CHRIS SIGNS OFF
Katikati Community Centre manager Chris Ridder leaves the centre in an excellent position after almost 24 years service. For Chris it has always been about the people and developing the centre to become the ‘heart of the community’.
One of the many highlights for Katikati Community Centre manager Chris Ridder (third from left) during her almost 24 years was winning the TrustPowerWestern Bay of Plenty and Tauranga Community Supreme and Joan Kehely Awards in 2006— with staff (from left) Deb Thorn, Ace co-ordinator, Tracy Willing, school holiday programme co-ordinator, and Jenny Browne, information co-ordinator, and the cheer team of school holiday programme children.
Katikati Community Centre manager Chris Ridder is leaving after almost 24 years of dedicated service to Katikati.
This year the Community Centre will be celebrating 25 years of service for the community.
The Katikati Community Centre began in 1993, with Chris taking on the coordinator role in 1995. Since then Chris has broadened the range of adult educational programmes offered and expanded the organisations and funding partners she works with. Through her work the Community Centre has attained an excellent reputation amongst the local community, and with sponsors and funding agents.
More recently she has been influential in developing and implementing the vision of the Community Centre as the heart of the community.
“For me it has always been about the people, the community, our associates and our team, the genuine warmth and caring, what these people have taught me and the lessons I have learnt along the journey,” says Chris.
“What kept me here so long has been the ability the centre has in making a difference in the lives of many through all the services and programmes it runs and also the challenges and the successes, of which there have been many.”
Chris says it has been a real privilege to have worked with so many amazing people over the years who have left their mark on the centre.
“The team has runwith many of my crazy ideas and likewise I have runwith theirs which led to an array of programmes, courses and events. Often we would see something on the news, in the paper or through the community and say, ‘that’s a good idea— we could do that for our community’ and launch into it. This enthusiasm brought about the five Health and Wellbeing Expos 1997-2016 (over 1500 attending each time) and the Men’s Health Nights in 2002 (350 attending), the Men’s and Women’s Health Night 2004, Celia Lashlie’s Raising Adolescent Boys Seminars 2007-2010 (400 attending), along with numerous other parenting seminars. “These events were hugely successful because of staff and community input into the running of them and of course the community attending, which Iwill always be very grateful for.”
The centre embarked on its first School Holiday Programme in August 1995 with only four staff and a couple of tutors, which grew to meet community need. Chris says it was a privilege to have families entrust the care of their children to the centre, and one which the centre took very seriously.
The programme has won many awards and accolades including a National Award in 2002 along with its Adult and Community Education, which has twice won the Adult Learner Week Innovative Provider Award.
The centre also won the supreme award at the Trustpower Western Bay of Plenty and Tauranga Community Awards in 2006.
“I believe that when you are working together as a team unconditionally for good, that good things will happen and that this has ultimately led to the success of the centre.
It has truly been a privilege to serve the community in this way.”
Chris leaves the centre in a viable position, largely due to sound fiscal management.
“The Community Centre will always be in debt to the solid foundations and fiscal responsibility that Chris diligently provided in her 23 years of faithful service to the community,” Katikati Community Centre Board chair David Marshall says.
“She has managed the development of the current Centre from a fledgling organisation to one which now provides a wealth of services within the wider community.”
The Board acknowledges Chris’ contribution to Katikati Community Centre and recognises it has been wide reaching.
She will leave big shoes to fill, Mr Marshall says.
A recruitment agency has been engaged to lead the search for a suitable candidate to achieve the vision that through the work of the Community Centre, Katikati will be a thriving community where everybody feels supported and connected, he says.
2001— OSKKAR Awards— from left Sandy Ravelli, Elysia Gibb, Chris Ridder and Tracey Willing received a third place award in the People’s Choice.
2003— OSKKAR Awards— from left Maria Sherwood, Tracey Willing, Rochelle Thompson and Chris Ridder at the 2003 OSKKAR Awards. The Centre placed second in the Most Socially Responsible Business section, presented by Liz Ward and award sponsor, Dick Hubbard.