Photo: Fitness and Sports Manager, Josey Yearley, is finally hanging the towel and retiring after 42 years! Here she is participating in her last PSP event (that she spearheaded), the first ever 4 Wing Spring/Summer Sports Day! (Photo by Janae Wandler)
It may not come with a parade and ceremony, but none-the-less there has been a significant “changing of the guard” within the local Personnel Support Programs (PSP) organization that merits recognition.
To put it in military terms, this “cascade of staff change-over” consists of two promotions, one posting and a retirement; all at the management level…which means significant “trickle down” with “the domino effect” still contributing to a major “re-grouping” of local PSP leadership.
Let’s start at the top, shall we? Leading the way (like she always does) Mrs. Diana Warbeck was the first to make the big move. Up until 1 February 2021 Diana was 4 Wing’s Senior Manager PSP; having been with the 4 Wing PSP team no less than 18 years. Diana entered our organization in 2003 working with the Courier News. Employing her keen business sense and untiring work ethic, she worked her way up the ranks, becoming 4 Wing’s Sr. Manager PSP (the highest-ranking position within PSP on 4 Wing) on January 2009. But, always keen for a challenge, when the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services (CFMWS) restructured their organization at the national level, resulting in the creation of three Regional Manager positions, Diana couldn’t help but “throw her hat in the ring”, knowing she was the perfect candidate for the Western Region. Not surprisingly, she won the competition, and now (even though she is still physically located in Cold Lake) she is responsible for PSP operations across the western provinces (i.e. British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba) and the Northwest Territories. We have no doubt that, under Diana’s leadership, the adage that “the west is the best” will be proven true on every count.
This first promotion, made room for a second as Mrs. Gail Sullivan climbed the final rung in the local PSP ladder, becoming our new Sr. Manager PSP on 8 March 2021. Gail is relatively new to the ranks of PSP, having retired from the military just two short years ago, after some 20 years of dedicated military service, to become a Deputy Manager PSP here at 4 Wing. Congratulations on becoming “top-dog” Gail! You got this!
But just to make sure Gail felt adequately challenged in her new position, two of her seasoned managers “pulled a fast one” indicating that they would be leaving the local morale and welfare organization. The first to “head out the door” was Ms. Serena Knight who has been with the 4 Wing Recreation Department for the last 13 years. Joining our organization in 2008 as a Recreation Coordinator, she too was quick to climb the ranks, having held the position of 4 Wing Community Recreation Manager for the last 9 years. The good news is… 4 Wing’s loss is CFB Kingston’s gain! In the pursuit of better work/life balance and family support, Serena is making a “lateral move”, jumping across the country to become Kingston’s Community Recreation Manager. This is an exciting new chapter of Serena’s career/life, and so we send her off with sincere thanks for all she has done for 4 Wing and wishes for continued success and happiness in Kingston.
Rounding out this “formidable foursome” is Josey Yearley who is “pulling the pin” after 24 years of service within CFMWS, all of which were spent as 4 Wing’s Fitness and Sports Manager. Not unlike Gail, Josey’s military service served as “the bridge”, leading her to serve her country as a Non-Public Funds (NPF) employee. Thus, she doesn’t differentiate between her military service and her work as civilian employee. Rather, she considers it one fluid career, 42 years in the making. Josey joined the military as an Aero-Engine Technician (Airplane Mechanic) in 1979 under the Service Women In Non-Traditional Environments and Roles (SWINTER) program, which trialed women in occupations previously closed to them. But no one told Josey it was a “trial”. How fun is that?!? And throughout her career, the fun never stopped! She eventually re-mustered to the PERI (Physical Education and Recreation Instructor) trade, morphing from “Joe mechanic” to “Joe Jock”. And from there, she eventually decided to go back to school to finish her degree in Physical Education (which she had started before joining the forces) and become a PERO (Physical Education and Recreation Officer). Then, with the civilianization of the PERI Branch in 1997, she made the jump into the NPF world…essentially taking off the uniform, but still performing the same service…making soldiers “fit to fight”. Josey would tell you that she has loved every minute of it, but that 42 years is enough and it’s high time someone else took the helm of the 4 Wing Fitness and Sports Department. She is very grateful for all the opportunities that serving her country has given her, both in and out of uniform. As much as she will miss her position as “team lead” of 4 Wing Fitness and Sports, she will be just as much missed by her team and all at 4 Wing who have had the privilege to get to know her. We wish her the very best as she continues to pursue her dreams…that bucket list is long, so she will be plenty busy! And so will 4 Wing PSP, as they work to deliver uninterrupted and uncompromised service to 4 Wing, despite this radical shift in leadership across the local PSP organization. But, as the saying goes… “Change is good!” So keep your eyes peeled for upcoming articles introducing the “new blood” that will rush in to fill the vacancies created by these departures.
As 4 Wing presses the “refresh” button on what has been a stable and consistent management team, you can be sure that “the more things change, the more they stay the same”. That is to say…although the people may change, the goal and mission of PSP remains the same… “Serving those who Serve” with excellence!