20 Questions With … Bemetra Simmons

President and CEO, Tampa Bay Partnership

Bemetra Simmons is the president and chief executive officer of the Tampa Bay Partnership, a coalition of regional business leaders working together to improve the personal and economic well-being of Tampa Bay residents.

Simmons previously served as the chief strategy and operations officer for United Way Suncoast, where she led core operations functions, including finance and information technology and community investment for a five-county region. In this role, she facilitated a COVID-19 emergency response process which resulted in the disbursement of $1.6 million in emergency relief to area nonprofit organizations and participated in the planning of the group’s new strategic vision. A former banking executive, Simmons also worked as the Florida managing director at Mutual of Omaha Bank and held leadership roles at Wells Fargo and BB&T.

1. College alma mater?
Christian Brothers University.

2. Last show you binge watched?
Clickbait on Netflix.

3. Favorite place for a business meeting?
Mise en Place. They have white-glove service and really know how to make you feel special.

4. iPhone or Android?
iPhone.

5. What did you eat for lunch today?
Grilled chicken salad.

6. We’ll find you on the weekend doing?
Playing golf then grilling ribs.

7. What movie terrified you as a child?
Child’s Play.

8. Proudest moment?
Being named to the board of trustees at my alma mater.

9. Dream dinner companion?
Ursula Burns.

10. Any pets?
My chihuahua, Charlie.

11. Best concert you’ve ever seen live?
Prince, in 2000.

12. What is your cellphone wallpaper image?
My niece and twin nephews.

13. Most famous person you’ve ever met?
President Barack Obama.

14. What is your go-to drink order?
Bourbon over a large ice rock.

15. Favorite candy?
White chocolate.

16. Last thing you ordered from Amazon?
Chimney starter.

17. Pool or beach?
Pool.

18. Charity you support?
United Way Suncoast.

19. Favorite childhood memory? Spending summers in Memphis, Tennessee, with my grandparents and cousins.

20. Words of advice? Never read your own press clippings.

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