Women's Leadership Colloquium Logo
When: Friday, March 18, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
Reception 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Where: Hosch Auditorium
John S. Burd Center
for the Performing Arts

429 Academy Street
Gainesville, Georgia
Cost: The event is free. Registration is required.

The Women’s College of Brenau University cordially invites the community to campus for an afternoon of information and inspiration at the third annual Women’s Leadership Colloquium. Students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the university will gather for conversations about the unique potential and challenges of women’s leadership. Successful women who are passionate about what they do will share their stories, offer advice, and suggest fresh vision for others who lead—or aspire to lead.


Amanda Slavin, CEO and Founder, CatalystCreativ
Charlotte Atkins, Publisher, The Times
Carol Burrell, President and CEO, Northeast Georgia Health System
Emmie Henderson Howard, WC ’01, Founder, Southern Proper
Khalilah T. R. Johnson, WC ’06, Occupational Therapist
Anmarie Martin, WC ’17, Community Activist

The event will also feature a memorable performance by the Brenau Vocal Chamber Ensemble and a wine and cheese reception sponsored by Tracy Rhodes, WC ’02, and her firm, Evans & Rhodes, LLC. Come join the conversation!

Amanda Slavin

Amanda Slavin, CEO and Founder, CatalystCreativ keynotes this year’s Women’s Leadership Colloquium.

This event is made possible in part by the generosity of donors to the Grace-Gaskins Women’s Studies Endowment Fund.

Speakers’ Bios

Charlotte Atkins
Charlotte Atkins

Charlotte Atkins started working for newspapers at 13 as a sports stringer for her hometown newspaper in Alabama and for the next three-plus decades spent her career in newsrooms on both the East and West coasts.

A graduate of Auburn University, she has worked at newspapers in Eufaula and Auburn, Ala.; Vero Beach, Fla., Monterey, Calif.; and Columbus, Rome and now Gainesville, Ga. Over the years she has done almost every job in the newsroom – reporter, photographer, copy editor, page designer, lifestyle editor, news editor, metro editor, web editor, associate editor and finally executive editor of the Rome News-Tribune for nearly eight years. She also did a couple of stints in television, interning with NBC in Tampa and then directing a live talk show in Vero Beach.

After more than 35 years in newspapers, she changed careers in late 2011. She left her beloved post as editor in chief of the Rome News-Tribune for another calling – to take the helm of the nonprofit Cancer Navigators as executive director to help cancer patients on their journey. That career choice gave her weekends free and more flexibility as she had two parents in two different cities who were battling Alzheimer’s Disease, both of whom she lost this past year.

Even so, Atkins kept her hand in publishing as the Editor of Magnolia magazine. It was a popular Northwest Georgia publication she created to celebrate the lives of local women that she published for seven years.

In Georgia,  she has been involved in industry groups, including serving as president of the Georgia Associated Press News Council and board of director member for the Georgia First Amendment Foundation, to name a few.

She began as publisher of The Times multimedia publishing company, which is part of Morris Multimedia, in Gainesville on Oct. 6, 2014.

Carol Burrell

Carol Burrell is the president and CEO of Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS). She has been a part of the senior management team at NGHS since January 1999, serving as executive vice president and chief operating officer from 2004 to 2011. In June 2011, Carol was named president and CEO.

Under Carol’s leadership, NGHS’ flagship hospital – Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) in Gainesville – has been named Georgia’s #1 Hospital by CareChex (2014, 2015), one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals by Healthgrades® (2013, 2014) and one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics® (2013, 2014). In fact, for 2015, CareChex ranked NGMC #2 in the Nation for Overall Hospital Care. Carol also led the construction of the state’s newest hospital, NGMC Braselton, which opened in April 2015.

Carol’s achievements at NGHS have been recognized statewide; Georgia Trend magazine placed her on their 2015 list of the 100 Most Influential Georgians. Locally, the Gainesville Rotary Club bestowed on her their 2015 Guardian of Ethics Award, which recognizes a member who exemplifies a strong passion for ethics in his or her personal and professional life.

Carol was born and raised in Carl, Ga. She earned her bachelor’s degree in medical technology from Georgia Southern and Emory University and her master’s degree in healthcare administration from Central Michigan University. Prior to joining NGHS, Carol served as executive director and chief operating officer of PHYCOR of Jacksonville/First Coast Medical Group.

Carol Burrell
Emmie Henderson Howard, WC '01
Emmie Henderson Howard

Emmie Henderson Howard is a 2001 Graduate of The Women’s College where she earned her Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. Upon Graduation from Brenau, Emmie was recruited by the Newell Rubbermaid Corporation where she worked in product development and trend marketing.  In 2005, she founded Southern Proper, a Clothing and Accessory line for women and men. Selling to over 300 specialty men’s stores, she is the creative influence and President of this growing lifestyle brand. She has received several awards for her entrepreneurial efforts as a result of Southern Proper’s success.

