With very little interruption, although a good deal of diversification, Budd Eversman has been in the roller skating industry for 35-plus years.

With very little interruption, although a good deal of diversification, Budd Eversman has been in the roller skating industry for 35-plus years.

Even before taking his first job at a skating rink, Eversman's career as a bricklayer involved the construction of two such facilities.

So practically his entire adult life has been devoted to the ups and downs, the spills and chills, and most especially the round and round of roller skating.

All of which is pretty ironic.

"What's strange is I'm not a roller skater," Eversman, who owns SkateAmerica on Broadway, said last week. "I'm the world's worst roller skater."

The former member of city council will assume the presidency of the Grove City Area Visitors and Convention Bureau board of trustees in January, following two consecutive terms as vice president. He succeeds Dave Bright, who will serve as secretary.

Following a not entirely enjoyable stint as a bricklayer, Eversman applied for a job at a United Skates of America Inc. rink in Indianapolis. He was worried that his profound lack of skill on skates might present a problem, but was soon told he was going to help manage the place, not enjoy it.

But, Eversman said, he has very much enjoyed his decades of involvement with the industry, especially the 14 years since he purchased SkateAmerica.

"It's a fun business, and it's good for the community," Eversman said.

After a moment he added, "It's a lot better than bricklaying."

In 1976, Eversman was transferred to United Skates of America Inc. headquarters in Columbus. Wife Mary wasn't all that thrilled, he admitted; they'd just built a house and only got to live in it for a short while. The Eversmans moved to Connecticut in 1979, returning four years later and settling in Grove City. Budd Eversman went into business for himself at that point, initially running a skating rink on the West Side of Columbus before becoming a consultant in the industry. He expanded into real estate and for a time owned a party center on Columbus' West Side.

"I just wanted to own another skating center," Eversman recalled.

He first tried buying the SkateAmerica operation in 1985, but the place had just changed hands at that point and the new owners weren't interested in any offers. Nine years later it was available and in 2004 Eversman purchased the property outright.

When Eversman first took over SkateAmerica in 1994, son Brian A. Eversman, only about 11 at the time, handed out skates. Now he's general manager.

Daughter Kristianna L. Eversman works for NetJets.

Following his purchase of a business in Grove City, Budd Eversman said he began taking more of an interest in the community. Jeff Warner, his ward councilman, was re-elected to the seat in November 1995, but had to resign shortly to take a job as spokesman for South-Western City Schools. Eversman toyed with the idea of applying for the opening. Then, he said, he met Cheryl L. Grossman, who was running for mayor, during a meeting to discuss her proposal for a city recreation center.

"Mainly I wanted to be sure they weren't going to be roller skating there," Eversman recalled.

Grossman encouraged Eversman to put his name in for the council seat, and he was eventually selected by the others on the panel. He embarked upon this new endeavor with a great deal of confidence that his business background would serve him well.

"I thought, 'How hard can it be?' " Eversman said.

Pretty hard, as it turned out.

"Things would keep coming up that I hadn't been exposed to," Eversman said.

After about a year, the fledgling councilman said he began to thoroughly enjoy his new role.

"It was fun," he said.

Eversman was elected to the final two years of Warner's initial term in office and then ran unopposed for a four-year stint. He planned to run again in 2003, but he and his wife decided to build a house just outside of the city limits so he didn't file, knowing he would eventually have to resign.

Eversman, who served as council's Visitors and Convention Bureau liaison and then on the VCB board of directors, is looking forward to his term as president. He feels his involvement and investment in the community will help him in his duties.

Eversman indicated that he hopes to usher in even stronger marketing efforts to bring tourists, including day visitors, to Grove City next year and to have the VCB become more involved in community events. He especially hopes to field new ideas from local residents on ways the bureau can promote Grove City.

"Listening to the public, I think, is important," Eversman said.

At one time, Eversman said that he and his wife used to talk about moving to Florida once he retired, but not any longer.

"We plan to be here the rest of our lives," he said.