Braswell named executive director of SAU Foundation, Woods to direct Alumni Relations

Macy Braswell
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Southern Arkansas University has announced the hiring of Macy Braswell to serve as its new Foundation executive director and Mike Woods as the new director of Alumni Relations, said Josh Kee, SAU’s vice president for development.

Braswell, a resident of Magnolia, received her BS in agriculture business from SAU in 1999 and her MBA from Louisiana State University in 2006. She is executive director for Life Touch Hospice and SHARE Foundation in El Dorado.

Woods, also of Magnolia, received his BBA from SAU in 2007, majoring in computer information systems, and his MBA from SAU in 2010. He is a territory manager for Sauder Education, for which he has worked since October 2014.

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“We are thrilled to welcome Macy and Mike to our Alumni, Development and Foundation Team in these two important roles,” Kee said. “Both Macy and Mike have experience and skills that will greatly enhance our efforts in engaging meaningful relationships with our alumni as well as the management and stewardship of the resources given by our constituents.”

Dr. Trey Berry, president of SAU, said, “We are incredibly excited about the future direction of the SAU Foundation and the SAU Alumni Association. Macy and Mike will provide exceptional vision, energy and professionalism to both programs. As SAU moves forward, these two programs under the Office of Development will be vital to the success and prosperity of the University.”

The director of Alumni Relations is responsible for the planning and implementation of programs and projects that provide tangible benefits to alumni and current students. The director reports to the vice president of development and is a senior member of the advancement team.

“I am looking forward to working with Josh and Dr. Berry and I am especially thankful for the opportunity to work with Macy at the Foundation,” Woods said. “I’ll be working closely with alums of SAU, establishing programs and incentives to grow our association.” He said that he starts in the position on Aug. 1.

Braswell, as executive director, will lead the Foundation’s administration and implement its mission in coordination with that of the University. The director collaborates with the Office of Development and Board of Governors, supports initiatives of the University and assists with donor stewardship.

“The SAU Foundation has an established reputation for excellence and I am honored to join the strong, dedicated and accomplished team to support the University’s amazing growth,” Braswell said. “How thrilling to experience the investment in lives that SAU is making! I am proud to be an SAU Alumni and a Mulerider.”

Prior to becoming its executive director, Braswell served as the hospice’s assistant director and as the accounting manager for the SHARE Foundation. Her professional activities include serving on the board of directors of the Hospice & Palliative Care Association of Arkansas, Leadership Magnolia, Rotary Club of Magnolia, National FFA Alumni Association lifetime member, and the Columbia County Fair Association Board of Directors. She was also named Business Person of the Year by the Magnolia-Columbia County Chamber of Commerce in 2014.

Woods served for six years as assistant director of Housing for community development/facilities at SAU and was also director of University Village Apartments for three years. Awards include 2006 Resident Assistant of the Year, 2009 Organization Advisor of the Year, 2010 Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year (College of Business) and the 2012 J Courson Staff Excellence Award. He has also served as an adjunct professor, as the SAU AQIP subcommittee chair, and on SAU’s College of Business Advisory Council.

“I look forward to working with alumni across this region and the nation,” Woods said. “It feels great coming back to the University. It has always felt like home to me.”

Jeanie Bismark, formerly executive director of the SAU Foundation, retired effective June 30. Ceil Bridges is transitioning from alumni director to serve as coordinator of the new Alumni Center.

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