Today marks the last day of work for The Advertiser-Tribune's circulation director, Ron Clark; Clark is to retire after working with The A-T for 27 years; 16 of those years have been in his current position.
Clark said he grew up 15 miles east of Toledo in a town called Williston. He graduated from Genoa High School in 1969 and went on to earn a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Toledo.
Prior to working at The A-T, Clark worked 16 years as a department manager for Sears. Clark said his decision to come to The A-T was due to the Sears store closing.
PHOTO BY NICOLE WALBY
Ron Clark works at his desk at The Advertiser-Tribune during the last week before retiring. After 27 years with the newspaper, today is his last day of work.
"I liked the town and the people," Clark said. "It was the biggest town I had ever lived in and I knew I wanted something around here."
Clark started as a sales representative. After 11 years, he was promoted to circulation director.
"I just saw an opportunity to do something different at the time," he said.
The Advertiser-Tribune has a circulation of 7,500 daily and 8,200 on the weekend.
Clark is in charge of the 80 independently contracted carriers; he makes sure people get their paper on time and where they want it delivered.
Many changes have been made over the years, and one that stood out to Clark was with when The Advertiser-Tribune went from publishing an afternoon paper to a morning paper.
The challenge was, Clark said, to talk to the carriers to discuss who would want to stay on and switching times of delivery.
Over the years, Clark said, he has enjoyed working with the carriers and staff.
"I enjoyed meeting new people and coming in and taking care of problems," Clark said. "Some days were quiet and some, you were running all over. There was no typical day in circulation. There was always something different."
Rick Smith has worked with him in the circulation department for about 11 years.
"Ron is genuinely a really good man. I want to thank him for giving me the opportunity to join the company, and I have learned a lot from him," Smith said.
Smith said Clark has always been fair and just and has been a life mentor to him professionally and personally.
"(Ron) is a good listener and has helped me stay focused. I am going to miss him dearly," Smith said.
At age 63, Clark said he is ready to retire.
"I still have most of my health. I feel it is time to go," he said.
Clark said he has no definite plans while in retirement, but said he and his wife, Deb, have many more places they would like to see.
"I just plan to go with the flow," Clark said. "Whatever happens, happens."
"I am going to miss the people I have worked with the most," he said. "I want to thank The A-T for the great opportunity for 27 years."