Karen Dillon is a stickler for details.

Seeing her in action for more than three decades, I’m convinced she could spot a typo, a product miscalculation or an upside-down period from 40 feet away.

That would be a foot for each year of service at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, an organization that has seen many changes while holding to bedrock standards that are as solid as the concrete in our building.

Like deadlines.

Style rules.

Matching products to press capabilities.

And, always, a commitment to excellence.

KD, as she’s known here, has been a major force in getting work done in the best way for the customer, the business and the RTD teams she guided.

She’s done it for 40 years. And on Friday, she retired as our director of Creative Services.

Her legacy will live on. WWKDD: “What would KD do?” will be ingrained in all of us she taught.

One of the most important collaborations at the RTD is the Production Committee, a cross-departmental group that meets every Tuesday afternoon. It’s where requests for products are reviewed, where conflicts in production are resolved, and where emergency precautions are taken, such as the planning recently for Hurricane Florence.

Among her many duties, KD has run the Production Committee meeting for years. It’s a collaboration that we count on to keep operations running smoothly morning, noon and night.

KD compiles the agenda, invites participation from each department and makes time for business literacy that deepens knowledge about the business. An example: “Billy, can you tell us how Ferag is doing?” she asks Production Director Billy Towler, who is on the phone with the crew from the Hanover Production Plant. “And, Billy, remind everyone what a Ferag is.” (For the record: Ferag is the gripper conveyor system that moves the completed newspaper from the press to the mailroom for bundling and final distribution.)

Over her many years here, KD has been the go-to person on so many internal functions that her boss, Advertising VP Jason Dillon, presented a two-page document to explain the transition after she retires.

KD started at The Times-Dispatch on April 17, 1978, as an account executive. She moved through several management positions within RTD Advertising before taking over what is now the Creative Services team that designs and completes the local advertisements, specialty publications and other products, pages and special projects.

She’s one of our best ambassadors, and she bleeds RTD blue.

We’re going to miss KD and her many talents.

But we are a better organization now and for the future because she always cared about what’s best for the RTD.

Thank you, KD.

Tom Silvestri is president and publisher of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Recommended for you

Commenting is limited to Times-Dispatch subscribers. To sign up, click here.
If you’re already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.