For Marlene Raddetz, the quickest way to make Smithers home was to volunteer with a community group.
“I really decided that I was coming here and was going to love everything about Smithers.”
“I really wanted to get involved.”
It didn’t take Raddatz long to get involved as she stepped in to help with the Fall Fair, an experience that she enjoyed.
“I volunteered in the office, I met a lot of people, it was wonderful,” she said with a big smile.
An administrator by training, Raddatz works as a casual administrative worker at the Bulkley Valley District Hospital.
“I like taking a messy office and putting order in it,” she said with a grin.
“I really love that.”
It is those skills that Raddatz brings to her position as adminstrator for the Smithers Centennial 2013 organizing committee.
Although she is a core member of the organizing committee, Raddatz admits she does her best work behind the scenes to make those who are working front and center look great and to make their job easier.
“I really enjoy working behind the scenes,” she said.
With an eye for details, Raddatz admits her biggest challenge is to keep track of all the ideas that pop up when the organizing committee meets, especially making sure every idea gets the attention it deserves.
“I don’t want any good idea to get lost during the brainstorming process,” she said.
“I like to facilitate peoples ideas.”
In addition to her administrative skills, Raddatz is also an experienced music teacher, having completed her training through the Royal Conservatory.
“My parents insistence,” Radditz said with a chuckle is what got her through the early years of her piano lessons.
Raddatz, who completed Grade 10 of the Conservatory when she was 16, speaks fondly of her piano training, and her face lights up when she speaks of Thelma O’Neill.
“She was a very inspiring teacher,” Raddatz said.
“She really instilled the love of teaching music in me.”
Another important mentor was Edward Parker in Vancouver.
“He is definitely a teacher’s teacher,” she said.
“He was so positive and had the ability to enable you to believe in yourself.”
Prior to arriving in Smithers, Raddatz and her husband Jim, lived in Toronto, where she had the opportunity to take advantage of her music and administrative skills as the administrator of a music school.
Today with less than a year to go until the Centennial celebrations begin, Raddatz is very much looking forward to the celebrations and looking forward to meeting new people.
“I love the diversity of people living in Smithers,” she said.
“Especially the different kinds of music and musicians that live here.”