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Mike Carberry
Carberry Bids Fond Farewell to Career of Public Service

Nearly 26 years. More than 50 plans. Over 80 commissioners. Almost 225 co-workers. But there is only one Mike Carberry. And he will retire from MPC on May 16, concluding a career spent helping others improve the places where they live, work, and play.

“I’ve truly enjoyed having a career that allows me to help people who want to better their communities and conserve their natural surroundings,” Carberry reminisced.

An Oak Ridge native, Carberry received his education from Randolph Macon College, the University of Tennessee, and Texas A&M University. After brief stops in Montgomery County, Maryland, the East Tennessee Development District, and the Tennessee State Planning Office between 1970 and 1975, he served in the Anchorage, Alaska Planning Department for more than a decade. He finally returned home and took a job as Principal Planner at MPC in 1988, dedicating almost 26 of his 44 years of professional planning to the Knoxville community.

Though he’s received a number of accolades over the years, Carberry’s particularly proud of three accomplishments. The first is winning a National Trust for Historic Preservation Award for a book he published while working in Alaska, Patterns of the Past, a history and historic site inventory of Anchorage. The second is his work on the Coastal Trail, a 14-mile greenway along Alaska’s Cook Inlet. The third is a local accomplishment, the Knoxville-Knox County Comprehensive Parks and Greenways Plan.

“Those three in particular represent why I love my job. I’m able to help people preserve their past and the natural beauty of their surroundings so future generations can enjoy them,” he said. “And it’s also been so gratifying to play a part in downtown and neighborhood revitalization.”

Don’t expect Mike Carberry to spend his retirement at home with his feet on the hassock! While reviving his surfing career may not be in his immediate plans, he does intend to visit every national park and to take his wife, Susan, to Italy. And there’s always gardening, golf, and home improvement projects.

“I’m looking forward to retirement,” he said. “But, I’ll miss my MPC family. They are such avid and dedicated colleagues who truly seek to make a positive difference in the world.”

Posted 05-01-2014. Written by Sarah Powell.