Black Dog Ride
Announces Interim CEO
Last week we were saddened to announce that Black Dog Ride's Founder and Managing Director Steve Andrews was stepping back from operational duties for health reasons. We are now pleased to announce that Black Dog Ride's Wangaratta Coordinator Jim Redmond will be Black Dog Ride's Interim CEO to manage the planned March 1 Dayer and national Tasmania rides.
As a long time Black Dog Rider, Jim is familiar with the operations of Black Dog Ride and has a strong background in Business Administration, Human Resources and Occupational Health & Safety.
We're grateful to Jim for stepping up and we look forward to working with him to continue Steve Andrews' life saving legacy of raising awareness of depression and suicide prevention.
Letter to Black Dog Riders from Interim CEO Jim Redmond
The resignation of Steve Andrews as CEO of Black Dog Ride came as a great shock to me, especially as I had spoken to him regarding the Tasmanian event as recently as mid-January. The role Steve filled was pretty much non-stop but I never realised the immense personal pressure he had been under. It brings home to me how crucial it is that we each make a genuine effort not only to look after those we care about but also to look in the mirror once in a while when we ask RUOK?
When I was approached by the Board regarding the interim role as CEO, I understood that a possible alternative was the cancellation of the 1 Dayers on 19th March and even the National Ride to Tasmania in November this year. As a volunteer Ride Coordinator myself, I understood the work which had already been done, the commitments made, the registrations paid, the tasks organised and the support generated, all under the Black Dog Ride banner. I felt that I should take whatever steps I could to avoid damage to the BDR brand and ensure that the activities which mean so much to all of us continued, and they will. Black Dog Ride's 1 Dayers all over the country are gathering online registrations, supporters and donors have pledged their resources and coordinators have incredible teams working with them to provide one of our key annual events. In addition, deposits have been paid and dates locked in for the Tasmanian ride and I will be in contact with the State Coordinators regarding arrangements. We'll be working to get the registrations happening as soon as we can.
It's very important to me that the work started by Steve Andrews and taken up by so many exceptional Coordinators and committed volunteers continues and gains even more momentum. My involvement with Black Dog Ride began in late 2013 with a phone call to Steve to see if we could get a local 1 Dayer started in Wangaratta, because I'd read about what Black Dog Ride was doing and I believed I could help. What particularly struck me was the potential to do so much good from something so direct; to involve riders, to engage the community, to open doors and remove some of the barriers to understanding and talking about mental health and the prevention of suicide.
My journey to this point and further is not the same as that for Steve, but nor is that of any other supporter of Black Dog Ride. We all have a history that makes every one of us different, but what makes us the same is the incredible shared effort to accomplish what we take on every day, every year. Every rider that tells me why this is so personally important for them makes me more certain that what we are doing together needs to continue and to grow from Steve's inaugural ride in 2009.
Black Dog Ride commenced because of Steve's passion and it continues to make a difference because of every one of you, because of the personal and powerful influence you develop in your communities. Don't stop. Don't lose sight of why you became involved or of the huge effect you have on the people around you.Please understand that I'm still getting across some of the priorities so I ask that you keep in mind the tireless BDR staff are doing everything they can to help, I thank you in advance for your patience.
Jim Redmond, Interim CEO
Black Dog Ride Australia Limited