Tonight, our Connor Group partners added three elite associates to this distinguished group. It’s a title in our organization that is never given; it’s earned.
Our newest Connor Group Partners of 2023 include:
- Gayle Horton, Colin’s Lodge Director
- Chuck Denning, VP of Kids & Community Partners
- Kristen Rutledge, Regional Head
Gayle joined us in 2017 and leads Colin’s Lodge, one of our in-house programs created by Kids & Community Partners. The Lodge provides adults with cognitive differences the opportunity to build relationships, life-long friendships and take part in social, physical and healthy programs.
When Gayle first started, the Lodge hadn’t even opened its doors. Today, it’s a game-changing organization with more than 69 members throughout the Dayton community.
“Gayle has an extremely high degree of ownership. She treats the Lodge as if it was her own,” partner and director of Kids & Community Ryan Ernst said. “All of the members are better people because she’s come into their lives.”
Under Gayle’s leadership, Colin’s Lodge has nearly tripled the number of members, and they continue to set records year after year for program participation. She’s remained solutions-oriented when the facility faced adversity, cleaning up after heavy rains flooded the facility and crafting unique programs to meet the members’ needs during the pandemic.
“She’s amazing and fantastic, and I love to hang out with her the most,” lodge member Colin Connor said.
In Tampa, regional head Kristen Rutledge celebrated her promotion to partner along with winning National Top Regional Head two years running.
In 2022, Kristen led our Tampa, Louisville and Nashville markets and delivered $659 million in transactional volume.
“Kristen is a top cultural leader in the company. She holds people accountable to extremely high standards and understands the importance of working side-by-side with her people,” partner and CEO Bob Lloyd said.
No matter the situation, you’ll find Kristen rolling up her sleeves and leading from the front – whether it’s responding to a hurricane in Tampa or shoveling snow and helping extract water from flooded units on Christmas Day. And because of her positive, can-do mindset, there’s no challenge Kristen or her teams consider impossible.
“There’s not a goal that’s too big that she thinks she can’t hit, and Kristen wants to be first in everything. And because of that, her team performs at an elite level for her,” partner and regional head Brad Dykes said.
Our final partner promotion is another associate from the Kids & Community Department. VP Chuck Denning joined the organization in 2020, leaving retail after two decades in the industry. Lucky for us, his business acumen and operational expertise were just the skillsets we needed to add to our team, further driving our non-profit endeavors.
“Chuck is a hard worker, a problem solver. Someone who doesn’t complain, doesn’t make excuses, and just finds a way to make it happen,” Ryan said.
From the processes he’s developed to the work he’s done developing our internal program, Chuck is relentless and embodies our core values.
“Chuck is a great ambassador and representative, not only for Kids & Community Partners, but for the entire Connor Group,” managing partner Larry Connor said.