Taking Care of Business
Tracy Branham is settling in to her new position as the business and facilities manager for Ocean Isle Museum Foundation.
Tracy Branham doesn’t hesitate when asked what she wanted to be when she was growing up in Indianapolis, Indiana. “An accountant,” she says. “From day one.”
Branham began her job as business and facilities manager for the Ocean Isle Museum Foundation on August 5, and besides fulfilling her job description, she looks forward to meeting more visitors and volunteers.
“The touch tank people,” she says. “Oh, my gosh. I stand back and listen to them talk to the people, and it amazes me at the knowledge they have.” The touch tank at the Museum of Coastal Carolina in Ocean Isle Beach allows visitors to touch and feel the sea stars, horseshoe crabs and other fish in the open tank.
Children impress her as well. She recalls one boy who was so excited when he saw the Civil War exhibit in the lobby of the museum that he pointed to items and explained what they meant. The display contains a navigational lantern, rifles, cannon projectiles and several other artifacts from the time.
Branham asked the boy how he knew all that information. He answered, “I just read books.”
Another boy said he knows how the augmented reality sandbox works. At the sandbox, visitors move the sand around to form various landscapes, simulate rainstorms and create other topography. The boy told her it was the light from the sensor that knows what you are forming.
“I’m just in awe at all that goes on here,” Branham says. “There’s so much here.”
Branham moved from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where she was facility coordinator and badging administrator for CBRE/Cisco, a commercial real estate firm in Raleigh. She has friends in Ocean Isle Beach and visited often, so when shoulder surgery in March gave her a respite, she realized Ocean Isle Beach would be her future home.
She brings an impressive resume, which started in high school when she joined a CEO group. She earned her bachelor of science degree in accounting/business management from International Business College in Indianapolis. She launched her vast business experience at an architectural designing firm, and after three years joined Meridian I.Q. as a supervisor. After she married and moved to Texas for business opportunities, she raised three children. Back in Indiana, she was facility coordinator and assistant facility manager at Epson/America.
“I’m impressed by the multitude of talents she has, including those needed to be a good business manager,” says Terry Bryant, executive director of the Ocean Isle Museum Foundation.
Branham’s duties at the museum include taking care of all the financials. “I want to get them down pat, so if Terry [is called away], she can depend on me one hundred percent and not worry about the museum,” Branham says.
Her interests focus on more than business. Her father, a firefighter for 48 years, took her to fire stations and she was awed by what he did. “He was saving people’s lives,” she says. In Raleigh she volunteered as a first responder, a result of what she witnessed with her father.
Now that her two daughters are grown and married, and her son, Justin, 21, lives in Ocean Isle Beach with her, she is able to dedicate some time to her hobbies. She quilts, designs terrariums, loves to do crafts and is an independent stylist for Color Street Nail Strips.
She is enjoying the challenges of her new position. “There has not been a challenge put in front of me that I haven’t accomplished and fixed,” she says. “I care about what I do.”
She is also looking forward to all the upcoming events at the Museum of Coastal Carolina and at Ingram Planetarium.
Want to go?
Museum of Coastal Carolina
21 E. Second St., Ocean Isle Beach