First person: Parks director looking ahead

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Rob Carter is leaving Clovis after nine years of working as the director of the parks and recreation department.

Rob Carter is leaving Clovis after nine years of working as the director of the parks and recreation department. He said he was glad the department grew during his time and looks forward to his next job in Fairfax, Va.

Next!: My next job is with a company called Guest Services Incorporated, a hospitality management organization. My major responsibility will be in recreation. This organization has a contract with the national park service to run their marinas, an equestrian center, a tennis center, as well as two outdoor skating rinks in the winter. They’re a big organization that does food service for government offices and museums as well as facilities through out the United States.

Time in Clovis: I came to Clovis for the job in April 2001. I accepted the position as director here. It sounded like an interesting job. I was working as director of recreation and parks in a homeowners association on the coast of Maryland. I had just gotten remarried and I had two sons that came from the marriage with my wife and we decided it would be something exciting for us to do. I actually adopted both boys here in New Mexico and they took my last name.

Small town cheer: Clovis is a nice small town. People are very friendly, very welcoming and easy to deal with. I felt very welcome here. I had the opportunity to be very active in the community. I coached soccer, served on the soccer board, was a member of the Noon Day Kiwanis club and on the board, supervisory board of High Plains Federal Credit Union. And I had some very good supervisors that believed in what I was doing and supported the ideals I had to help make the department grow and take it where it is today.

Big or small: I’m going from 35,000 to a city with 3.5 million people so it’s much bigger. Fairfax is a suburb of the Washington D.C. area. I’ve enjoyed working in little cities but the services and opportunities in Virginia will really be good for us as we get older and it’s closer to the family.

Rap sheet: Some of the things I look back on from my time in Clovis are getting the skateboard facility to be built after five years, taking over the old Play Inc. building and the pool and running it and it being part of our department, new restroom facilities at some of the parks, new walking trail at Greene Acres, new animals at the zoo. The zoo is in the process of getting some architectural drawing to add a gift shop at the zoo. We’ve seen a lot of growth in the department.