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Women in Screen Printing

Meet the Women in Screen Printing: Tracey Johnston-Aldworth

Johnston-Aldworth has always been ahead of the curve in the industry, and it has paved the way to a strong career.

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Tracey Johnston-Aldworth, CEO | Traces Screen Printing, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, traces.com

OPENING IN WATERLOO in 1985, always ahead of the environmental curve in the industry, Tracey has been a longtime advocate for living wage, environmental initiatives, a sponsor of the arts, and a promoter of the advancement and status of women and children, locally and worldwide.” — Niki Endresz, head of graphics, Traces Screen Printing

Your nomination form mentions you have creative and generous employee incentives, and you make work fun and safe for all employees. Can you share what company culture means at your shop?

Employees have the opportunity to participate in two different company initiatives. They’re both designed to reward employees not only for working hard, but for team work, conservation (the ability to figure out ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle) and working smarter.

All full-time employees qualify for profit-sharing (when they have worked at Traces one full year). The profit sharing program was instigated in 2001 and, for obvious reasons, it has been well received by employees.

The Group Trip Incentive (travel is exciting!), is based on “all staff going” or “no-one going.” Success lies in the ability of the entire staff working as a team toward a structured profit level goal. This incentive was put in place in 2003. [Staff members at Traces have traveled to Rome, Portugal, San Francisco, Jamaica, and more.]

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Can you talk about the importance of sustainability in your shop and the industry and why you’ve dedicated so much effort to this cause?

Early in our history, we mandated a commitment to helping the environment by reducing waste. The result has been a marked increase in waste being broken down before reaching landfill and substantial savings in resources like hydro and water consumption. All our inks and chemicals are air safe, drain safe, and landfill safe.

Traces has been influential in making our suppliers more environmentally accountable, too. The bottom line, it makes our business more successful, costs customers less, and helps us maintain a sustainable environment for everyone. Traces has won an Environmental Achievement Award, an Environmental Sustainability Award and has been featured in a 16-minute video entitled “Stop Waste from Adding Up,” produced by the Association of Municipal Waste Management.

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What does being a woman in the screen printing industry mean to you?

I believe that women, as a whole, are compassionate leaders and managers. The screen printing industry needs to have role models who are advocates for social, environmental, and corporate culture change. Being a women in the screen printing business allows me to be an advocate for all of those things.

Owning my own business allows me to make work fun, when possible, cultivate friendly relationships with co-workers, and make work as enjoyable as possible.


Watch Tracey and her team share what it’s like working at traces.

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