Craig Ryder Award

In September 2005, Craig Ryder, the former Finance Director of the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program (MTCP), lost his battle against cancer at the age of 37. Mr. Ryder spent five years with the MTCP before becoming the Associate
Director of New York State’s Tobacco Control Program in 2003.

Mr. Ryder’s vision, commitment, leadership, professionalism, collaborative nature, and attention to detail advanced both the Massachusetts and New York Tobacco Control Programs and resulted in significant changes in tobacco-related behaviors and resources. The Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program received international recognition for it efforts, which included significant decreases in youth and adult smoking prevalence and an award-winning media campaign. Craig Ryder’s remarkable leadership helped pave the way for these achievements, and his hard work and determination will not be forgotten.

The Craig Ryder Memorial Award is given annually by the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program to recognize an individual for his or her unwavering commitment to tobacco control. This individual embodies a leader who is dedicated to fostering collaborative initiatives and whose determination and perseverance has resulted in improvements to tobacco control efforts at the community, regional or statewide level.

This year at the 2010 Craig Ryder Memorial Award we were thrilled to have with us Craig’s mother Anne Ryder and Craig’s sister Marjorie Ryder attending the award presentation as we remembered Craig’s many achievements along with his determination and leadership.

2011 Award Recipient

Judith Coykendall – Southeastern Massachusetts Community Partnership Director11-7

Judith has worked in tobacco control for over 17 years.  From the days of the Southeast Speakers Tour and Weekends to Quit to the Southcoast Ex Smokers’ Hall of Fame, she has adapted to all workplan changes and excelled.  With her depth of knowledge and expertise, Judith looks for what’s working and figures out how to make it even better. She doesn’t get stuck by a blip in the road, but finds even more reason to forge forward. When the budget gets tight, Judith still smiles and answers, “I guess it’s time for an intern.” Judith appreciates learning from her peers and humbly sharing what she has learned during her many years in the field.

Judith has a magnetic and engaging personality that invites others to partner with her. It doesn’t matter if you are a MTCP colleague, community agency staff person or an ex-smoker being recruited for the Hall of Fame, you just want to work with Judith. She has an uncanny ability to rally the troops and mobilize a reporter, legislator, community, agency or organization around any tobacco prevention or education issue. She has an eye for the perfect opportunity to engage with a community partner or colleague and is willing to wait until they are ready to work with her (not always easy to do).

Judith’s enthusiasm, commitment and leadership in the work of tobacco cessation and prevention work is consistently evident and her positive energy seems endless.  Judith embodies the professionalism and commitment that is true to the mission of Craig’s memory.  She brings to her work creativity, dedication, and the strong community and political partnerships and relationships needed to be successful.   She truly embodies the spirit of Craig’s memory.

2010 Award Recipient

Joyce Redford – North Shore Boards of Health Tobacco Control Program Director10-7

For over 12 years, Joyce Redford, Director of the North Shore Boards of Health Tobacco Control Program, has built community support for smoke free regulations and policies to prevent youth from starting to use tobacco. Her leadership was instrumental in the city of Salem becoming one of the first cities to have a board of health regulation to prohibit smoking in bars and restaurants in the spring of 2001. She spearheaded the “Clean Air Works North” initiative and spent many hours sharing information about the dangers of secondhand smoke and building community partnerships to support comprehensive workplace regulations in the Northeast area. Her advocacy and hard work provided an essential component to increase the critical mass needed to create and pass the Massachusetts Smoke-free Workplace Law in 2004. In addition, Joyce served on the original workgroup to develop the youth compliance check training. Last year, she worked with causemedia to create a retailer training video being used throughout Massachusetts.

Joyce began her work in MTCP as a youth advisor and continues to be a leader in working with young people to promote policy initiatives. Joyce has served as a resource and mentors to others helping out with compliance checks, retailer education, and offering support to other MTCP funded programs throughout Massachusetts. Joyce is fearless in expressing her opinions and always willing to offer a helping hand. As a colleague stated in nominating Joyce “She demonstrates professionalism, tenacity and energy in her work. Her many years working in tobacco prevention has not dulled her enthusiasm.”

Joyce’s collaborative skills coupled with her professionalism, and willingness to mentor colleagues truly encompasses the spirit of the Craig Ryder Memorial Award.

2009 Award Recipient

Bob Collett – Cape Cod Regional Tobacco Control Program7-7

Bob Collett has been the Director of the Cape Cod Regional Tobacco Control Program for over 12 years. He was instrumental in making the Cape and the Islands the first region in Massachusetts to create a smoke-free workplace. His ability to build community support for smoke-free regulations played a key role in helping the Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program create and pass the smoke-free workplace law in 2005.

Mr. Collett’s distinguished work has been replicated in the United States as well as Ireland. He has worked with the Irish Health Ministry and public health officials from New York City to discuss his successes in working with communities and with bars and restaurants to build support for smoke-free workplaces.

With more than a decade of service, Mr. Collett continues to educate the public about the misinformation spread by the tobacco industry. His focused perspective serves as a resource to others helping out with compliance checks, knowledge sharing, and offering support to other MTCP funded programs throughout Massachusetts.

2008 Award Recipient

Diane Knight – Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, Lawrence Tobacco Free Partnership9-7

Diane has worked in the field of tobacco control for well over a decade. In nominating her, Diane’s colleagues spoke of her commitment to the issues and her willingness to share her skills and experience:

“This award embodies what Diane is all about. She is highly committed to tobacco control. This is evident not only through her daily work in Lawrence but also through the effort she puts forth to support statewide initiatives, such as the Smoke-Free Families Campaign and the Massachusetts Smokers’ Quitline.

Diane is always looking at ways that she can better meet the needs of her community, region and people across the state. She is a leader. She spends a great deal of time determining what the community’s needs are and working with the community to address those needs. In order to do this, one must keep an eye on the big picture while also managing the details. She is always professional, and a team player.

The benefits of Diane’s work extend far beyond the City of Lawrence. All the MTCP programs that Diane works with have benefited from her knowledge and expertise.”