By Aila Boyd
Scott Crawford presented at the fourth and final session of the Botetourt County Chamber of Commerce’s Emerging Leader Series on December 12. The title of his presentation was “Critical and Creative Thinking.”
During his presentation, Crawford stressed the need for critical and creative thinking skills in the 21st century workforce. “It’s important to understand why there is a greater demand for these skills in the workforce today than 30, 40, or 50 years ago,” he said. “The economy has shifted from being industrial-based to a service-based economy. A service-based economy requires these skills more among the larger workforce. Creativity and innovation are always important, but they are particularly important in the workforce outside of a factory setting because of the nature of the work.”
In order to help session participants build up their critical and creative thinking skills, they participated in a Socratic dialogue, which is a method that requires small groups to find answers to universal questions under the direction of a facilitator.
Crawford serves as the vice president for VA811 where he helps to keep Virginia’s underground utility infrastructure, excavators, property owners, and property safe by helping to ensure underground utilities are identified and marked prior to excavations or demolitions. His professional experience includes overseeing and implementing professional development for ValleyStar Credit Union and Member One Federal Credit Union. He has over 25 years of experience in education, having served as an adjunct instructor for Virginia Western Community College, a high school history teacher, social studies coordinator, and the director of education for the Taubman Museum of Art. He also appeared on a monthly local news station (WSLS NewsChannel 10) as the Art Detective.
At Member One, Crawford developed new curriculum that allowed for a humanities and arts-based approach to business training. This unique method earned Member One national recognition with the 2013 Credit Union National Association Human Resources/Training Development (CUNA HR/TD) Excellence in Employee Engagement Award. Crawford said that he is a strong believer in the use of games to help make work fun and improve performance.
In addition, Crawford has served on the City of Roanoke’s Arts Commission, serving as the chair in 2018-2019. He published a book in 2013 titled “Dating Jane: Domesticity, Death, and Photography in a 19th Century Portrait,” chronicling his research on a heretofore unknown postmortem portrait by the 19th century American artist Lilly Martin Spencer. In 2013, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. officially changed the title of a 19th century painting in its permanent collection as a result of Crawford’s research.
Crawford graduated from Old Dominion University with a master’s degree in history.
According to the chamber, it plans to continue the series in the spring due to popular demand. The individuals who presented at the four sessions over the course of this fall will be returning for the spring 2020 iteration of the series. Robyn Tuck will be discussing leading teams for growth on January 21. Kathy Martin’s session will discuss human resources skills on February 18. Jennifer Havens will be discussing influence without authority on March 17. Crawford will be returning on April 21 to once again discuss critical and creative thinking.
Following the session, those who completed all four sessions participated in a reflective reception, which allowed them to give a short presentation on what they learned throughout the course of their series. At the end of the reception, they were presented with certificates of completion.