Sometimes you know the right thing to do. Shortly after she walked into my office for an employment interview, and told me that she had been managing a retail plant nursery, had worked at three magazines, and possessed a degree in secondary education, I instantly knew that Gayle Engels was someone I wanted for the ABC team. That was almost 10 years ago, and I have never regretted that decision.
Gayle has been one of the key team members at ABC during the past decade. Her various duties cover a wide range of ABC’s educational projects. She heads the Education department, where one of her key responsibilities is to supervise the many interns and volunteers that come to ABC. The interns include pharmacy and dietetics students, as well as others, including a high school student interested in studying ethnobotany. Gayle also handles many of ABC members’ requests for research and information. She leads the Safety Assessment Program (formerly Safety Labeling Program), develops the content for ABC’s new electronic newsletter—HerbalEGram, edits much of ABC’s Web content, develops and supervises ABC’s literature database, responds to many inquiries for herbal information from the media, edits many special projects and publications including the new Herbal Information Course for retailers, and provides community outreach and educational presentations on herbs to many groups in the Austin and Central Texas area.
Gayle’s extensive experience with horticulture and plants makes her the logical leader of the Garden team. She’s been involved with designing the gardens and she’s the person who gives interpretive tours of ABC’s extensive herb gardens.
When someone walks into the ABC kitchen and smells fresh tea from the garden’s mint bounty or sees herbs hanging from the ceiling or small bottles of echinacea tincture and the jars of the calendula salve for everyone, it’s a sure bet it was Gayle who did all this—and much more!