Today is Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Woman of Wilson: Lounita Howard

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Lounita Howard

If you've picked up a print publication in Wilson County in the past two decades then you'll likely recognize this week's Woman of Wilson.

Longtime journalist and newspaper pioneer Lounita Howard unveiled her newest project - a community paper called The Edge - in Watertown recently.

Howard was born in Lebanon and raised in nearby Murfreesboro. She attended Middle Tennessee State University and majored in Mass Communications.

After graduating, she returned to Wilson County to work as a reporter for The Lebanon Democrat. She stayed at The Democrat as a journalist and editor for 12 years before venturing down a different career path.

"I left there to accept the position of Executive Director of United Way of Wilson County," she said. Howard worked in that capacity for over six years.

In 2002, Howard purchased The Watertown Gazette from Michael and Colette Stoffel, and published the newspaper for over 11 years.

"I sold The Gazette at the first of June 2014," she said. "I returned to The Lebanon Democrat in June 2014 as a marketing specialist."

However, it wasn't long before she was itching to start something new in Watertown. The Edge is a bi-weekly community newspaper.

"The Watertown paper had ceased publication in July 2015. A lot of folks in the area contacted me after that, saying how much they missed and needed their newspaper," Howard said. "In the meantime, I realized how much I missed working in the smaller communities, as well as reporting, photography and everything else related to publishing a small newspaper on your own."

Howard remembered being asked why she would choose to start a paper when "print seems to by dying."

"I don't think it's dying," she said. "There is still a need and desire for newspapers to report and share the news of local communities - and the keyword is local."

In her spare time, Howard enjoys being with her husband of 33 years, Bobby.

The couple knew each other growing up because their grandmothers were friends. "But Bobby, who is just a bit older than me, didn't notice me at all until I was 18. My family was having an auction, selling some land and equipment and such, and he and his dad were there," Howard said. "He spotted me and asked my brother, Chip, 'Who is that girl?'"

Nowadays Bobby farms full-time and she said she tries to help out as much as possible.

"When we can get away for a mini-vacation, we camp and kayak," Howard said before adding that they also volunteer with the Wilson County Fair and the Lascassas Milton Lions Club.

Howard most admires her mother and Ms. Linda Bain.

"She owned the Piggly Wiggly in Lebanon for many years. Linda became a mentor and dear friend when I joined the Lebanon Business and Professional Women in the late 1980s. Her example as a business woman and community volunteer was inspiring and encouraging."

Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at

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