Athensmade Executive Director Announces Resignation

Staff Report From Athens CEO

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

Athensmade, a nonprofit dedicated to helping local creative businesses thrive, announced the resignation of its executive director, Mary Charles Howard. Howard will serve in her position until Dec. 20, as the organization conducts its search for a new executive director.
Howard was the nonprofit’s first director and has been an integral part in establishing the organization locally over the past two years. But Howard has decided to pursue her own creative business visions in her hometown of Sandersville, Ga.
“Mary Charles was able to catalyze the energy and passion of our founding board into a fully-functioning non-profit, all while maintaining an infectious smile and ‘can do’ attitude,” said Davis Knox, Athensmade’s board chairman. “We are going to sorely miss her enthusiasm, vision and ability to articulate all that is Athensmade. She is truly one of a kind and will always be a huge part of our founding story.”
Under Howard’s leadership, Athensmade has grown to more than 140 members and has provided numerous educational programming events for local businesses through its Grow Lab series and mentorship program. It has also has boosted the exposure for local creative brands through its storytelling and Meet the Athens Maker series.
“I am delighted to have been able to serve Athensmade and our community of creative professionals in Athens for the past two years,” Howard said. “Serving the Athens community via Athensmade has been a dream, not to mention an honor to have my finger on the pulse of creativity in Athens. It has been a thrill to champion non-traditional collaborations within the business, nonprofit and education communities to build a stronger Athens economy for the next generation.”
Howard also championed the organization’s mission to drive educational opportunities between local innovators and local middle, high school and college students.
“I feel we are just at the beginning of building this great movement that is Athensmade,” Howard said. “I know that our board and the next executive director of Athensmade will continue building on the progress we have made in the past two years. Even though it is bittersweet to not be involved in the exciting work of creating educational opportunities between local innovators and young Athenians, I will rejoice from afar when I see Athens rising to the top of the national radar for creative business and educational ventures.”
Athens has always been a home away from home for Howard, and while she is excited to focus her efforts on her hometown, she is sad to leave and remains thankful for the support of this community.
“On a personal level, Athenians have always supported my creative business visions, and I will forever be grateful for that,” Howard said. “The confidence and inspiration that I source from Athens’ creative leaders will continue to drive me as I forge my own entrepreneurial path in rural Georgia. Thanks to the people of Athens for believing in me. I am Athensmade.”