Emmie 3.0

It is no surprise that Emmie Henderson Howard, WC ’01, won a position on the Brenau University Board of Trustees. What is surprising is how the 35-year-old entrepreneur managed to get as far as she has as fast and as gracefully without having the benefit of a clone.

Emmie Henderson Howard, a Brenau alumna and CEO of the apparel company Southern Proper, is one of the newest members on Brenau's Board of Trustees.
Emmie Henderson Howard, a Brenau alumna and CEO of the apparel company Southern Proper, is one of the newest members on Brenau’s Board of Trustees.

Four years after her 2001 graduation from the Women’s College, she founded her own company, Southern Proper, a men’s clothing and accessory line with a particularly large and imaginative array of ties – a multimillion-dollar enterprise that sells to more than 350 stores. As a student, she was class president three years in a row, making her sort of the Brenau version of FDR. Honor court justice. Miss Brenau chair for two years. A plethora of Alpha Chi Omega activities. President of the Brenau Recreation Association. The pace continued after graduation: she served on and chaired the 1878 Council, participated in an abundance of sorority and alumni activities, and jumped into everything else Brenau-related that people asked her to do. She won both the Brenau Distinguished Service Award and the Young Alumni Award. And, with the university’s 2014-15 fiscal year, she became Brenau Trustee Emmie Howard.

“I’ve always liked staying busy, and Brenau has made that very easy for me,” says Howard, who at 35 is certainly one of the youngest members ever on the board. Some of her colleagues on the board could claim that they have neckties that are literally older than she is.

Speaking of neckties, Howard wants to bring to the Brenau board the same marketing savvy she applied to her business. Southern Proper’s business was 100 percent wholesale a few years ago. Today, 30 percent of its business is through e-commerce marketing techniques.

“We do have to market Brenau,” she said. “I think I can help us move into the next generation of social media and the other important ways people choose which college they want to attend.”

Howard, who is actively engaged in helping raise money as part of the ForeverGold steering committee, says she also plans to establish a legacy of some kind, a way to provide for future dynamos like her, because it’s the right thing to do, and especially because, she adds, “someone was kind enough to provide me with fabulous scholarships. I want to give something back to show how much I appreciate what Brenau did
for me.”

2 Responses to “Emmie 3.0”
  1. So proud of our hometown girl. I was Emmie’ s high school counselor. She was very active here,too, and everybody loved her, both teachers and students. Such a great role model!

  2. Pam Fee says:

    Emmie will be a tremendous asset to the board and to the School. She is very talented. A friend from Ripley, Pam Fee

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