The Right Stuff

Tom Ketteridge Original Haven Office

Tom Ketteridge steps up as first managing director in 2000

The Haven has a knack of hiring the exact right person at the right time. Case in point: Tom Ketteridge, the organization’s first managing director, who served from 2000 to 2009.

“I had moved to the Upper Valley in 1985 and was working as a CPA for White Mountains Insurance in Hanover,” Tom explains. As he became more successful in his career, Tom began donating money to area organizations. The Haven was one of those beneficiaries. “As I got more involved, I learned that the Haven was looking for board members, so I volunteered,” he says.

That was 1998. A year or so later, talk at the board turned to hiring a full-time managing director for the growing organization. It just so happened that Tom was looking to make a life change and decided to throw his hat into the ring. He got the job.

“The board was wise to hire him,” recalls former Resource Coordinator Barbara Henzel, who started at the same time as Tom. “Tom had an MBA and was organized, precise, and careful. He had built his own home in Lyme. He was the ideal person to oversee the construction of Byrne House.”

While managing came easily to Tom, the human services element of the job was all new to him. “As a Christian, I was always interested in helping those who are less fortunate. But I thought poverty was a temporary situation,” he observes.

“It was a learning curve for him, but he was willing to do the work,” Henzel concludes.

In the chapters that have made up the Haven’s 40 years, Tom oversaw the decade devoted to creating place: establishing the campus as it now stands on Hartford Avenue so that services could be better provided. Over his 10 years at the helm, the organization concluded its first capital campaign, built the Byrne Community House and Family Shelter, started a second capital campaign, and broke ground to construct the Hixon House Adult Shelter. The Haven benefitted immeasurably from Tom’s competent leadership, which built a firm foundation for the future.

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