Executive Director since mid-2015. Smithson Mills has served as lead manager for economic development projects impacting food entrepreneurship and farm-based production. By consulting with farm-based producer groups on best practices for marketing and management of agricultural enterprises, Mills has influenced the success of several projects.
Mills originally served as lead project developer for Blue Ridge Food Ventures, the largest shared-use food processing center in the Southeast, and one of the most successful of its kind in the nation. Mills assists local governments and nonprofits in executing comprehensive feasibility studies to determine the viability of rural economic development strategies.