1 on 1 with Bemetra Simmons

1 on 1 with Bemetra Simmons
Because March is about honoring magnificent and impactful women, we wanted to use our March TOUCHDOWN Tampa Bay edition as an opportunity to focus on Bemetra Simmons, Chair of the Business Connect Advisory Committee and current Chief Strategy and Operations  Officer for United Way Suncoast. Not only is Simmons serving in an integral role for our host committee efforts and more specifically helping lead the Business Connect Program to success, but Simmons also served in leadership roles for previous Tampa Bay Sports Commission events such as 2019’s Women’s Final Four.
Bemetra Simmons - Chair, Business Connect Advisory Committee

In your current role as the Chair of the Business Connect Advisory Committee, how do you plan to help ensure the success of the Business Connect Program and its everlasting impact on our community?
I am incredibly humbled and honored to chair such an important committee in conjunction with Tampa Bay hosting Super Bowl LV. My role as chair is to be an advocate of the program by connecting as many businesses and community groups as possible to the process. We wanted to cast a wide net of access and information to our local diverse businesses so that any eligible business that wanted to participate had the opportunity to do so.
In the spring of 2019, you served on the first-ever all women’s local advisory committee for the Women’s Final Four. As a trailblazer for women in sports and in the Tampa Bay region, how did this accomplishment make you feel about the strides our area is making in gender equality?
Serving on the advisory committee was not only an honor but also an incredibly fun experience. I have a deep passion for girls and women getting involved in sports. It was a special treat given that my first introduction to Tampa was as a visitor and fan attending the 2008 Women’s Final Four. The fact that
our sports commission created a specific advisory committee that shows our commitment to and support of women in the Tampa Bay region.
What was the main takeaway from your role on Tampa Bay’s 2019 Women’s Final Four Advisory Committee?
My key takeaway is that each and every citizen has an opportunity to be an ambassador for the Tampa Bay Region! I was happy to have played a small role in showcasing our destination, rich resources, local support, and passion to the NCAA and women’s basketball community.
How has your experience as a former student-athlete and basketball alumni from CBU carried over into your past and current roles with the
Tampa Bay Sports Commission?
Athletes practice every day, so we are prepared to flawlessly execute our plays to win games. The sports commission brings that same spirit of excellence to hosting events here in Tampa Bay. It was refreshing to serve with others who operate in a spirit of excellence and bring their very best to compete, to play and to win each day.
When all is said and done, what do you hope visiting Super Bowl LV fans will say about Tampa Bay?
That we are a rich, diverse, warm and welcoming community with wonderful resources! I hope after visiting Tampa for Super Bowl LV, every fan will want to come back to our market again.