Salem City Manager Kevin Boggess announced earlier this month that Wendy Delano has been named the Interim Director of Civic Facilities for the James E. Taliaferro Complex. Her duties include overseeing the daily operations of the Salem Civic Center, Salem Memorial Ballpark and Salem Football Stadium as well as managing the complex’s 21 full-time employees.
“Wendy Delano brings a great deal of positive energy to this position and some fresh perspectives,” said Boggess. “She is a consensus builder and it is my hope that under her leadership the staff and the facilities will make some significant strides in the coming months.”
Delano had been the complex’s Sales and Marketing Manager before her appointment formally took effect on March 1. The West Virginia native also worked at the Berglund Center and at Advance Auto Parts prior to coming to Salem. During that time, she served in a number of roles, including Marketing Director and Sports Marketing Manager.
“I’m excited about the opportunity that we have here at the Salem Civic Center,” she said. “Our facilities and our dedicated employees add to the excellent quality of life we enjoy here in Salem and the surrounding communities that make up Virginia’s Blue Ridge region.”
Delano replaces John Saunders, who retired March 1 after 33 years of service at the Taliaferro Complex. He began working part-time at the Salem Civic Center pushing a broom and hoisting a shovel as a teenager, and while he was a student at Roanoke College, he worked as the arena’s night watchman. In 1984, Saunders was officially named the facility’s Assistant Director. Among his many accomplishments, he is credited with founding the Salem Fair along with his former co-worker Carey Harveycutter.
“The city cannot thank John Saunders enough for the 33 years he dedicated to the Taliaferro Complex,” said Boggess. “John started out manning a shovel at the horse show and worked his way to the top. Along the way, he spent countless nights and weekends on the job, just so our citizens and visitors could enjoy a wide variety of entertainment.”
Delano is married to Salem native Bob Delano, and they have two children who are middle school students at Glenvar. “These facilities have hosted a who’s who of performers in the past and we want to build on that tradition as we move forward,” she said. “We have a great line-up of shows in the works that folks are really going to love, plus opening day for the Salem Red Sox is right around the corner.”