Willy Wilkins has always been a great example of commitment. She is a strong advocate for the printing industry and cares deeply about the future. Canadian Print Scholarships is very thankful for her generous personal donation in 2019.
She entered the industry in 1981 as the Ontario Regional Manager of the Graphic Arts Industry Association (GAIA) in the Toronto office. In 1985, she became the President of the association and moved to Ottawa. During her tenure with GAIA, the name was changed to the Canadian Printing Industries Association (CPIA) in 1988.
In addition to her work with CPIA, Willy held a number of positions in other organizations:
Administrator, Canadian Business Forms Association
Administrator, Canadian Bank Cheque Manufacturers’ Association
Administrator, Canadian Book Manufacturers Association
Administrator, Canadian Printing Industries Scholarship Trust Fund
Member, Government Relations Committee, Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Board of Directors, Canadian Society of Association Executives
Until her retirement in 1992, she maintained a strong interest in international trade issues. This led her to an appointment to the Sectoral Advisory Committee for International Trade. At the time, the Minister was Hon. John Crosbie. In this role, she spearheaded talks with the Printing Industries of America in the development of a printing trades sector agreement that became part of the original Free Trade Agreement.
After retirement, Willy moved back to Toronto serving in an advisory capacity to the industry. Much of her work involved researching the history of printing in Canada.
In retirement, she has kept busy with a number of roles:
Chair of the Board, Webcom Limited
Board of Directors, Mackenzie Printery and Newspaper Museum
Co-founder, Honourary Society of the Wayzgoose
Board of Trustees, Canadian Printing Industries Scholarship Trust Fund
In 1997, she was inducted into the Ash Khan Society. Now called the Ben Franklin Society, it honours those that have made a major contribution to the advancement of the printing and allied industries. She acted a Chair in 2011 and remains active with the Executive Committee.
In 2005, she received the Lewis Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award and for the last 10 years has served as a judge for nominees.
Willy is a downhill skier, golfer and avid gardener. She traveled worldwide with her husband Warren Wilkins (deceased 2016), industry leader and founder of Webcom Limited.
Thank you, Willy, for your tireless work and support!
The mission of the Canadian Printing Industries Scholarship Trust Fund is to attract the brightest and best students available to the graphic communications industry by providing financial assistance to enroll and continue in a post-secondary management or technical program at an approved institution.