President & CEO of the Mississippi Children’s Museum
Susan Garrard has been President and CEO of the Mississippi Children’s Museum since 2008 and was responsible for successfully completing and administering a $26.6 million capital campaign that realized the dream of a 40,000 square foot children’s museum in Jackson, Mississippi. Under her leadership, the museum was awarded the KidsCount Program of Promise Award, the MS Tourism Association’s Attraction of the Year in 2011 and was a finalist for the National Medal for the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Susan has served on numerous committees within the children’s museum field, including Secretary of the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) board of directors in 2017-2019, member of the ACM board of directors since 2014; the ACM pre-emerging museum conference committee chairperson in 2014; and the ACM conference programs committee in 2013.
During her tenure, MCM piloted the Mississippi Science Festival, which has grown and has been recognized as a top 20 Southeastern Tourism Event in 2019. Susan was a founding member of the LeFleur Museum District and has served as its president. She also currently serves on the Nissan Community Advisory Board. In 2017, Susan was named one of the 50 Leading Business Women of the Year by the Mississippi Business Journal and received a Hometown Hero award from Visit Jackson. Susan was awarded the Goodwill Community Volunteer of the Year in 2009, received the Tribute of Excellence in 2013 from Youth Villages, the Hands of Providence award in 2014 from Southern Christian Services, and the Junior League of Jackson Sustainer of the Year in 2018. Susan was named a top CEO in 2019 by the Mississippi Business Journal.
Before serving as President of MCM, Susan served as chairperson of the MCM Board of Directors as well as the first president of the museum’s auxiliary volunteer group, MCM Partners. Susan has been involved civically in the Jackson community since 1984 – serving on the boards of the Belhaven Neighborhood Foundation, Jackson Preparatory School and the Junior League of Jackson, including a term as league president in 2002-2003. She is a member of the Belhaven Home and Garden Club and attends church at Galloway Methodist Church. Susan, a native of Mississippi, is a graduate of Mississippi State University and the Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York in New York City. She is married to John Walter Garrard II and the mother of two sons, Jack and William.