Two years ago, the Mississippi Collision Repair Association (MSCRA) asked Dr. Ricki Garrett, Ph.D., to assume the role of executive director so the current director, John Morgan Hughes, could focus on lobbying efforts for the association.
Garrett welcomed the opportunity.
“My focus is to help the association become an outstanding organization and a leader in the profession,” said Dr. Garrett.
Previously, Dr. Garrett served as the executive director of the Mississippi Nurses Association. She created and managed the first association for nurse practitioners in Mississippi—The Mississippi Association of Nurse Practitioners (MANP).
In addition, Garrett owns an association management firm, Ricki R. Garrett, LLC that manages The Mississippi Speech-Language-Hearing Association and consults for other associations.
Prior to her association management career, Dr. Garrett served a 12-year gubernatorial appointment to the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, governing the eight public universities in Mississippi.
“That experience gave me a depth of knowledge about governance, management, education, and legal and financial issues,” said Dr. Garrett. “Association management is very much the same, despite representing a diverse group of professions and organizations.”
She said collision repair specialists need up-to-date, state-of-the-art education and training and stressed the importance of learning the value of advocacy for their profession.
“Their professional association is, literally, the best vehicle for acquiring that education and for moving the industry forward,” explained Dr. Garrett. “I hope my experience in association management and governance and my education will help to move MSCRA forward as a leader in the industry.”
Dr. Garrett currently serves as the alderwoman-at-large for the city of Clinton, where she lives in Mississippi.
Throughout her career, she has been involved with leadership positions in multiple state professional associations. Dr. Garrett earned a PhD in Urban Higher Education from Jackson State University, a master’s in English from the University of Mississippi, and a bachelor’s in English from the Mississippi University for Women.
An important part of her role at the MSCRA is managing the annual Southeastern Automotive Repair Conference (SARC), which took place this past June in New Orleans, LA.