Salem Vice-Mayor John Givens has decided to step down from City Council after serving Salem’s citizens for more than two decades. Givens was first appointed to the city’s governing body in 1995, and his resignation will take effect at Monday’s regularly scheduled Council meeting.
"I am so proud of the accomplishments we’ve made in the past 20 years,” says Givens. “We’ve faced a number of challenges, especially in recent years, but by working together we’ve overcome them, and I’m thankful the citizens gave me the opportunity to serve.”
Givens is a Salem native and Andrew Lewis High School graduate who later went on to play football at Virginia Tech under Head Coach Jerry Claiborne. He graduated from Tech with a Business Marketing degree and spent his entire career working for family-owned businesses. He was the president of Givens Lumber and later the owner of Givens Professional Home Inspections.
“Family has always been important to me and it’s the reason I’m stepping down at this time,” he says. “My mother is at an advanced age and the challenging responsibilities of her care played a big role in helping me reach this difficult decision.”
Givens and his wife, Tricia, have two daughters and five grandchildren that also take up a big portion of their time. But mostly, time is something he has given Salem during his tenure on City Council. He served many years on the city’s Audit-Finance committee, the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, and the Salem Educational Foundation and Alumni Association. In addition, he played a major role in improving relations between citizens and students as a leader of the Roanoke College-Salem Town and Gown committee.
“As a lifelong Salemite, John always respected the past, but he was never afraid to look ahead for ways to make improvements to the city,” says Salem Mayor Randy Foley. “We appreciate his service and wish him the best.”
“I’ve always said that it’s our employees and our citizens who make this city great,” says Givens. “It has truly been a privilege to serve and work with each and every one of them.”