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Humans of the Science Center: Tracy Brala, VP Ecosystem Development

On Twitter she’s known as the Main Line Marketer. Around the Science Center halls, she’s known as the Vice President of Ecosystem Development. Tracy Brala joined the team in June and brings with her an extensive background in marketing, branding, product and business development. In her new role, Tracy will lead the expansion of Quorum and the implementation of Venture Café programming. Get to know our newest VP below.

What does Ecosystem Development mean to you?

I always laugh when I say ‘Ecosystem Development’ because I believe it initially requires an explanation.  If you say ‘community development’ everybody gets a visual picture in their mind as to what that means.  ‘Ecosystem Development’ is a relatively new term so the visuals don’t automatically come to mind for most folks.  Hopefully, when our team is successful, that will change.  In my mind the ecosystem is defined as the Philadelphia innovation ecosystem and my goal and our team’s charge is to galvanize the Philadelphia innovation ecosystem.  I purposefully talk about innovation because I feel it is a very inclusive term that can really represent anyone in Philadelphia.  If you or your company are trying to do things in a unique, different way, that is innovation. Giving folks an opportunity to celebrate that they are game-changers is really exciting to me.

What are you most excited about in your new role as Vice President, Ecosystem Development? 

I’m incredibly excited about the trajectory that Philadelphia is on (can we say, E-A-G-L-E-S and N-O-V-A!) and to have the opportunity to continue that momentum is a gift.  I truly believe that Philadelphia is poised for more great things (beyond sports!) and I’m honored to play a role in helping to achieve that success. The new Quorum and Venture Café are going to be game changers.  We have an opportunity to bring together folks from across the entire ecosystem and that is going to increase the momentum in our city.   

You’ve worked for large corporations like Comcast and Campbell Soup Company. What made you want to join an organization like the Science Center?

I’m really humbled to join the team at the Science Center.  It is such an esteemed organization in the broader Philadelphia community.  I believe in our mission and am extremely excited to contribute to making Philadelphia better.  In my short time at the Science Center I’ve been amazed at how wonderful all of the people are.  Every day, when I come home, my family asks how my day was. And I always answer with a smile recounting the wonderful people and teams I met throughout the day.  Great things are happening at the Science Center and I’m excited to be a part of helping us achieve it.

If you were not working within the marketing/innovation space, what would you be doing?

Ha, working in the marketing/innovation space.  I’ve spent the last 20 years launching new products and I love it.  I can’t imagine doing anything else.

What’s your favorite way to spend your time when you’re not at the Science Center?

So there is a short-term answer and one that is a bit more long-term.  The short-term answer is that my 18-year-old daughter is leaving to go to college so I’m relishing every opportunity that my super busy family gets to spend together.  The longer-term answer is that my fitness strategy that I find most successful is to ‘train for something’ so I’d likely be spending time running, biking or swimming for the Broad Street Run or a summer Sprint Triathlon.  Oh, and can we say ‘N-O-V-A’!  I am a proud Alum and Past President of the Alumni Association, so I spend a lot of time volunteering and cheering for Villanova.