Gay Austin of McComb has been installed as first vice president of the National Garden Clubs Inc., the largest volunteer gardening organization in the world.
As first vice president for the next two years, Austin will support and promote Plant America, NGC’s new initiative that focuses on gardens and gardening, with an emphasis on community service. She also will serve as liaison to NGC state presidents and regional directors. Austin also will help guide the national organization and work to advance NGC’s mission.
Austin previously served as second vice president of National Garden Clubs Inc. She has held various positions on a national level, including chairman of the Organization Study Committee and the Award of Excellence initiative to recognize outstanding non-member individuals and organizations that advance NGC causes. Austin also served as recording secretary on the board of directors for National Garden Clubs Inc. She is an accredited master flower show judge and horticulture instructor for numerous NGC flower show schools and symposiums.
On the state and local level, Austin has served as member of the board of directors of The Garden Clubs of Mississippi since 1995 and the McComb Garden Club for nearly 30 years.
She holds an associate’s degree in nursing from Southwest Mississippi Community College in Summit. As a registered nurse, Austin served in the emergency room at Southwest Regional Medical Center and as office manager of Southwest Mississippi Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic and Austin Medical Consultants Inc. She also is a board member and volunteer at PALS Rescue Inc., a no-kill animal shelter in Pike County.