Monday, 27 June 2022
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Monday, 27 June 2022

YHA’s CFO hands over ‘financial baton’ as he steps into retirement

YHA’s Chief Finance Officer William Howarth is stepping down from the role after successfully steering the organisation through one of the worst financial periods in the charity’s 91-year history.

William, who joined YHA (England & Wales) in 2008, recently retired from the organisation following the charity’s AGM. Associate Director of Finance Julie Lane will now take overall responsibility for YHA’s finances.

He explained:

“The last 19 months have been some of the most interesting, challenging and most rewarding of my career, but it is the right time to pass on the financial baton. YHA emerges from the pandemic financially stable and with a strong platform to grow and develop. This is the right time for me to step aside and hand over the reins to Julie to work with YHA’s Board and Executive to build next year’s budget and longer-term plans.”

Under William’s financial leadership, 2019/20 was recorded as being one of the most successful years ever for YHA providing firm foundations for YHA to navigate the Covid-19 pandemic.

YHA’s Chief Executive James Blake praised William for bringing financial stability to the charity ahead of the crisis and added:

“William’s contribution to YHA has been about much more than the numbers. William is driven by YHA’s mission and values, and anyone who has ever been in a conversation or meeting with him will know how these twin concerns shine through all that he does. He has been a colleague and a friend to many, and a reassuring presence to us all in times good and bad. We will miss him.”

During his time with YHA, William also held the roles of Company Secretary and Deputy Chief Executive, as well as being the lead Director for IT and Business Systems at a time of huge change and digital transformation for the charity.

Looking to the future, William aims to take his own digital detox and take a lengthy, well-earned break, before looking at opportunities to use his skills and experiences to balance his retirement with some consultancy and non-exec roles.

He added:

“I will not miss my work mobile phone, but I will absolutely miss the people, those I work with and those who stay with us. They make the real difference and have been the best part of what I’ve done for the last 13 years.

“From my first day with YHA, what shone through was the warmth, passion and commitment of all those who work for YHA, both front of house and behind the scenes to making a difference in the lives of young people.

“There have been no better moments during my time with YHA than seeing our hostels full of young people and providing them with the opportunity to explore, often for the first time, the beautiful landscapes and iconic cities of England and Wales.”

While Julie Lane now takes on the role of Finance Director, William’s wider responsibilities for IT and Business Systems move to Jake Chalmers YHA’s Property Director, while Pete Harvey will take on the role of Company Secretary in addition to his current responsibilities as Governance Manager. The role of Deputy Chief Executive will rotate amongst Exec Director colleagues.

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