Respectful and honest, Katherine Todd was known for her ability to connect with others. She strove to work with people, not against them, and she always put her best foot forward. That’s why she was the perfect candidate for the personnel field. Ms. Todd had been looking for a fulfilling job when someone suggested she pursue that path. The idea intrigued her, so she became a personnel assistant at Carnation Co. Her demeanor quickly won over her peers and superiors; they appreciated the way she treated them. Thus, when the head of the department retired, Ms. Todd was promoted to personnel manager. From there, she was asked to write an affirmative action plan for the corporation, which led to her becoming the assistant director of the Department of Equal Opportunity. Her goal at that point, however, was labor relations. Ms. Todd had noticed that there were no women in labor relations management, so she set out to change that. She took some classes and was eventually able to break the barrier.
Outside of business and human resources, Ms. Todd was very active in the performing arts. She produced a number of films as part of the Extension Program in Film at the University of California, Los Angeles, after which she formed the Burnt Meringue production company with two partners. One of Ms. Todd’s films, “The Celebration,” won the Gold Medal from the New York Film & TV Festival in 1990. It was also named the Best Student Film at the Youth in Film Awards and received the Media Access Award. Although she stepped down from her Burnt Meringue in 1997, she remains connected with the industry through her roles as the secretary of the New West Symphony League and the president of the Southern California Council of National Museum of Women in Art.
When Ms. Todd has free time, she enjoys building miniature houses, creating scrapbooks, collecting art and dolls, and writing. She most recently detailed her story in the memoir, “Reaching for the Stars,” which was released in 2016.