Our People

Our People

Scott Tate


A writer, teacher, and consultant, Scott Tate helps people, places, and organizations address challenges and pursue opportunities for positive change.  Scott directs the Social Possibility Lab, and currently serves as Associate Director for the Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development.

As notable examples, he has created and led programs and research to develop regional economic strategies across the Commonwealth; support first-generation college students and vulnerable youth; enhance training and career pathways for former coal industry workers; explore arts-based community change efforts in the United States and in Northern Ireland; encourage social entrepreneurship in small cities; enhance manufacturing in rural regions; promote anchor institution and wealth building strategies in communities; strengthen entrepreneurial ecosystems; and advance sustainable development in places such as Appalachia and on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. 

Tate’s doctoral degree focused on interdisciplinary, theory-informed, problem-centered, globally-conscious research in political, cultural, ethical and social thought. His master’s degree is in management from the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech.  Scott has taught courses at the undergraduate and graduate level related to planning, public policy, sustainable development, Appalachian studies, leadership, economic development, and political science.

His research and writing has appeared in journals and edited volumes.  With Max Stephenson, he was co-editor, and chapter contributor, for the volume, Arts and Community Change: Exploring Cultural Development Policies, Practices and Dilemmas.

Tate and his family live in Roanoke, where he explores the neighborhood with his wife Meighan; plays in the yard with his dog Biscuit; loses at basketball and footraces to his son Toby;  and frequents coffee shops, libraries, greenways, and odd, quiet cozy corners. 


Brad Stephens

Senior Consultant

Brad Stephens spends his days working in the world of workforce development. But, he has spent the many years working with the social change and entrepreneurship community in Roanoke and helping build innovative community solutions. Along with being the founder of Big Lick SOUP, a co-founder of Noke Codes and putting on CityWorks (X)po, he is always looking for new community development projects that can help improve the lives of the people that call this community home.  

Brad and his wife, Sarah, moved to the Roanoke Valley years ago while he was working on his M.S. in Forestry at Virginia Tech with a focus on community collaborations in sustainable development. Ever since, this community has felt like home. They have grown to love the authenticity of this dynamic place. He wants to build communities that work for people. 





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