Dealerscope Hall of Fame - Anne Howard
So she turned to industry, joining the Houston Lighting and Power Company as a home service advisor, where she worked for three years. This was in the early '70s, before the Energy Crisis, and the nation was outfitting its homes with electrical appliances. Howard and her staff gave presentations on electric appliances to distributors and touted the future as being all-electric.
The boom ended, of course, and that left HLPC teaching lessons in conservation. Howard joined Sharp as a "field home economist" in 1973, around the time microwave ovens were becoming a part of Sharp's repertoire. In the spring of '74, when the first model was introduced, Howard's charge was to train distributors about the new product and technology, similar to the training going on today surrounding HDTV, but with a slightly different twist.
"From the very beginning, [Sharp] understood that you had to adapt the product to the local culture," says Howard. "There's a much more intimate relationship (with an appliance) than with a TV or VCR."