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’.

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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.

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