Crossroad’s Rider Honored with Life of Service Award

Cathy Graham, former IARCA executive director, and Randall J. Rider, president and CEO of Crossroad Child and Family Services, during the awards banquet. The Life of Service Award is named for Graham, who expertly guided IARCA for 18 years.

Randall J. Rider, president and CEO of CHHSM member Crossroad Child & Family Services in Fort Wayne, Ind., is a recipient of the Cathy Graham Life of Service Award.

The first-ever award, given Sept. 18 by the Indiana Association of Resources and Child Advocacy (IARCA), is named for its highly-respected past executive director, Cathy Graham.

“I am honored to be recognized by my peers for this important work we all do together,” Rider says. “At the end of the day, there is nothing more important than knowing that your work might have made a difference in someone’s life.”

The award is given to persons who have worked in the child welfare, child services, or child well-being communities for at least 25 years; who demonstrate a deep commitment to the health and welfare of youth and have made significant contributions to advancing the field; who champion excellence in the care and treatment of children and families; whose work and professional conduct sets a high standard for performance for others; who present an outstanding image to the community and reflects; and who is an advocate for youth and quality care for all youth.

Rider has more than 41 years of service to children and families. He began work at Crossroad in 1980 as a therapist and team leader. Named president and CEO in 2006, he has been instrumental in jumpstarting several initiatives, including increasing major collaborations with area service providers in order to provide children and families the best possible care; the launch of community services programs; and the opening of an outpatient counseling office in service-poor Huntington, Ind.

“Randy’s unwavering focus on doing all that is best for children and families is clearly understood by those around him,” reads the letter nominating Rider. “Randy has had a profound influence on the lives of countless children and families for more than four decades. His integrity, dedication, skills, and heart are quite evident.”

As president and CEO, Rider also has shepherded the 135-year-old agency through a name and 501(c)3 change in order to stay relevant in offering care and service to children and families. He also steered Crossroad to earn two independent accreditations for the agency’s Crossroad Academy, and in October 2017, oversaw the opening of Crossroad’s Emergency Mental Health Shelter for children with mental health challenges who need emergency shelter and counseling.

Rider was one of two recipients recognized. Sharon Pierce, CEO of The Villages of Indiana, also was honored.

The impact of Rider’s work continues to be felt by current and former Crossroad clients. As the nomination letter reads: “I receive many phone calls from former clients who want to know, ‘Is Mr. Rider still there?’ ‘Yes, he is!’ is my reply. ‘That’s good — he always cared about me,’ they say.”

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