Friday, July 26, 2013

Carey Harveycutter: One of the Good Guys Is Retiring

Carey Harveycutter at the Salem Football Stadium.
Carey Harveycutter is on the edge of retiring as the GM of the Salem Civic Center and this is a loss of huge significance to the Roanoke Valley and to civic centers in general. Carey, a guy without all the fancy pedigrees of some of his fellows in the trade, has been a leader for 30 years, partly because he was pushed into it, partly because that's just what Carey does.

He has been under estimated by most people who have known him along, but the appreciation has grown through the years and I suspect most people in his business and those who even have a passing interest would consider him one of the nation's leaders.

Carey took a civic center that journalist Bill Cate (I worked with him at the local daily in the sports department in the 1970s) once described as "needing only a silo on each side to qualify as a full-out barn" and turned it into an economic force for Salem. He also parlayed an interest in truly amateur sports, minor sports, state fairs, horses and women's sports to create yet another leg of that force. I don't know that Carey was ever ahead of his time, but he certainly was a leader in his industry and showed wonderful alternative ways of bringing in the tourist bucks.

During his tenure, there have been 70 NCAA championships decided on the fields surrounding the Civic Center (which came under his purview) and the civic center itself.

Carey is quiet and self-effacing. He is genuinely modest with no reason for modesty. He is a good guy. Always was. I wish him every success in retirement.

(Photo: USAToday)


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