Howdy started working at Chelsea Milling Company in 1963 as a sophomore in high school. He worked in many departments, learning the company from the ground up during his high school and college summer breaks.
He left the company in 1968 saying he would return later, but first, he was going to pursue a boyhood dream. He wanted to be a race car driver. He spent 20 years in motorsports winning regional races, the Formula Atlantic Championship, and Rookie of the Year at the Indianapolis 500 in 1979. He competed in the Indy 500 six times, qualifying on the front row in 1984, and held the best average finishing record of anyone who started more than four events from 1911 – 1988 when he retired from driving race cars.
As a businessman, Howdy operated a motorsports marketing company and an advertising company, which served the motorsports community. He authored an award-winning book called, “Formula Car Technology” and was a contributing writer for magazines and newspapers about racing. He was also one of the first color commentators of racing for ESPN.
Howdy rejoined the family business in 1987. “The relationships between racing teams and manufacturing are kind of twin sisters in the sense that you’re always trying to improve something with the mechanical equipment.”
Howdy led a transformation of the then 100-year-old family business. With the help of others, a professionally managed strategic vision was successfully introduced.
Today, known for its Quality and Value, “JIFFY” Mix is uniquely positioned for the 21st Century. “JIFFY” is the market share leader in retail prepared baking mixes. In 2007, Chelsea Milling Company entered the foodservice market space, selling to commercial and non-commercial customers