The KAI Design & Build staff gathered on March 2 to say farewell and to celebrate the career of Senior Interior Designer Pamela Todd, RID, LEED AP, who officially retired from the firm after 28 years of service.
Todd's career in Interior Design spans nearly 50 years, having graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from the University of Missouri - Columbia in 1970. Joining KAI in 1989, when the firm was known as Kennedy Associates, Inc., Todd refined her skills throughout the decades, adapting to the changing times and design trends, to become one of KAI's most valuable assets.
Todd specialized in move management, interior design, furniture selection, interior specifications, cost estimating and ensuring that the design was maintained throughout the construction document and implementation phases of a project.
"Staying at KAI all these years was more about the great people I worked with and the clients we served. I am grateful to have been able to use my creative gifts on so many diverse project types," said Todd.
Todd's design influence can still be seen in the more than 50 projects she worked on during her career at KAI, which include:
"Pam has this wonderful ability to read and understand a client and convert their ideas to colors, textures and materials," said Marcus Moomey, Director of Architecture at KAI Design & Build. "I think back at projects like Club 7, the O'Fallon Recreation Center and the Highland Hills Library - all so very different in final solution, but all spot-on with what the client wanted."
Todd said she was always interested in art and science as a child watching Jon Gnagy, America's original television art instructor, and playing with painting kits and Lincoln Logs. A career in architecture, she thought, was the best choice since it combined both of her interests.
Todd describes her general design style as mid-century modern and timeless - does it solve a problem, is it serviceable and how will it look in ten years?
"Pam always focused on 'timeless design.' You can look at a project from 15 years ago and it would still be appropriate today," said KAI Design & Build President Michael Kennedy, Jr. "She believes in a holistic approach to interiors - making the design fit hand-in-glove with the exterior, manipulating finishes, color, furniture and lighting to coalesce all parts."
Throughout her long career as an interior designer, Todd witnessed many industry changes, most notably related to technology and an increase in diversity within the profession.
"When I went to college, we did not have computers or CAD," she said. "I started out with pin-bar drafting. Technology is a blessing and a curse. It gives design freedom in the built environment, but creates a heads-down, plugged -in culture with less human interaction and spontaneity."
Todd said her plans for retirement include getting married and starting a second career in yoga therapy.
"She was a tremendous asset to KAI and to our many clients, and we are saddened to see her go. I know that wherever life takes Pamela in her retirement, she will find great success, accomplishing her goals with grace, and of course a lot of style," said Kennedy. "We wish her well in her retirement and thank her for her many years of service with KAI."