Longtime Diamond Outside Sales Manager Dave Hawksworth passed away in his sleep on January 9, 2018.
An Ohio native, and a longtime resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, Hawksworth joined Diamond in 1996, following the company’s acquisition of Capital City Distribution, where he previously worked as a field representative. In addition to his passion for comics and the industry, Hawksworth was also a huge sports fan, and was a devotee of the Ohio State Buckeyes.
“Dave’s sales territory encompassed one-third of the U.S. and Canada,” said Diamond Executive Director of Sales Mike Schimmel. “During his time with Diamond, he visited more than a thousand stores. He loved discussing the industry with our customers, and was a big champion of the mom and pop retailer. His enthusiastic nature for the world of comic retailing made him a true superhero at his job and he will be missed by everyone he came into contact with.”
Other Diamond and industry colleagues echoed those sentiments.
“Dave was a great friend to so many retail partners,” said Diamond Outside Sales Manager Tim Kartman. “He was always available at any time, any day, in many cases to help with emergency issues or to simply put a positive spin on a tough situation. Dave really enjoyed helping comic store owners grow their businesses, and was a wiz at teaching them about the tools available to make them more productive. He always brought a packed suitcase full of samples to show store employees, just another of his favorite parts of the job. He was a great friend of more than 20 years and I will miss him dearly.”
“TED (Tim, Eric, and Dave) have been travelling as Diamond’s Outside Field Managers for just about twenty years now,” said Diamond Outside Sales Manager Eric Hitchcock. “And in many ways it’s a very solitary job, with hours spent alone in the car, meals eaten on the fly, and a strange knowledge of the location of every La Quinta Inn. Sure, we talk regularly and see each other once or twice a year, but it’s not like working in the same place and seeing the same people every day. Perhaps that’s one reason we started referring to ourselves as the collective TED, as a reminder that we’re part of a team despite travelling alone.
“When I first attended San Diego Comic-Con years ago,” Hitchcock continued. “I had only the relationships I had made while travelling in the Southeast, and knew very few of the storeowners that would be in attendance at the show. But I quickly learned that this didn’t matter, for everyone only wanted to speak to Dave. Everyone knew Dave. Everyone asked for Dave. And everyone liked Dave. And Dave knew those retailers – their names, their account numbers, their product mixes, their concerns, their business strategies. It was a striking illustration of just how invested he was in the success and well-being of direct market retailers.
“And Dave was indeed a cheerleader for the direct market,” Hitchcock added. “He was an advocate for the independent businessman. … He was the heart of TED in many, many ways. And some might tell you that he’s gone. … But I think if you look around the stores that Dave visited, you’ll see that he’s still with us. And if you were lucky enough to interact with Dave, his enthusiasm and support are still with you.”
“Dave Hawksworth will be forever remembered as one of the unsung heroes of comics. He probably visited more comic shops than anyone ... and every shop he stepped into he made better by his presence, his professionalism, his calm demeanor and his ability to know what products were likely to work in each shop,” said Joe Field, Owner of Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff in Concord, CA. “From his childhood experience working in his family’s small business, he understood the unique challenges comics retailers face every day. And despite his health challenges over the last several years, he persevered, kept working and did it with humility and kindness. Among all the great people working in the comics business, Dave was certainly one of the true good guys. This is a huge loss for the thousands who were lucky enough to call him a friend. My heart and prayers go out to his wife Patty.”
Diamond will share details of Hawksworth’s memorial service as they become available.