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Ylva handed out acknowledgements for long careers

A total of ten Ylva staff members were rewarded for their significant careers at Ylva on Friday 26 Nov and Saturday 27 Nov.

Having completed a respectful 37-year career at Ylva, Lea Jokio-Suramo had her portrait revealed on Saturday 27 Nov in the faculty hall of the Old Student House. The artwork, painted by artist Anna Retulainen, honours Jokio-Suramo’s long and especially significant work for Ylva and the Student Union of the University of Helsinki. Jokio-Suramo retired on 1 Jul 2021 from the position of Ylva’s Chief Operating Officer.

“I feel very privileged to have been able to work in various companies and versatile jobs in HYY’s business operations for 37 years. It is an unspeakable honour to have modelled for this artwork that has been put up in the Old Student House, which is so dear to me and full of memories,” says Jokio-Suramo.

“Lea’s presence, trustworthiness and solid professionalism have made a strong mark on the Ylva work community and generations of students through the decades. Hundreds of us have been entitled to work alongside Lea during her exceptional career. Respect, trust and the ability to meet people as people without titles are behavioural models that are exemplary and typical to Lea, and all of us who worked with her will be upholding them in our own actions in the future. These characteristics are also apparent in the portrait, which will thus keep Lea an inseparable part of Ylva and the HYY community even in the future,” states Ylva’s Chief Executive Officer Leea Tolvas.

Kirjahyllyn edessä (By the Bookshelf). Photo: Jussi Tiainen.

The painting’s colours convey warmth and integrity

It has become a tradition within the Student Union of the University of Helsinki to commission portraits of significant figures who have had a strong influence on the Student Union and society as a whole. These portraits have been painted by leading artists of their time. The portrait of Lea Jokio-Suramo is also carrying this tradition forward. The piece is called “Kirjahyllyn edessä” (“By the Bookshelf”).

According to the artist, Anna Retulainen, colours play an important role in the painting.

“After our first meeting, I went to my workspace and noted down the colours I found Lea to represent. These are the colours I also used in the final piece. The painting brings out Lea’s characteristic integrity and uncompromising nature – and most of all, her warmth. Even though this is not a traditional portrait, it was important to me that Lea is recognisable in the painting,” explains Retulainen.

This year, nine Ylva staff members were rewarded for their 20-year career

On Friday 26 Nov, Ylva rewarded nine of its employees to thank them for their 20-year careers at Ylva. The rewarded staff members of the current year as well as those of 2020 were present in the ceremony.

The acknowledgements were received by Eerikki Raunemaa, Jarkko Inkinen, Sanna-Mari Hietanen, Marjut Immonen, Sonja Jokela, Virpi Alamartin, Piia Arenius, Marjaana Takko and Roza Mononen.

“A fast turnover pace is more of a rule than an exception in today’s working life – especially in the restaurant industry. I am exceptionally proud of having this many colleagues in our work community in 2021 who have had a long and wonderful career with Ylva,” says Tolvas.

The Student Union of the University of Helsinki also acknowledged the rewarded employees at their 153rd Annual Ball on Saturday 27 Nov. A golden badge of merit on a blue ribbon was awarded to those who have worked at Ylva for 20 years. A badge of merit was also given to long-standing Ylva board members and employees Antti Kerppola and Jannica Aalto, as well as to prior Ylva board members Tarik Ansanullah and Santeri Velin.

More information:

Leea Tolvas
Chief Executive Officer
+358 50 400 0323