Terri Carter has left the building, but not the city


For the past 17 years, Terri Carter has put in countless hours of hard work and perspiration to help improve Cape Town. She tells the story that she was initially willing to help out at the Cape Town Partnership (CTP) for a couple of months, until her consultancy got on its feet.

Now, almost two decades later, Terri has decided to write her next chapter, and pick up the tale from when she was starting her consultancy.

Terri’s significant contribution to how Cape Town functions today cannot be overlooked, and we asked former colleagues and partners to send us recollections of working with, as she is affectionately known, Ms Carter:

Pat Eddy, Social Development Manager at the Central City Improvement District.

“When I joined the Central City Improvement District (CCID) as the social development manager in 2008 I was initially rather overwhelmed by the expectations of the position and even more confused about the CTP/CCID partnership and fascinated about the history of both organisations.

“Terri Carter was always the person who was able to answer my many questions with her wealth of knowledge about both organisations and I always enjoyed the enthusiasm with which she shared this information. Her passion and dedication to CTP was clearly evident.

“Always the perfect diplomat, with her wealth of knowledge, expertise and exceptional ability to make connections with various partners and stakeholders and she was always willing to facilitate these introductions for me. Within a very short while, this bubbly blonde colleague with her strong American accent became the face of CTP for me and even after the CCID left The Terraces, I always regarded Terri Carter as the face of CTP and I suppose I would describe her as “MISS CTP”!

“Terri your friendship is truly valued. Best wishes for the exciting new chapter in your life and I look forward to sharing these special times with you. Go well special friend!”

Rory Phelan, Manager of the Company’s Garden

“I had the pleasure of working with Terri throughout the nine years I have been in this position. My first encounters with her began back in 2008 when we served on ‘The Company’s Garden Action Committee’. Terri was always a source of inspiration to me with her positive attitude and ‘can-do’ personality. She had a unique gift of clarity and being able to see possible solutions to problems which I may not have thought of.  She helped with ideas and inspiration for the pictorial history of the Company’s Garden display at the Visitor’s Centre.

“Terri was always working on ways to make Cape Town more interesting and accessible for the visitor and, with City Walks, always involved the Company’s Garden in the route and added performance and activities which enlivened the garden environment.

“Terri worked tirelessly during the Christmas of 2015 ensuring the success of the ‘Summer Market’ which project she and the team were given at very short notice. It is a measure of her positive personality and attitude that she managed to make a success of that Summer Market even though she had literally a month’s notice to arrange and execute it.

“Terri was always a person I could turn to for creative thinking about solutions to problems I encountered. She will be missed.”

Andrew Boraine, CEO of the Western Cape Economic Development Partnership, former CEO of the Cape Town Partnership (2003-2013)

“Terri is one of the most dedicated and committed persons around. Most people don’t know it, but in the early years, Terri worked for the Cape Town Partnership (CTP) and the Central City Improvement District (CCID) as a volunteer. In other words, Terri had such a commitment to the regeneration of the Central City, she was prepared to work full-time for free for a number of years.

“Terri is a person who is prepared to do the hard work. Again, in the early days, Terri went door to door, street by street, block by block, signing on hard-nosed property owners to the CCID and sceptical corporates as fee-paying sponsors of the CTP. And yet, Terri is the last person who would want to take the credit, always seeing herself as part of a bigger team.

“I have always appreciated Terri’s meticulous planning ability, which enabled us to set a very high bar in organizing quality CTP and CCID events and engagements with stakeholders and partners. And her calm manner time and again helped to get us through stressful situations.

“In my experience, Terri is a very flexible and adaptive co-worker, sensitive to frequent changes in the partnering environment. As such, she was an ideal person to have as part of a partnering organisation.

“Most importantly of all, Terri is always up for a good party! Given her hard work and dedicated commitment of the past 17 years, Terri helped to give us many reasons to celebrate. Thanks Terri, and all the best to you, Andre and the boys for the future.”

Paul Williamson, Service Coordinator for the City of Cape Town

“I recall Terri always being there and being the sterling proactive interface with any event that the CTP was involved with. She has the ability to be cheerful and engaging whilst focusing on the goals to be achieved.

“It did not matter what the size and scale of the event; from stakeholder interface; AGM’s; CTP/City of Cape Town promotional initiatives to the 2010 World Cup and the various activation programmes; to fan walks and fan park; to City Walk Saturdays; to First Thursdays; to Open Streets; Cape Town Summer Market; Greenmarket Square Upgrade; various Grand Parade Initiatives – the list is endless.

“Terri has that special ability to know who’s who; to connect with those people and to relationally achieve the event’s objective. She has the unique ability to navigate through the “you cannot do” to “making it possible”.

“Then because of her own network; she helps the left-hand talk to the right-hand.

“She also has that ongoing endearing passion for the promotion of Cape Town.”

Erica Elk, Executive Director at Cape Craft & Design Institute

“Terri has been a great friend of the creative industries in Cape Town and particularly of Craft & Design. She was always making connections and referrals for the Cape Craft & Design Instituteand always on the look-out for opportunities for market access and promotion for the hundreds of creative SMEs in the central city. She is one of the most connected people I know and a great connector … we are going to miss her! But look forward to seeing what she has up her sleeve…”

What can an organisation say to someone who has contributed so much, in and out of stormy weather, for so many years? Bon Voyage, Terri. We look forward to reading the next chapter.

Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana, CEO of the Cape Town Partnership

Terri’s contribution right from the start of CTP until 17 years later has been of quite strength, unflinching attention to detail no matter how big or small the project (I honestly don’t know how she manages that), her ability to push, pull, cajole others’ contribution to every single event the organisation has hosted has been a marvel to behold. Her excellent contribution is captured for posterity in every event picture that we have in our huge picture database.

She remains a good friend and a colleague who I know will answer my call should I need her support in future. CTP without Terri is somehow strange. However, as a not for profit institution, CTP knows that change, rapid change at that, is the only constant in our environment. Terri may have left the building, but she leaves a memory in our minds and our hearts.

Terri leaves a historic legacy with CTP and its staff both in our memories and in our hearts.

And it does my heart good to know that on any day she will walk into these offices with a smile and hug or I will see her walking about town.

Would you like to leave your recollections of working with Terri Carter? Please use the comment’s field below.

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