Forever Cotton - The People - Sandra Emrich
Name: Sandra Emrich
Title & Company: Senior Administrative Manager, Administration - Cotton Incorporated
Years with company: 46 (joined Cotton Incorporated April 13, 1973)
Tell us about yourself and your work in the cotton industry:
I grew up in Bertie County, which is about two hours northeast of Raleigh, NC. It is a very rural area, and even though my Dad was not a farmer, most of our neighbors were. From the time I was about ten years old, my summers were spent working on the neighbors’ farms, 5-6 days a week, from sunup to sundown. Even though the days were long, we had fun; and working on a farm taught me the value of a hard day’s work.
After high school, I came to Raleigh and attended Hardbarger’s Business College. Once I graduated from there, I accepted a job working for the North Carolina state government for about 18 months. Then I was fortunate enough to get a job with Cotton Incorporated in April 1973.
I started out as a secretary in the knitting lab and worked there for about 14 years. In the knitting lab, I worked for people like David Black, Roy Hale, Jimmie Grow, Don Bailey, Glenn Morton and many more. After those initial 14 years, I was fortunate enough to move up and work for Wolfgang Strahl, Hal Brockmann, Preston Sasser, and now John Morgans. Each one of them have contributed to the person I am today. Each one offered different challenges and afforded me opportunities to learn from.
The position I’m in now allows me to interact directly with all the members of our Board of Directors, who are all cotton farmers. I feel like I’ve come back home, working for the farming community.
What makes you so passionate about cotton? I love cotton and I love Cotton Incorporated. Cotton Incorporated has raised me. I am so blessed to work in the company of so many talented and creative staff members in all areas of the organization.
What do you see as cotton’s biggest opportunity in the future? The young people. I believe we must teach those who are at a young age to be mindful in choosing what they wear. I feel it is our responsibility to guide them to look at and understand clothing labels. We want them to think about how it’s going to feel against their skin, how well it’s going to launder, and how long will it last.
What cotton item do you own that you hope to keep forever, and why? I don’t have any single article of clothing that I’ve had forever; but I do love my cotton pajamas. I can’t/won’t sleep in anything else, and I won’t sleep on anything but cotton sheets.