Meet Carrie Ridge, Our Director of Development!

by Jill

Carrie, right, with her husband and adorable son at his kindergarten graduation

Carrie is the first person you’d nominate to talk to anybody on your behalf.  She is so incredibly warm and friendly and genuinely interested in getting to know people — everybody loves her.  It’s difficult to put into words, but it’s the amount that she values your relationship and your trust in her.  To her, it is absolutely an honor and a delight to get to know you, to bond with you.  Stephani has often remarked on Carrie’s incredible memory for details about people, and it’s clearly because Carrie is so interested in these little details, and they really mean something to her.  We all think this is why she is so great at her job as our Director of Development.

The best way that I can describe this is to show you a couple excerpts from recent emails I received from Carrie.  She was sending me pictures to include in this blog post.

I am attaching my favorite photo of me and my favorite donor of all time.  I raised close to a half a million dollars with this one donor, working closely together.  I’m proud of the money we were able to bring in, but I’m most proud of the relationship that was formed while raising the money, and this relationship exists to this day.  Priceless.

Please do not post this photo until I get permission from him.

I then asked her if I could quote what she’d just said in the blog.

Of course you can quote me! :)  That donor impacted MY life so significantly that I’m the one that feels incredibly lucky that I had the most amazing development experience of my life, thus far, and perhaps for my entire life.  I can’t imagine anything topping that in my professional career.  I knew it was a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience as I was going through it, so I tried really hard to preserve every moment we had together.  I’m still friends with this donor’s daughter as well, as we are ‘kindred spirits’ in a lot of ways.

Carrie’s Autobiography

Carrie Ridge, the Foundation’s Director of Development, has been at San Mateo County Community Colleges Foundation for over three years now.  Carrie’s favorite part of development is the relationship-building, which she finds that to be the most rewarding part of her job.  She currently works mostly with the Foundation’s donor base and is excited to get better acquainted with the Foundation’s broader community through our brand-new outreach to the District’s alumni.

Before coming to the Foundation, she was the Director of Development at San Mateo County Historical Association, a Redwood City non-profit.  Even before that, Carrie worked at Stanbridge Academy, a private, non-profit K-12 school for children with learning disabilities, where she and the Head of School spent four years working side-by-side to reposition the school.  (He and she are still friends to this day!)  Carrie also used to be an elementary school teacher in San Mateo County “way back when.”  For her, working at San Mateo County Community Colleges Foundation now is a perfect fit (she feels “right at home”), as she can apply both her experience in development and her background in education.  

Carrie with her husband and children at Top of the Rock in New York

On the home front, Carrie has a husband, Bret, and two children: Alana, 16 (just about to get her driver’s license), and Evan, 10.  Carrie also has four stepsons, whom she adores along with their wives and their own children.  Carrie’s sister, Michelle, and mom, Mari, also live close by.   

Stepson Brian giving Carrie the thumbs up

Eldest stepson Daniel at his surprise 35th birthday party

Stepson Steven, flexing his muscles

Stepson Matt at Alana's birthday party

Carrie loves living in San Mateo County and plans to stick around for quite some time.  (She is a true native of the area: born in San Francisco, raised in Pacifica and Millbrae, and a graduate of Capuchino High School in San Bruno.)  In her spare time, she enjoys going to 49ers games, baseball games (“Go Giants!”), and LOVES spending time with her children, husband, and extended family.   

Carrie with Alana as "Frumah Sarah" in her high school's production of Fiddler on the Roof

Oh, and she can’t forget to mention her four — ‘count ’em, four — dogs: three Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (Buddy, Bella and Brandie) and one long-haired Chihuahua (Chewie).  She has been a real animal-lover from the time she was a kid and has never known an animal she didn’t want to scoop up and take home.   

Son Evan with Buddy

Carrie and her family with Buddy (red) and Bella (black and tan)