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Holli Redekop

2007 staff achievement awards: Holli Redekop

March 6, 2008

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Each year, SFU’s staff achievement awards highlight the exceptional personal and work-related accomplishments of staff members. Throughout this semester, SFU News will feature profiles on each of the 2007 winners who were recognized Jan. 21 at the Diamond Alumni Centre.

In this issue: Leadership — Holli Redekop, director, ceremonies and events.

Organizing and hosting 44 special SFU events in one year is not for the faint-of-heart — particularly when the university’s largest celebration, June convocation, involves 12 different events over four days.

But Holli Redekop and her team of six event specialists in the office of ceremonies and events manage it all with aplomb. Redekop runs such a finely tuned event machine that her staff nominated her for the leadership award, citing her vision, integrity and foresight.

As well, they said, “she inspires and provides her staff with the tools and energy to perform at their highest level and to always look for more efficient methods of improving processes and projects.”

Redekop, who describes herself as “frighteningly well-organized,” joined SFU in 1992 as an executive assistant in the office of the VP research, where she organized events for visiting granting councils. She then moved into university advancement where she continued to organize special occasions before joining ceremonies and events six years ago.

Redekop’s close attention to detail extends to establishing a cohesive and committed work team. “What we do here is so public that we’re absolutely scrutinized,” she notes. That’s why her door is always open to staff suggestions and criticisms. “We’re always striving to do better.”

Staffers begin organizing a year in advance for events large and small, including the outstanding alumni awards, donor recognition evenings, president’s luncheons and dinners, and all of the alumni-award events that occur each year around the world.

The pressure, however, can be grueling. That’s why Redekop remembers to organize special moments for the staff, whether they’re gelato outings in the summer or hot chocolate parties in the winter. “They’re little mini-celebrations where we sit and chat and not talk about work.”

Her efforts are not lost on her team. “Here in Strand Hall,”  says one of her team members, “works a woman of integrity, decisiveness, humanity and grace.”
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