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Meet Our Team - Krista Smith, Community Connections Manager

Name: Krista Smith

Current Title: Community Connections Manager

Years of Service: 13 years

City: Laura

Adult woman leading a staff meeting

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love spending time with my family and friends. We love to camp together and find every excuse to have family fun days with our big family--there are a lot of us! I love our chihuahua, Carlie, and we have a pond full of Koi fish that we love to watch grow and multiply!

What is your favorite...

Restaurant: I'm not picky, but Applebees and La Fiesta rank pretty high!

Movie: Hands down, I love anything set back in time. I am just an old country girl!

Book: I enjoy anything about history.

Band: MercyMe & Elevation Worship

If you could travel anywhere, money aside, where would you go?


What is a fun fact about you?

I love to do home improvement projects.

Man and woman standing on deck by beach
Krista with her husband, Rick

Why did you decide to work at Riverside?

I began working in the DD field in Darke County and after pausing to stay home with my children for a few years, I knew I needed to continue supporting people in having the best life possible.

How would you describe your job?

Being a part of the Community Connections Department means that every day brings new adventures. There's nothing better than connecting with someone who is ready and wanting to chart their life course but not confident or maybe not sure how to speak up to share their desires.

Our team takes these situations and focuses on how to support the individual; we listen to their wishes, coordinate with their team and then create opportunities that give them moments to speak up, and the confidence soon follows! Everyone wants to live their own good life and our team gets to help that come to fruition!

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love watching someone reach a milestone in their life. Sometimes it's scoring their first basket of the season or taking a leading position on their team.

I love watching friendships form and independence develop. I love supporting someone at their first advocacy conference and watching their quiet responses the first day turn into them confidently raising their hand to participate by the end! I love being a part of someone going on their first overnight trip without their family or support staff and seeing their pride in reaching that outcome or goal by themselves.

I'm blessed to be part of the team that encourages, supports and offers growth opportunities in life skills and independence. This can lead to someone reaching the goal of moving out on their own and knowing that they're prepared to face whatever will come and being confident enough to ask someone for help. These are just a few examples of why I love my job!

Three women posing for picture at staff Christmas party
Stacy Pettit, Krista Smith and Melissa Nichols

What do you love about working at Riverside?

I love working at Riverside for many reasons. I love that the team I get to spend my days with are all focused on helping someone live a full life. I love that my coworkers are also my friends.

But most of all, I love that I can be a small part of someone learning new skills that will help them make their own decisions, choose their own friends and live, work and play wherever they want!

What inspires you to keep working at Riverside?

Every week there's a new challenge or success story that makes me excited to come to work and see where it leads. I'm blessed to be able to come together with our team, meet with a family or individual we serve, listen to their wants/needs and put together a plan full of different opportunities to help reach those goals. I'm in awe of all the creativity that I work with daily!


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