East Sider Chris Rider wins St. Paul’s Karl Neid award

Chris Rider

East Sider Chris Rider has a long track record working for the city.

From a long list of volunteer contributions to the East Side and the city at large, and with over 25 years under her belt as a city employee, she’s demonstrated a commitment to St. Paul.

So it’s not exactly a surprise she was given the Karl Neid Community Involvement Award.

The award, established in 1992, honors the late Karl Neid, a St. Paul City Council member for Ward 5 who was 43 when he died from a heart attack in 1992. The award is intended to recognize city employees who have records of contributing to the city, both in and out of their professional life.

According to a city statement, Rider “was nominated by her co-workers for her efficiency, patience and kindness to residents and staff who interact with the Mayor’s office and her multiple volunteer activities in the broader community.”

Rider was chosen by a team of past Karl Neid Award winners and city council staff chaired by council president Kathy Lantry.

“I couldn’t be more excited to have Chris receive this award,” said Mayor Chris Coleman in a statement.

“I have the opportunity to work with Chris every day, and I see first-hand her dedication to the City of St. Paul and the community.

“Through her work for the City and her volunteer service, she has helped to build and strengthen our City,” Coleman said.

Rider started working for the city in 1987, first for the police department, and then moved to the city council offices in 1990.

She worked for Karl Neid himself from January to May 1992. Neid represented St. Paul’s Ward 5, which includes parts of the Payne-Phalen neighborhood as well as the North End and Frogtown neighborhoods.

Rider spoke highly of Neid. “His devotion to the East Side was contagious, and needless to say, I caught it right away.

“Karl was a kind man with a big heart, and I feel the need to carry that forward through this award,” she said.

Rider has lived in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood for nearly 23 years.

After Neid passed away, she worked with other former council members, including Mike Harris, and then his brother Pat Harris. In that timeframe, she met Chris Coleman, who was at the time another council member.

When Coleman was elected mayor in November 2005, Rider started working for him as his scheduler.

Though working for the mayor is hectic, Rider said it’s encouraging to think that she’s “helping the mayor to further his vision of St. Paul.”

She noted both she and Coleman were born and raised in St. Paul. “I think we truly understand each other and share the want to see our hometown succeed on as many levels as possible,” she said.

Rider added that Coleman “is very over-scheduled... though I think if you asked him, he would say he is ready to take on more.”

Rider volunteers as a board member at Spare Key, an organization that helps families with critically ill children by making their housing payments, and also is on the school board of Twin Cities Academy.

Over the years, she’s also served as a local Girl Scout troop leader, and volunteered for a number of Habitat for Humanity projects.

Council President Kathy Lantry said in a statement that Rider “truly embodies the spirit of the Karl Neid Award.”

Rider will be formally recognized at an award ceremony during the city council meeting at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 9.

Contact Patrick Larkin at 651-748-7816 or at eastside@lilienews.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ESRPatrickLark.


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