In Memory of Deirdre

One of our favorite recent memories with Deirdre – overlooking the beautiful Cap-Haitien, Haiti in October 2018.

A note from SOIL’s Executive Director, Dr. Sasha Kramer on the birthday of our beloved colleague, Deirdre Redden:

The past months have been a period of collective shock, sacrifice and grieving for many families around the world as humanity faces the threat of coronavirus. It has also been a time of shared humanity, generosity and a moment for reflection. As our team at SOIL continues to fight to ensure basic services to the communities we serve, we also want to step back from the current crisis and take a moment to reflect and remember one of our own.

Deirdre with her husband Ned Shanahan and son Jame at Jame’s college graduation.

On March 1, 2020, Deirdre Redden, our beloved Finance Director of 7 years, passed away after a short battle with brain cancer. Deirdre served SOIL as a member of our Executive Management team with tireless dedication and commitment. During SOIL’s most turbulent times, Deirdre was our anchor. As Executive Director, she was the person I turned to for honest and direct feedback when I faced my most challenging decisions as a leader. Her calm and practical advice always came from a place of compassion, but she had a unique ability to strip away distractions to uncover a clear strategic approach in line with SOIL’s long-term mission. Her thoughtful resolve helped to guide our team through some of our most challenging times.

In addition to her professional stewarding of SOIL’s finances and her strategic thought leadership, Deirdre was committed to sharing her skills with others on the team. She worked closely with our administrative managers in both Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haitien to support their professional growth.

Frantz Jean Louis worked with Deirdre for five years and shared the following memory:

“Life is like clouds in the sky, one moment they are there and the next they are gone. This is how Deirdre came into this world and when her time came she was gone. But the way she supported me in my work was truly extraordinary. She taught me many things that will serve me in both my professional and personal life. I will never forget her and she will always have a special place in my memory”

“Lavi se tankou nwaj ki nan syèl la, yon moman li parèt aprè yon ti tan li ale, se konsa Deirdre te parèt sou tè sa epi moman pal rive poul ale li ale. Men fason li te konn sipote’m nan kad travay la se vreman extraòdinè li te aprann mwen anpil bagay kap sevi’m pou tout lavim nan domèn finans e menm pèsonèl. Deirdre mwen pap janm bliyew wap toujou rete nan memwa’m”

Outside of her work at SOIL, Deirdre was an exceptional mother, wife and sister to her five siblings. SOIL has been honored to get to know Deirdre’s family over the years and we had the pleasure of introducing her son Jame to Haiti and working closely with her niece Jessica who served on SOIL’s board for several years. She inspired her family to support the work of SOIL that she herself was so passionate about, and many of SOIL’s employees have benefited from the humble generosity of Deirdre’s family members without ever knowing her supportive role. Deirdre’s husband Ned shared that “Deirdre was dedicated to helping the Haitian people, both through her work at SOIL and through her charitable donations.”

I will always be thankful for the years we had together and the role that Deirdre played in making SOIL what it is today. Her leadership, professionalism and wisdom will continue to guide us as we work to honor her memory by carrying forward SOIL’s mission.

To share a memory or note of support with Deirdre’s family, please leave a comment below and we will pass your messages on. To make a donation in Deirdre’s memory to SOIL, please visit this page.



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