The Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center works with current business owners as well as start ups. Our confidential counseling sessions are free with the support of our sponsors. We offer counseling sessions at numerous, convenient locations throughout the Roanoke Region and New River Valley.
Thumb-nail overview of my career to date: I was fortunate in that I had opportunities in my career enabling me to rise rapidly through the sales and sales management ranks, to successful senior leadership experience in a publicly-held corporate environment. After an extensive and foundational stint in the corporate world I scratched my entrepreneurial itch with a manufacturer's rep. agency, built and ran the business development arm for a regional consulting firm focused on manufacturers, and spent a year in charge of Corporate and Government Relations for a STEM-centric university in the Washington, DC area. I have a passion for family business, small and medium-sized business, workforce development and transformational impact.
Throughout my career I have followed a high-integrity path and a servant-leader approach. I am a strategic thinker with a tactical focus. I am a planner, with a continuous improvement mindset and a process orientation. I enjoy the conceptual and the intangible. I am focused on adding value. I am a connector and enjoy building rapport with diverse constituencies. I am a believer in collaboration based on mutual trust. I network and build relationships with a "give to get" perspective. I am a life-long learner and embrace change. Finally, I am outcome oriented and motivated by impact.
Specialties: Leadership development organizations, membership organizations, advisory groups, development strategies, consultative sales with CEOs, Chief executives and C-level executives, accelerating new business development efforts, facilitation of group meetings and mentoring.
Tom Tanner, Senior Business COunselor 540.682.2103
Tom graduated with a degree in Economics and Finance from the Virginia Military Institute in 1978. After a tour of duty in the U.S. Army, he returned to civilian life to work as a branch manager for a large corporation. In 1983, he and a few partners opened a photographic and computer graphics business, Photo USA. There he served as Vice President of Operations for the chain of 25 stores in five states, later buying the Virginia locations. In 2006, he sold Photo USA after 23 years in the photographic business. Tom currently operates a part-time tax business during tax season.
Tom has extensive knowledge in running a small business, spanning across several areas including multiple store operation, accounting, finance, small business taxes, marketing, business plan writing, strategic planning, project management and six sigma process improvement. Tom is an IRS Licensed Enrolled Agent (EA), has the PMP designation (Project Manager Professional), the EDFP (Economic Development Finance Professional) and a QuickBooks Pro-Advisor. Over the last eight years, Tom has worked with more than 1000 people who own, or want to start a small business.
Tom was voted the Virginia SBDC network State Star for 2014, an honor voted on by his peers.