One of the best things that has ever happened to Diversified was the addition of Julie Ryno. Without her, Diversified wouldn’t be as successful as it is today. While Julie has had many accomplishments throughout her career, we’d like to share with you some of our favorites:
1. Tradeshow Success
Back in 1999, Diversified attended its first School Equipment Show (now EDspaces) in Denver, CO. Unlike most recent shows where we are booked back to back with meetings, this show was a little different. How? Well, we had almost no customers attending and were also an unknown manufacturer at the time. But, leave it to Julie to save the day! She took the list of attendees and took action. She sent invitations as well as made personal phone calls to several attendees encouraging them to visit our booth. Thanks to Julie and her efforts, the show really helped us launch Diversified.
It’s really easy to tell the truth when something good happens, but not the easiest when it’s bad. Fortunately, Diversified has had good service years. But there have been instances when we’ve had bad news. Instead of playing the bad news down, Julie has always stressed we tell the truth. Her ongoing philosophy throughout the years is one of the main reasons why Diversified is held in such high esteem.
3. Pandemic Reaction
We’re really proud of many of our team members, including Julie, on the actions they took during the pandemic. Instead of focusing on the negative, Julie and others took the opportunity to give in-depth training to our reps. (Even our reps will tell you that we were the exception in how we handled COVID and our relationship with them.) Because of this, we have the best-trained reps in the industry and it will pay dividends for years to come!
4. Virtual Tours
Another COVID highlight was when we started our showroom tours! Of course, Julie was an integral part of their overall success. Instead of presentation slide decks when EDspaces when virtual, we went “live in our showroom.” The meetings we had were so successful, we started scheduling showroom tours via Zoom. Since the fall of 2020, we have done about 160 showroom tours!
5. Passion & Commitment
One accomplishment that really stands out (especially for Julie), is her passion and commitment to making a difference in children’s lives.
“Between the Council for Art Education, the Hands-On Science Partnership and the EDmarket Association, I have advocated for children as well as our industry, and I’m proud of that,” Julie said. “I’ve been fortunate to make many friends through those organizations and I’m grateful for their appreciation.”
It’s never easy to say goodbye to a rare gem like Julie but we’re extremely thankful that we got to share the last 23 years with her. Congrats on retirement and we can’t wait to see what adventures await you!
Vice President of Sales and Marketing Tom Franta will assume the role of Ryno upon her retirement. Regional Sales Manager Glenn Gustke will continue to help lead Diversified Spaces.
Here are some well wishes from the Diversified team:
“Julie is an amazing lady! Having worked together for 20+ years, we’ve definitely experienced a lot of changes together. But she has always put a positive spin on them! As a Diversified family member, she will be greatly missed.” – Jackie
“It has been a pleasure working with Julie throughout her career at Diversified. Wishing Julie a well-earned and happy retirement. I thank her for her dedication to the team, to the product and to the industry as a whole. Congratulations and best of luck!” – Greg
“Julie started as my boss and then became my colleague, but most importantly, I gained a valued friendship. She’s been an invaluable mentor to me for the past thirteen years. She is the ultimate team player—no task was ever too small. She led by example, and her quiet leadership earned respect from everyone within Diversified and the industry. I will be sad to see her leave, but I am excited to see what her next chapter entails. Here’s to wishing her a well-deserved retirement with hiking, camping, and no spreadsheets!” – Kelly
“I’ve known Julie for approximately 18 years and worked with her for just over two years. She really took Diversified to the next level in building the transactional side of our business. Her kindness, tireless work ethic and honesty have resulted in Julie being one of the most respected people in our industry. I’m glad I had the opportunity to work with her the past two years. She has been great to work with and a lot of fun! I wish her the very best as she enters retirement.” – Glenn
“I have had the pleasure of working with Julie for many years. Throughout that time, I’ve grown to respect her tremendously! The care and consideration she has for Diversified is incredible and well-noticed by all. I will miss working with her and wish her a very happy retirement! – Becky