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After 45 years of working with the Salem Civic Center, Carey Harveycutter will cut back on his work while he prepares to retire.
MIRANDA ATKINS | So Salem
John Saunders (right) and Carey Harveycutter helped beget the summertime ritual of the Salem Fair 22 years ago.
Photo courtesy of the city of Salem
Salem Civic Center director Carey Harveycutter (from left), Salem Civic Center assistant director John Saunders and Director of Salem Parks and Rec John Shaner attend a snowy Stagg Bowl in 2009.
Friday, July 26, 2013
Carey Harveycutter, the manager of Salem’s civic center and stadiums, the negotiator who helped bring more than 70 NCAA sports championships to the city, and the manager of the long-running Salem Fair, is retiring.
Harveycutter, who’s 61, will begin to draw his retirement from the Virginia Retirement System, but he’ll also continue his work for the city on a contract basis.
The precise terms haven’t been settled, said Salem City Manager Kevin Boggess, but Harveycutter probably will work 30 hours a week at about 70 or 75 percent of his current salary of $112,174.40. The city also will be relieved of paying into the retirement system on Harveycutter’s behalf and covering health insurance and other benefits.
Harveycutter is on leave until September while he visits a daughter in Africa, but Boggess said after 45 years working for the Salem Civic Center, Harveycutter wanted to cut back.
“From the city’s perspective, this is a win-win for us,” Boggess said. “We get Carey back, but we pay considerably less for the privilege of having him here.”
Keeping Harveycutter around gives the city a chance to figure out how to manage without him.
“It gets us some time to begin the real transition, which may take two or three years,” Boggess said.
Harveycutter’s title is director of civic facilities, but his role is more expansive than the title suggests.
He began working at what was then the Roanoke County-Salem Civic Center in 1968, the year after it opened, pushing a broom, among other duties. He stuck around when Salem took over sole ownership of the building in 1983, and now he oversees that facility, plus Salem Memorial Ballpark and Salem Stadium, the city’s football venue.
In 1993, he was the pitch man who persuaded the NCAA to move the Stagg Bowl — the Division III national championship football game — to Salem, where it’s been ever since.
He was also central to the city’s ability to parlay that relationship with the NCAA into a growing number of Division II and Division III championships in a variety of sports — football, basketball, volleyball, lacrosse.
“The NCAA wouldn’t still be in Salem if it wasn’t for Carey Harveycutter,” said Salem Director of Communications Mike Stevens, who covered sports for WDBJ (Channel 7) for years before joining the city.
“We also want Carey to transfer those relationships onto current staff members here,” Boggess said.
Keeping Harveycutter around part-time will allow for that to happen, he said, and it will allow the city to sort out who will do what to replace Harveycutter when he’s gone.
John Saunders, long-time assistant director of civic facilities, is sticking around. And Boggess said it may make sense to hand off dealing with the NCAA to Parks and Recreation Director John Shaner, who is already involved with those events.
“The idea of being able to replace Carey with one person,” Boggess said, “it’s probably not possible.”
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