2019 Women's Final Four | Faces of the Final Four, Bemetra Simmons

Faces of the Final Four

Bemetra Simmons

Managing Director, Florida | Mutual of Omaha Bank

1. As a former student-athlete and women’s basketball alum from CBU, you know what it takes to win on the court. How has your athletic background influenced your personal and professional success in business and the community? 

 

I use my experience as a student-athlete on a daily basis both at work and thru my community involvement.  Business (similar to playing basketball) requires a team effort to be successful. Winning new business and servicing clients cannot simply be done by one person. Each person has to contribute and play their role.

 

2. We read that you’re always motivated to be the “kid” who gets picked first. What are three qualities that you bring to a team that makes you a first round draft pick? 

 

Passion, hard work, and discipline.  To me, passion is the key because it gives you that extra motivation needed to go above and beyond.

 

3. Is it true that the first time you ever came to Tampa Bay was to attend the 2008 NCAA Women’s Final Four with your sister?  Fast forward ten years – what is it like to now serve on the first-ever all women’s Tampa Bay Local Advisory Committee as a community ambassador and thought leader in support of your favorite collegiate event? 

 

Honestly, it is a bit surreal. When we came here in 2008, I had no idea that Tampa would become my home, or that ten years later I would be a community advocate for the tournament. I feel fortunate that the committee allows me to combine my love for women’s college basketball and my admiration for the Tampa Bay area.

 

4. With this being Tampa Bay’s third time hosting the premier women’s collegiate championship, what is one thing that you hope the Advisory Committee can accomplish and help influence to raise the bar once again? 

 

I think one of our most significant roles is to educate and inspire local business and nonprofit organizations to get involved and contribute. From programs like Read to the Final Four with Hillsborough County Public Schools and Bounce which will incorporate youth from all over Tampa Bay, there are incredible opportunities for local companies to connect to the community directly.

 

5. The NCAA Women’s Final Four is way more than three games and the social impact is as impressive as the economic impact.  Now that you have a different perspective from a Local Advisory Committee seat, what part of the narrative around the Women’s Final Four are most excited to help spread and tell?  

 

People who come in town to attend the tournament not only get a first-class sports experience but they also a weekend-long red carpet welcome from our community. Hopefully, that experience will translate into them returning to Tampa Bay, as well as encouraging their friends and family to visit.

 

6. When it is all said and done, what do you hope visiting Women’s Final Four fans will say about Tampa Bay?

 

I would want them to say that this event was, without a doubt, the best sports experience that they have ever had and that they can't wait to experience more of Tampa Bay.

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