Tracy Simmons was recently elected the incoming chairwoman for Inland Empire United Way’s Board of Directors. As a mom and the Inland Empire Regional Vice President for Enterprise Rent-a-Car, managing the second largest region in the country, including 64 branches, one could ask how she manages it all.
Tracy gives much of the credit for her commitment to philanthropy and the ability to balance multiple priorities to the organizational culture at Enterprise. Like many Enterprise employees, Tracy joined the company as a management trainee straight out of college. She attended Carson Newman University in Jefferson City, Tennessee, on a softball scholarship, starting as a biology major and finishing a business-economics major. Although she initially thought she would become a banker, her now husband of 18 years was the one who convinced her to take the job at Enterprise.
They married young, during college, and she now says that Jonathan was right.
“The Enterprise culture aligned closely with my personality and values,” said Tracy. Over the coming years, Tracy quickly climbed the ladder while they built their family. She began in a local branch in Tennessee and became a regional manager before taking an associate vice president position in the corporate office in St. Louis.
During that time, Tracy and her family moved four times, and she says they were always open to a new adventure to support her career.
In 2013, Tracy was named the regional vice president for the Inland Empire, a move that brought her to Rancho Cucamonga.
Tracy is now the mom of an 11-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son. Her husband has stepped into an important role as stay-at-home dad, which allows her to invest fully in being a professional.
She’s proud of being a working mother who can be a role model to young girls. Tracy says it’s not easy to balance a career and family, but it can be done. To make time for her family, Tracy and her husband calendar kids’ activities, including school and sports events, and she says that the weekends are all about family time.
Tracy also spoke about her leadership in the workplace and likened it to a coach on the softball field. “I remind my team that every day matters and that we drive to be No. 1 in the galaxy.” Apparently, it has worked. Tracy and her team have received numerous awards for their performance.
Throughout her journey, philanthropy has been a running theme.
“Enterprise introduced me to community involvement,” said Tracy. “They strongly encourage giving to charity and I’ve learned that it feels good to make a difference.”
Over the years, Tracy has served in a volunteer capacity with the Boys and Girls Club, the Urban League, the Ronald McDonald House, and the United Way. She now talks about the importance of businesses engaging their employees in community causes.
“Young recruits are now asking what our company does for the community and if they will be encouraged to volunteer on company time. It’s no longer optional. Businesses need to give back to attract and retain the best talent,” she said.
As Inland Empire United Way’s new Board Chairperson, Tracy is excited to help the organization impact even more lives right in her backyard. “The need is so great,” said Tracy. “I never knew how many kids in our community need assistance. I look forward to building toward United Way’s next chapter in the Inland Empire.”
To learn more or to join Tracy in her pursuit to help more children and families, visit www.IEUW.org.
Article printed in Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, July 29, 2017