"All my career, Ive been working on projects that help people somewhere else
in the country," says new Smyth County Engineer Duncan McGregor. "In this position, I can
finally work on things that help my friends and neighbors. That makes me a happy
Although McGregor has lived in Southwest Virginias Smyth County for more than 30
years, his work for the federal government and then Virginias Department of Conservation and
Recreation has kept him traveling over a 30-county area. Driving between Hutton
Branch, Shuler Hollow, Allison Gap, and other locations of Smyth County sewer and water
projects seems like a vacation.
"Im a coordinator, a resource person in this job," he says.
"Im continually finding out about new projects in the backlog, and I change
directions often during the day. Its a challenge, but its fun. I find Im
using my personality, my education, and my experience in ways I have never been able to
In the months since McGregor began the job on Oct. 15, hes found hands-on
participation in construction of the Hutton Branch water project one of his most enjoyable
and consuming activities. Design work, building maintenance problems, flood plain issues
on new projects all of these are part of the job.
McGregor would describe himself as a positive person, but his enthusiasm is so evident,
the word seems redundant. "I love this job," he says. "The people are
great, the working environment is wonderful, the projects are interesting Im
having fun. Its going to be a treat seeing projects through to completion and then
living near them."
McGregor has two grown children, Ann and Mike, who live in Radford, Va., and Cary, N.C. His wife, Julie, works at home managing
and operating the indoor tennis facility they co-own with several other investors.
Although the McGregors have lived in Los Angeles and
Richmond, they have learned to
thoroughly enjoy the small town experience moving at a comfortable pace and knowing
everyone in the community.
When McGregor isnt working, hes out on the golf course or walking a beach.
A Virginia Tech alumnus, he recently traveled to the Gator Bowl for a combined football, beach, and golf