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SACF executive director retires

Reidie, now 78, said it has been a good run with the St. Albert Community Foundation and it's time to retire, even if he won't be fully retired.
0501 reidie sup CC
Klayton Deputan (left) of KidSport St. Albert happily received a grant from former SACF executive director Dave Reidie (right) during the 2019 grant ceremony. Reidie just announced his retirement at the end of 2021. FACEBOOK/Photo

It was a career well spent and it’s now a retirement well earned.

The year 2021 ended with Dave Reidie leaving his post as executive director of the St. Albert Community Foundation. It has been a good, long run, he explained with a lot of successes along the entire stretch, starting right from day one.

“When I started, I didn't even know what a foundation was, to be honest with you,” he admitted during the phone interview that took place with two days to go before he formally turned in his keys.

His place as the SACF’s director came to him after repeated phone calls from several of its board members. Reidie retired from the Edmonton Journal in 2005 and “had no intentions of doing anything,” but the foundation was in need of a new head, and he was a good fit for the post.

Also, it’s tough to ignore some of the community’s most persuasive members, especially when they keep calling.

“On the third approach, I started to think about it. I'm thinking, ‘I'm retired. What am I going to do?’ So I took this project on, and it's probably one of the best things I've ever done. I say that because St. Albert’s an incredible place. I’ve met so many wonderful people. And I mean that,” he continued. “The people in this community are outstanding — so many generous people.”

Reidie, now 78, took over the reins from previous executive directors Patty Walker and Paul Chalifoux. The St. Albert Community Foundation works by taking funds donated or raised from the public, and then handing it back out at the end of each calendar year to worthy community organizations. It’s all in support of the long-term service of needs in St. Albert.

He said his job was pretty easy, actually.

“We don't go out and look for money. We don't have our hand out. People come to us and they want to know what we do. Basically, that's it.”

Keeping his hands in was a good strategy, as Reidie’s integrity must have proven incentive enough for most donors. During the start of his office, the foundation held perhaps less than $250,000 in its accounts, he guesstimated. Now, it’s closer to $4 million.

That’s good news for the foundation but better news for the community. The grants it offers help to augment operating budgets for numerous charities and community groups so they can get more kids involved in sports, or provide more counselling services to people who need it, or give hospitals the opportunity to upgrade their medical equipment, and much more.

The foundation is about helping people, and that’s what Reidie said was his driving force.

“It's been a good ride. It really has been … and I'm still involved,” he ended, noting that just like any repeat retiree, he’s still keeping involved by working behind the scenes of the SACF’s golf tournament.

“I'm going to get out of answering the phone, answering the emails, making the phone calls, getting called at 10 o'clock at night, getting called at three o'clock Sunday afternoon. That's all gone. It does take a lot of time. It really, truly does. I loved it. I loved it. But there's one thing in life that doesn't change: you get older.”

The SACF hasn’t yet announced a replacement for Reidie.

Scott Hayes

About the Author: Scott Hayes

Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns, and profiles on people.
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