Scharer tapped to chair Harveys Board | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Scharer tapped to chair Harveys Board

Rob Bhatt

Harveys Casino Resorts on Thursday announced that Thomas M. Yturbide will step down from his post as chairman of the board of the Stateline-based casino corporation.

The publicly traded company’s board of directors named Charles W. Scharer, the company’s president of chief executive officer, to assume the additional role as Yturbide’s successor.

Yturbide, 61, cited personal reasons – primarily a desire to spend more time with his family – for stepping down, effective May 1.

“It (retiring) is something I’ve really wanted to do,” Yturbide said on Thursday. “Having personal things I’ve wanted to pursue, I’m really looking forward to being able to spend some time on these activities.”

Yturbide joined Harveys in 1987 and has served as chief operating officer, chief executive officer, president and, since 1995, chairman.

He will reportedly remain with the company as a consultant through May 1998.

Yturbide, who in 1962 entered the gaming industry as a change person, helped guide Harveys through its public stock offering in 1994.

He also played a major role in the company’s ensuing expansion projects in Central City, Colo. and Council Bluffs, Iowa.

The company was a development partner in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and is pursuing a $300 million resort in Salisbury Beach, Mass. Salisbury officials recently selected Harveys to develop a casino in the seaside resort community, pending approval of legalized casino gaming by the state’s lawmakers.

“Tom guided us from a privately held, single property to a successful, multi-property, public company,” Scharer said. “We regret that he will be taking a less active role, but are happy Tom will still be available to us in a consulting capacity.”

Sharer, who turned 42 on Wednesday, joined Harveys in 1982 as an internal audit manager. Since then, he rose through the ranks to assistant general manager, director of cashiers, vice president of finance and administration and chief financial officer prior to the public offering.

He became an executive vice president and was elected to the corporation’s board of directors in the summer of 1995.

Prior to joining Harveys, Scharer worked for nearly three years for an accounting firm in Reno that was contracted by several casinos, including Harveys.

Scharer grew up in San Jose, Calif. At age 17, he had the distinction of becoming the youngest manager for a McDonald’s restaurant in San Jose, according to biographical material released by Harveys’ publicists. He earned his bachelor’s of science degree in business, with an emphasis on accounting, at San Jose State. He later worked at a local hospital and played drums in a band at fraternity parties before moving to Reno in 1979.

Yturbide’s retirement and the related changes were discussed during Harveys’ most recent board of directors meeting in February.

They were announced Thursday in conjunction with notices being sent out for the company’s upcoming, annual shareholders’ meeting.

The board also nominated Ronald R. Zideck, managing partner for the Reno office of Grant Thornton LLP, to fill the vacancy created by Yturbide’s retirement.

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