Emmie remains an active alumni of Brenau University serving as an advisor for Alpha Chi Omega Sorority as well as a volunteer on the Forever Gold Campaign Leadership committee. Emmie has been awarded the Distinguished Service Award, The Young Alumni Award and inducted as an honorary member of the Business Honor Society Delta Mu Delta. Emmie was recently appointed as one of the youngest Trustees in history for the Brenau University Board of Trustees.

In Atlanta, she serves on the Board of Governors for the Buckhead Club, the Executive Council for the Georgia Group, and is an active member of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church.

Emmie is married to Tommy Howard, COO of The Norton Agency in Gainesville, Georgia. The two reside in Atlanta with their black lab, River.

Khalilah Robinson Johnson, WC '05

Khalilah T. R. Johnson received a bachelor’s degree and Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Brenau Women’s College in 2006. She preserved the position at Brenau as a “Brenau OT,” and then found employment with the Northeast Georgia Health System where she became the coordinator of occupational therapy outreach activities. Johnson also served as the neuro-rehabilitation instructor for Brenau Occupational Therapy students. Currently, she is pursuing a Ph.D. in Occupational Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Johnson was awarded the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disorders fellowship, and she was appointed to Teaching Fellow in the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy.

Johnson volunteers and serves at Grace Church in Chapel Hill, Mt. Enon Baptist Church in Monroe, Georgia, and the Faithful Christian Worship Center in Gainesville, Georgia. She also volunteers with various OT and OS committees. Johnson resides in Carrboro, North Carolina.

Khalilah Robinson Johnson, WC '05
AnMarie Martin
Anmarie Martin

“The only way to make a difference is to always choose a purpose bigger than yourself…always choose humanity first.” –Anmarie Martin

Anmarie, at age 36, decided to leave a successful and lucrative career in corporate America with Emeritus Corporation to pursue her life-long dream of criminal justice. A survivor of childhood abuse, she has always longed to work in the field of law enforcement to protect those individuals who could not protect themselves. Anmarie was formerly employed with the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, Special Operations / A.D.V.A.N.C.E. program where she served as one of five deputies who facilitated drugs & gang prevention and awareness curriculum in the local school systems. Currently, Anmarie is a recipient of a full scholarship to be a student at Brenau University pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

Community Service is significant in the fabric of Anmarie’s life. Throughout the community, she mentors young girls and advocates for women’s rights. By growing requests, Anmarie has been featured in numerous speaking engagements sharing information on making personal commitments, drug prevention and awareness, sex-trafficking, and goal mapping. Some of her most notable speaking engagements include: the Women’s Weekend Annual Summit, Empowerment Day for Young Women Workshop, and keynote speaker at Brenau University’s 2015 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation day. Her unique ability to weave sensitivity while sharing pertinent evidence asks her audience to think before acting. She made a tremendous impact recently on the student body of Gainesville’s Interactive College of Technology in bringing the reality of today’s societal concerns to those who can be the most vulnerable. Not only does she give preventive measures but also she raises opportunity for planning goals and mapping life-choices with positive, “solutions-based” information that is relative to her audiences.

In 2014, Anmarie was nominated as a Community Hero by Women Source—a local non-profit organization whose motto is “to encourage personal and professional success for all women in Northeast Georgia”. Most recently, Anmarie was the cover and feature story for Gainesville Times newly released magazine celebrating women of north Georgia, Moxie—where she was described as an activist who “serves as a bridge for those who need connecting.”

When asked about her greatest accomplishments in life, she speaks about raising two beautiful daughters with her husband of 29 years, Jose Ricardo. One daughter, Stephanie, is a third-year law student at Berkley University in California; the other recently a graduate of Florida State University, Natasha, is the Development Officer of YOA Orchestra of the Americas in DC.

Amanda Slavin

Amanda Slavin (listed on this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 for Marketing and Advertising) is a Millennial and Generation Z expert as well as the CEO/Founder of CatalystCreativ, an experience studio that’s focused on helping cities, brands and institutions flourish by developing educational and inspirational experiences through strategy as well as on and offline campaigns to engage Millennials. CatalystCreativ is funded by Zappos CEO and venture capitalist Tony Hsieh as part of the Downtown Project. Slavin and CatalystCreativ have worked with brands such as NPR, Dell, Ekocycle and Starwood Hotels.

Amanda Slavin, founder and CEO of CatalystCreativ, addressed the 2015 graduates of the Brenau Women's College.

“Join our group of smart, successful women for an afternoon of information and inspiration.”

– Dr. Debra Dobkins,
Dean of the Women’s College

Debra Dobkins, Dean of the Women's College
General inquiries: info@brenau.edu, (770) 534-6299 or (800) 252-5119 | Admissions: admissions@brenau.edu, (770) 534-6100 or (800) 252-5119 ext. 6100