Tami Simmons

Name: Tami Simmons
Leadership Charlotte (LC) Class: LC21 (Wachovia)
Title/Company: currently, Vice President Institutional Advancement – Johnson C Smith University
Hometown: Durham, NC
Education:  BA Hampton University, MA Ed North Carolina Central University
Current personal or leadership goals: At this stage in my professional life I’m guided by what I feel is impactful, meaningful work, with a focus on elevating the HBCU experience and value proposition. Luckily, I get to do that every day.

My personal goal is to allow myself more time enjoying the people and experiences that bring me a sense of peace, joy, and fulfillment.


1. If you could describe your Leadership Charlotte experience in three words or phrases what would they be?
Memorable, professionally and socially relevant, grateful to have been part of the unique experience.

2. What advice that you would you give to current Leadership Charlotte participants?
If the experience is anything like it was for me, I encourage the participants to make connections and forge lasting relationships. You never know how you can support one another years later. One of the benefits of doing the work is having the opportunity to serve with other strong professionals.

3. What would you like to see Leadership Charlotte alumni get involved in and why?
With the tremendous focus on diversity and equity representation, I would like to see us/alumni create the opportunity to influence diverse leaders who sit on local boards. Leadership Charlotte may be doing this, but if not, LC should be the funnel for this type of assignment. It’s a ready-cohort of talented individuals.

4. What are you doing in the community these days?
The nature of my work is to engage in community. Fundraising is largely based upon creating and maintaining community, civic, corporate partnerships. Additionally, over the years I’ve had the opportunity to do some amazing Board work: Char-Meck Library Board, YWCA Board, Johnson C. Smith University Board, A Child’s Place Board, Board of Communities in Schools, the Mayor’s Transportation Study, and more. What a great honor to have worked with so many brilliant Charlotteans on important programs and projects to uplift our community! Really great work!

5. How has your life after Leadership Charlotte surprised you and why?
I’m not sure I would have thought over the span of my professional life that I would have led in the corporate, non-profit, and now higher education space. It surprises me how agile and adaptable we can be when given opportunities. I wish that for people coming along behind me. I hope they take every opportunity to put community work and engagement at the top of the list!

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