Farewell to our Chief Exec, Julie Gaskell-Johnson
This week we have said a bittersweet and fond farewell to our outgoing Chief Executive, Julie Gaskell-Johnson.
On joining West Yorkshire Print Workshop in 2013, Julie brought a connecting outlook and vibrancy that empowered the team and gave a sense of energy and ownership in the workshop’s modern and evolving offer. West Yorkshire Print Workshop would not be in its position of stability without her leadership and her wisdom, energy and unfailing support and that sentiment has been felt by the team more than ever over the last 12 months.
She worked with lightning speed to assimilate government guidelines early on during the pandemic and ensure the health and safety of staff and members. She has rooted out all the possible ways of finding support at a time when our organisation’s earned income crashed, with many thanks to Arts Council England and Kirklees Council. Rather than looking to her own future and ‘winding down’ her commitment, Julie has continued to invest in the longer-term future of West Yorkshire Print Workshop to ensure our survival and sustainability. Julie has been instrumental in directing our energies to finding new ways of engaging our members and customers in recent months, and these innovative ways of working will remain part of her legacy.
Julie has always been one to go beyond the call of duty, driven by her unwavering dedication and genuine love of West Yorkshire Print Workshop, our ambition, team, studio holders, members and supporters. She is caring, hands-on and is sure to join in with everything!
As the lifting of lockdown finally looms closer, we will look to celebrate Julie’s retirement in person when we can, but it is testament to her unflagging commitment to our small organisation at all levels that her staff team and board should all still be around to see this happen.
Julie’s daily presence will be missed in all ways, but most especially simply laughing around the kitchen table with a cup of tea!
Perhaps we will convince her to come back in one of our new folio of volunteer roles… but for now she is certainly deserving of a rest!