virginia. The population in our area is not as fast growing as seen in central, south side and northern Virginia. It appears as if the more dense population, a decreased diversely trained workforce, and the current available workforce living primarily on government entitlements deem our area much less appealing to economic growth. Therefore, I consider economic development and growth to be one of the largest challenges facing our area. I feel entitlements need to be reduced and a personal incentive to work needs to be encouraged.
Q5. Your background includes a variety of professional work, including electrical contracting and marketing. How does your experience in these fields influence your work in public service?
RM: In my work career I have had the opportunity to work for several companies that have allowed me to advance and grow my knowledge of business. My job-related experiences have included industrial and retail sales, residential drug rehabilitation technician, HVAC/electrical technician, purchasing/inventory control specialist for electrical contractor, and HVAC/electrical/plumbing estimation. Public relations has been vital in each of these job positions and has allowed me to develop a nationwide network of contacts. I consider my ability to form working friendships/relationships to be vital in performing my duties as a public servant.
Q6. Tell us a little bit about your family.
RM: My family is my favorite topic! After dating six years, I married my high school sweetheart and am proud to say that soon we will be celebrating 33 years of young love! She is my best friend and the love of my life. She is a BSN, RN and is employed with the Virginia Department of Health. We are the proud parents of two very wonderful and accomplished children. Our daughter, an East Tennessee State University grad with a degree in Public Health, is currently employed as a marketing/admissions director for a long term care facility. She loves missions, music, theater, traveling, and sunshine! Our son, a New River Criminal Justice Training Academy graduate, has worked in law enforcement with Virginia’s DCR and is currently employed as a deputy sheriff in a neighboring county. He loves football, wrestling, hunting, “working out” and just “hanging out!” Our family believes service to others is most important.
VACo Contact: Katie Boyle