Thomas Wilkinson, associate vice president for distance learning and summer sessions at Virginia Tech, has been named the 2008-2009 Executive of the Year by the New River Valley Chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP).

The New River Valley Chapter’s Executive of the Year is an individual selected for his/her contributions to the IAAP, with a special emphasis on the New River Valley Chapter, in terms of encouragement, support, and recognition of their administrative staff, and promotion of the organization.

Wilkinson, who was nominated by four of his administrative staff members, was recognized at the annual Executive of the Year banquet held at the Blacksburg Country Club on March 9th.

During the award conferment, Mary Preston-Alley, chair of the Executive of the Year committee, cited Wilkinson for empowering his administrative professionals to pursue personal and professional growth opportunities. “Tonight’s recipient recognizes the importance of the NRV chapter to the staff and the overall mission of IAAP. Support was given in measures of time and resources. One project in particular—the annual educational seminar—involved numerous meetings and efforts spanning several meetings, providing rich dividends for all those in attendance.”

A supporting statement submitted on behalf of his staff, notes, “The respect for Tom is universal — from his staff, to his colleagues and peers here at Virginia Tech and abroad, as well as members of the eLearning community, both nationally and internationally. He exemplifies the following principles — reach high, work hard, set and achieve goals, be good listeners, and above all, respect people — all of which we aspire to live by.”

Wilkinson earned his Ed.D in Curriculum and Instruction (Instructional Systems Development) from Virginia Tech. In 1997, he was hired to develop the university’s strategic plan for distance learning, leading to the creation of the Institute for Distance and Distributed Learning in 1998 of which he became the founding director. In 2008, Wilkinson was appointed associate vice president for distance learning and summer sessions at Virginia Tech, which provides overall leadership to the university’s distance and distributed eLearning, as well as summer and special session activities and initiatives.

The IAAP New River Valley Chapter, one of 17 in Virginia, is a group of 70 professional men and women in the counties of Montgomery, Pulaski, Giles, and Floyd, the City of Radford, and surrounding areas. The mission is to enhance the success of career-minded administrative professionals by providing opportunities for growth through education, community building, and leadership development. To view past honored executives, visit the New River Valley Chapter webpage.

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