After 43 years with Morris Multimedia, Karen Tanksley won’t be starting her work day holding a cup of coffee in her Rincon office.
Tanksley, who has been with Morris Multimedia for a career spanning parts of five decades, announced last week her intention to retire, effective April 3.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working and all the friends I’ve made and the people I’ve gotten to know over the years,” she said. “But it’s time to be home.”
Tanksley was named general manager of the Effingham Herald in February 1999 and was named publisher in October 2002.
“I’ve worked with Karen throughout my entire career with Morris,” said Joe McGlamery, regional vice president of Morris Multimedia. “She was already with the company when I arrived in 1975 and I had the pleasure of watching her grow and mature as a leader within our company.
“Our task now will be to find someone who can lead the Effingham Herald to new heights of service to this community,” McGlamery added, “and our search is already under way. Our goal is to find someone who loves this community and wants to be a part of its future.
“Karen was named Publisher of the Year by our company in May 2005 because of her display of leadership skills, including guiding the Effingham Herald to the 2005 Newspaper of the Year Award. Karen has repeatedly shown that hard work, being the first to arrive at the office, and listening to the community and their needs would win the day,” McGlamery added.
Charles Morris, chairman and CEO of Morris Multimedia said, “We have enjoyed working with Karen all these years, and appreciate her loyalty and dedication to the Effingham Herald and this community.”
Though she has commuted from her home in Bulloch County, Tanksley has immersed herself in Effingham County. She was the first chairman of the Effingham Chamber ambassadors, and she was on the steering committee for the Chamber’s membership drive. Tanksley also has been president, president-elect and secretary, serving three terms in that role, for the Rotary Club of Effingham County.
She also has served on the United Way of Effingham County advisory board.
“I always thought it was important and necessary to be involved in the community, beyond providing a platform for news and information for the people of Effingham,” Tanksley said.
Added McGlamery: “Karen has repeatedly demonstrated her commitment to Effingham County and to the Effingham Herald as this community’s newspaper of record. Because she believed in Effingham’s schools, students and teachers, she began having the Effingham Herald host an annual tribute to the county’s teachers of the year. Furthermore, she made it possible for the Herald to publish a monthly newspaper for students called Kidsville News.”
Along with the weekly Herald, its several special publications throughout the year and Kidsville News, Tanksley also helped start up the Effingham Living magazine, which now will be published four times a year.
To say Tanksley worked her way up is an understatement. She started at the Statesboro Herald in 1972 as a part-timer, writing the “Answer Line” column. From there, she became a keypunch operator in the composing department.
Eventually, she moved to classified advertising and was promoted to manager of that department, overseeing all outside sales for real estate, automotive and mobile homes advertising.
While working in Statesboro, Tanksley was involved in a number of civic organizations and endeavors. She was named the Altrusan of the Year in 1995.
Tanksley also served on several Statesboro/Bulloch County Chamber of Commerce committees.
Now, she’s looking forward to having her morning coffee on her back deck with her husband Steve, enjoying the solitude and ease of a life of a retirement.
“I was surprised and flattered when they asked me to take over in Effingham, and at first, I didn’t want to,” Tanksley said. “I’m glad I changed my mind. It’s not been without its challenges, to be sure, but it has been a great deal of fun coming to work in Effingham every day. Now it’s time to see what not working is like.”