NAPW Inducts Gay L. Polk-Payton, Judge/Attorney at Law Justice Court Judge, Forrest County Justice Court, Into its VIP Professional Women of the Year Circle

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Judge Gay L. Polk-Payton is selected by National Association of Professional Women for her outstanding leadership and commitment within her profession

Challenges are rewarding for me. If I’m not challenged, I won’t grow. If I don’t grow, I cannot change and develop the environment around me.

The National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) honors Judge Gay L. Polk-Payton as a 2017-2018 inductee into its VIP Woman of the Year Circle. She is recognized with this prestigious distinction for leadership in law. NAPW is the nation’s leading networking organization exclusively for professional women, boasting more than 850,000 members, a thriving eChapter and over 200 operating Local Chapters.

“I’m pleased to welcome Gay into this exceptional group of professional women,” said NAPW President Star Jones. “Her knowledge and experience in her industry are valuable assets to her company and community.”

Since she was a young child, Judge Gay L. Polk-Payton knew she wanted to pursue a career in law. “I’ve wanted to be a lawyer since I was 8,” she recalled. “That was the first time I negotiated my way out of a spanking that I rightfully earned by dancing on the coffee table. I’ve wanted to be a judge since I was in 9th grade. That’s when Sandra Day O’Conner was appointed as the first woman on the United States Supreme Court.”

Judge Polk-Payton earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi and has more than 20 years of experience as a Lawyer. The owner of Polk-Payton Law Office, Judge Polk- Payton is certified to practice law in all courts in the state of Mississippi, the US Court of Appeals and the US Supreme Court. In 2012, she became a Judge with the Forrest County Justice Court.

In addition to her responsibilities as a Judge and Lawyer, Judge Polk-Payton enjoys a second career in the arts. An educated singer, songwriter and writer with three degrees, she uses her skills, education and talents to entertain and educate via keynote and other motivational speeches; via movie soundtracks (she wrote and performed two songs on the soundtrack of “Blackbird” starring Mo’Nique Hicks and Isaiah Washington); and via a book, "This Has Been A Public Service Announcement" and her radio show, "Gay’s PSA." Judge Polk-Payton sings the national anthem about 20 times each month at sporting and community events, including professional football and baseball games, and changes of base commanders for local Naval and Army bases.

Judge Polk-Payton doesn’t back down from adversity. She sees her obstacles as opportunities to grow. From being the single-parent caregiver for her only son when he was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 13 to standing before the Mississippi Supreme Court to defend the use of the twitter name ‘JudgeCutie’ her son gave to her while he was in treatment, Judge Polk-Payton contends, “Challenges are rewarding for me. If I’m not challenged, I won’t grow. If I don’t grow, I cannot change and develop the environment around me.”

Juris Doctor, University of Mississippi School of Law; Master of Business Administration, University of New Orleans; Bachelor’s, University of Southern Mississippi, Business Administration; member of American Bar Association; 12th District Commissioner, Mississippi Bar Association; Magnolia Bar Association; Mississippi Justice Court Judge Association; Hall of Fame Member, Black Law Students’ Association, University of Mississippi; Member, Council on Legal Education Opportunity Judge’s Hall of Fame; member and past President, South Central Mississippi Bar Association; National Speakers’ Association, New Orleans Chapter

About NAPW
NAPW’s mission is to provide an exclusive, highly advanced networking forum to successful women executives, professionals and entrepreneurs where they can aspire, connect and achieve. Through innovative resources, unique tools and progressive benefits, professional women interact, exchange ideas, advance their knowledge and empower each other.

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Lisa Mancuso
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