The New River Valley has always been home for Mike Wade and he’s okay with that. A native of Narrows, the only significant time Mike spent outside of the area was the four years he attended Concord College, where he earned a degree in graphic design and advertising.
Mike’s plan to move to a larger, more metropolitan area after graduation was quickly derailed when he answered an ad for a part-time proofreading position at the Virginian Leader, Giles County’s community weekly newspaper. He quickly developed a knack for writing and eventually became editor of the paper at the age of 25.
After eight years in the newspaper business, Mike was hired by New River Valley Community Services as its Community Relations Specialist in April of 2000. He’s been there ever since and says he’s continually inspired by the dedication and compassion of his colleagues.
While both jobs have afforded him the opportunity to utilize his talents and abilities, Mike enjoys pursuing a variety of creative outlets – everything from freelance writing and graphic design to playing guitar and singing. The audience for his work as a portrait artist (using colored pencil) has grown steadily over the past year, and he feels his best art is yet to come.
“When people meet me for the first time and ask what I do for a living, it’s hard to give a concise response,” says Mike. “There are so many things that interest me. The things I enjoy doing are just an extension of who I am. I’m just lucky that I can get paid to do them.” Mike and his family reside in Radford.