HUNTSVILLE, AL (October 2, 2023)Huntsville Botanical Garden Chief Executive Officer Susan Wagner was honored with the top accolade Thursday night at the 38th Annual Small Business Awards, presented by the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber. Wagner was recognized for her outstanding vision, guidance, and initiative with the prestigious Russell G. Brown Executive Leadership Award.

“I am truly humbled to be among the amazing leaders nominated in this category,” said Wagner. “I’m grateful for my amazing staff and I am thankful for the support of the Huntsville Botanical Garden board of directors, advisory board, and Foundation board.”

The independent judging was conducted by the Plano, Texas Chamber of Commerce. The award, named in memory of Huntsville businessman and former Chamber Board Chair Russell G. Brown, recognizes an executive for exceptional corporate management, entrepreneurship, and service to the local community. It is presented jointly by the Colleges of Business at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and Alabama A&M University.

“We had a really strong group of candidates this year for this award,” said Ashley Engles-Ross, the Chamber’s vice president of small business. “We are so excited for Sue – she is very deserving of this honor. It was also wonderful to hear her thank her team, for all they do to support the Garden’s mission.”

In conjunction with the award, Wagner was also recognized as a fellow for the UAH College of Business and for Alabama A&M’s College of Business and Public Affairs.

“I am so honored and grateful for this recognition,” said Wagner. “This community is what makes the Huntsville Botanical Garden and Huntsville, Alabama, such a wonderful place to be.”