By Justin Kropff

Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce President & CEO, Tammy Bracewell, has recently stepped down as President and CEO and will assume responsibility for special projects.

Citing the need and desire to spend more time with her two grandchildren, Bracewell, a 24-year veteran of the organization, had approached the members of the Executive Committee with a succession plan that would allow her to continue to contribute to the programs of the Chamber, while also allowing her the flexibility to work offsite. Laura Simpson, Vice President of Engagement and Programming, now serves as the Interim President & CEO.

“While we were not anticipating Tammy’s decision to change roles, we are pleased that we are able to fulfill her desire to spend more time with her family, while still having the benefit of her experience and expertise.  We are excited about the steps leading up to the transition that have already occurred and, with her and Laura having worked closely for many years, we anticipate this being a seamless process,” stated Chairman, Darren Denington, of Service with Style and Copper Bell Cafe-Riverview.

Immediate Past Chairman, Bob Bivins, of Bivins & Hemenway, P.A., worked with Bracewell through the details of her change in roles and voiced his appreciation for her service. “Since becoming CEO, Tammy Bracewell has devoted her heart and soul to this organization and its people.  Her guidance, vision, and tireless efforts are largely responsible for the success the Chamber has enjoyed and the role it has played in our community over the last 20+ years. We all owe Tammy a huge debt of gratitude and she will forever have my deep-rooted respect and heartfelt friendship.”

Simpson, a 13-year veteran of the organization, is excited about the opportunity to take the helm and also applauds Bracewell for her contribution to the Chamber and to the community. “It has been an honor to serve with Tammy for the past 13 years and I am eager to continue to work together, although within a little different structure, to advance the business community of the Greater Brandon area.  I can truly attest to her desire to serve this community and as her friend, I am proud of all she has accomplished.”

In her comments to the Board of Directors, Bracewell shared the following quote, “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.”  Bracewell stated that it has been her honor to lead the organization for the past 13 years and to serve its members — many of whom she considers lifelong friends — and that she will be forever grateful for the opportunity.


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Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.