Billie Brown Billie Brown has more than 30 years’ experience in corporate and non-profit communications and currently is a marketing and management consultant with Ellis Strategy Group, a boutique consulting firm based in Atlanta. She most recently co-authored a business toolkit publication, Strategic Planning: High-Impact Solutions, with the firm’s managing director, Dr. Bruce Ellis.
Lifestyle

Memories of Christmas with MawMaw: Or, Miss Nellie Drops Her Drawers

By Billie Brown
My great grandmother, Nellie Wall Holsey, may well have been the world’s first re-gifter. Way back in the early 1950s, she was infamous within the family and the little community she lived in – Hardwick, Ga., an outpost of Milledgeville – for squirreling away presents and bringing them back out, rewrapped, for another occasion. Birthday mementos disappeared almost immediately, never…
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Family & Friends · Lifestyle

The greatest Christmas gift ever

By Billie Brown
Except for the usual commercial ones, we had no special Christmas traditions in my family when I was a child. We didn’t even prepare our own dinner, since the head of the household, a career military man, was expected to show up, family in tow, to partake of the U.S. Army’s generic holiday spread at the officers’ mess. That was…
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Family & Friends · Lifestyle

A Week of Recipes and Gratitude Lists

By Billie Brown
This week, many or most Americans will sit down to a traditional or not-so-traditional meal of turkey – alternatively, on both ends of the spectrum, turducken or tofurkey – and many other holiday dishes, as a way of giving thanks for the blessings of daily life. Perhaps the sideboard will groan less this year than it has in the recent…
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Family & Friends · Lifestyle

Wow – I’m a Guardian!

By Billie Brown
It’s not a role I ever planned for, but a couple of Mondays ago, I sat in a courtroom in Milledgeville, the seat of Baldwin County, Ga., and agreed to take legal responsibility for another human being. It happened so gradually and painlessly that when asked if I was willing to accept the guardianship, I almost told the judge no.…
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Lifestyle

Back to school? Now, when I was your age..

By Billie Brown
I’m so old that there was no kindergarten when I was 5 years old. I started first grade in Kansas, and when I met my teacher I told her, “I will endeavor to be a good pupil.” She looked at me like I was a hurricane, then burst out laughing and hugged me. We must have learned lots of things,…
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Money & Careers

What Saved the Superchicken? Strategic Planning, Essential in Good Times and Bad

By Billie Brown
Well-managed businesses generally thrive in poor and healthy economies alike. Such visionary organizations have a tendency to change gears in accordance with market demand. They  invest in capacity-building in growth industries and grab technological advantages. They invest in, and continue developing, strong human capital, which can lower turnover and ensure smoother management successions without a blip in leadership. But all…
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Lifestyle

My Breasts Are Not Boobs, Thank You Very Much!

By Billie Brown
I do not, do not, understand the unfortunate predisposition of the American public to refer slangily to the mammary glands of the female as “boobs.” So I looked up the word “boob” in a few online dictionaries just now. Here is a sampling of the definitions: stupid or foolish person dolt boor Philistine simpleton. Now, I ask you: Are these…
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Lifestyle

The Red Wheelbarrow: A Meditation

By Billie Brown
so much depends
 upon a red wheel
barrow glazed with rain
water beside the white
chickens. So wrote the young aspiring poet William Carlos Williams in 1923. At his young age, how did he know? At his age, I was aspiring to be the world’s greatest poet or film star – or a cheerleader. Later, as a wife and mother I strove for…
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