We must ensure Kathy’s legacy lives on

Darryl Danielli
Monday, September 1, 2014

The passing of Kathy Woodward is a massive blow for the industry, not just in terms of her role as chief executive at the BPIF, but also in terms of the impact she had on so many individuals at a personal level.

She had an infectious enthusiasm for print, but also an acute awareness of the challenges it faces, and was a trusted counsellor for many leading industry figures.

Her inclusive style, driven by a focus on people rather than just process, meant that she had an innate ability to give you the impression that the vision she was sharing was as much yours as hers.

In short, her people skills were legendary.

Not so long ago she was rushing to catch a train when one of her shoes slipped between the train and the platform. But rather than be late for the event, she boarded the train and managed to sweet talk the buffet staff into crafting a shoe out of an oven glove so she could get to the event on time.

Mere mortals like me or you would have struggled to get a decent bacon sarnie, but Kathy’s highly developed people skills meant she could always get the best out of anyone, at any level.

While it’s too raw to start thinking about who will pick up where Kathy left off, no one could dispute that the BPIF found a relevance under her too-brief stewardship that’s going to be hard for anyone else to replicate. 

But she laid solid foundations with the people she surrounded herself with, and I have no doubt that her vision, that the BPIF must take a leading role in creating the print leaders of tomorrow through lifelong learning, is as much their vision as hers.

Kathy will be sorely missed by everyone who knew her and by the industry that needed her, but the greatest tribute we can pay is to ensure her legacy lives on.

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