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Our 2015 honorees:
Douglas H. Dittrick and the late Rev. David P. Krentel
If Douglas H. Dittrick believes in a cause or organization, his support and enthusiasm for it are steadfast. He has made significant contributions – locally, nationally, and globally – as a businessman, civic leader, and philanthropist.
Following his graduation from Ohio Wesleyan University, Doug completed flight school and began what he thought would be a career flying jets for the Air National Guard. But General Electric extended an offer to join its traveling auditing staff. Eventually he was charged with starting GE’s Cablevision system, which launched an award-winning career in cable television. Doug served as Chairman of the National Cable Television Association, was named Executive of the Year by Cable Television Business magazine, received the Vanguard Award for outstanding contributions to the cable-television industry, and was inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame.
In 1986, Doug, who has three children and nine grandchildren, founded Douglas Communications Corporation II to acquire and operate cable-television companies.
Doug remains actively involved with his alma mater. He was Director of the Alumni Association for 10 years, serving two as its President. He was elected to the university’s Board of Trustees and served as Vice Chair and Chair. He received the Alumni Award and was inducted into the Founders Circle.
Doug is a member of Phi Gamma Delta and served as an Archon Councilor, Vice President, and Archon President. He was elected to the Phi Gamma Delta Educational Foundation and served as Foundation President for three years.
Doug is also a leader with the American Red Cross and Boys Scouts of America. He was a six-year member of the American Red Cross Board of Governors, Chairman of the Bergen-Hudson Chapter, and Chair of the New Jersey State Service Council.
Doug served as President of the Boy Scouts of America Northeast Region and Chairman of the Ridgewood-Glen Rock Council. A current member of the scouts’ National Executive Board, he has received the Silver Buffalo, Silver Antelope, and Silver Beaver awards and is a Baden Powell Fellow. Most recently, he received the Health Care Good Scout Award from the Northern New Jersey Council.
Doug’s commitment to youth is also illustrated by nearly a decade of service – including five as President – to the Ridgewood Board of Education. He is former Chairman of the Board of Theo’s Work, an orphanage in Haiti with more than 550 boys and schools for 1,400 youth in the area of Les Cayes, Haiti.
Doug is former Chairman of The Valley Hospital Foundation. He also served as Board Chairman of Valley Health System and of The Valley Hospital. He was a board member of Children’s Aid and Family Services and of the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame, President of the Ridgewood A.M. Rotary Club, and an Elder in the Community Church of Upper Ridgewood.
Doug’s introduction to Christian Health Care Center was at a “get-acquainted” event a few years ago.
“Even though I only live four miles from the Center, it was the first time I had visited the campus,” he says. “I was very impressed. At the time, I thought I knew all about medical care in Bergen County.”
Following his visit, Doug started to meet individuals whose loved ones were residents, patients, or clients at CHCC.
“I started to learn more about the Center,” he says, “and I began to recognize that the care provided is outstanding.”
In 2010, Doug was invited to join the Christian Health Care Center Foundation Board of Trustees by then-Chair Garry Dykhouse. The men were acquainted through the American Red Cross.
“As a CHCC Foundation trustee, my role was to raise awareness of and funds for the organization,” says Doug, who recently retired and moved to Florida. “Those tasks were aided by the fact that the Center’s greatest assets are its outstanding reputation and its employees. They are very enthusiastic about the Center and the care they provide.”
Through his association with the Foundation, Doug’s friendship with Rev. David P. Krentel grew. David was dedicated to his family, his ministry, his community, and CHCC. A Virginia native, David was a devoted and loving father to two children and grandfather to five grandchildren.
David graduated from Houghton College in New York and continued his postgraduate education at Dallas Theological Seminary in Texas, receiving a master’s degree and a doctorate in ministry. His lifetime calling to ministry included pastoral roles at Hawthorne Gospel Church in New Jersey, Spring Branch Community Church and McKinney Memorial Bible Church in Texas, Westover Presbyterian Church in North Carolina, and Wheaton Bible Church in Illinois.
David deeply enjoyed studying and teaching the Bible. He served on the faculty of Hawthorne Gospel’s Monday Evening Bible School and as the English minister at East Bergen Christian Church (EBCC). At EBCC he started a Saturday morning men’s Bible study and a monthly combined English/Chinese prayer meeting. He participated in numerous overseas missions to Guatemala, Zambia, Malawi, Ghana, and Ethiopia, among others. At Christian Health Care Center, David led weekly Bible studies for residents of Evergreen Court, the Center’s independent-senior apartment complex.
“He was a devoted Christian with a strong faith. That was his mission: to share the Gospel and share the love of Christ,” says his daughter Alison Krentel.
David served as CEO for Melmark Home in Berwyn, PA, a home for developmentally disabled people, and as an Executive Director with World Vision, a worldwide Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.
In North Jersey, David played an important role in the community as a member of Ridgewood A.M. Rotary Club, board member of the Love Fund of Wyckoff Inc., and chaplain for the Nyack College Warriors men’s basketball team, carrying on a tradition he started at the University of Texas, where he provided spiritual motivation for the football team through the
Fellowship of Christian Athletes. David also supported international Chinese students coming to study in the US.
David joined CHCC in 2004 as the Executive Director of the Christian Health Care Center Foundation. He helped raise millions of dollars on behalf of the Center’s mission.
“Dad’s calling was the pastoral ministry, but he was very good at raising money,” Alison says. “Dad was very warm and genuine, smart and well-read, and was able to talk to anybody about anything.”
David’s robust contributions to CHCC went beyond his work. He touched the lives of so many by his presence, compassion, sense of humor, friendship, spiritual leadership, and genuine care to all those he encountered. Through his strategic leadership, gifted fundraising acumen, gentle presence, and ongoing passion to teach the word of God, David made a significant impact on countless lives at CHCC and in the community.
“Christian Health Care Center proudly honors David and Doug – two good friends – for their exemplary and compassionate service,” says Douglas A. Struyk, CPA, LNHA, President and CEO. “Together, they have made a tremendous difference in the lives of so many individuals.”