Girl Boss 2018: Tammy Hooker

Tammy Hooker admits that she wasn’t keen on relocating to Plano 11 years ago.  She loved living in Dallas, but family circumstances dictated a move. If she had to do it all again, she wouldn’t change a thing.

“Most people don’t have a clue what’s under the hood here,” Tammy said. “The people who are in Plano are far from vanilla, and that’s not obvious to people who haven’t been around here in a while.”

Telling the stories of those not-so-vanilla people has become her passion. In 2016, while doing research on media for an upcoming presentation, she noted that print demand continued to decline but audio consumption was steadily increasing. However, other than some church productions, there really weren’t any podcasts dedicated to Plano.

Tammy bought a microphone and a domain name without telling anyone. Then she emailed her friend Mary Jacobs. “I said, ‘You are going to think I’m crazy. I think we have an opportunity here – don’t laugh,’’’ Tammy recalled.

Mary didn’t laugh – she responded with an emphatic “yes.” Four months later the duo had recorded five installments of Plano Podcast and released them to the public. Since then they have tackled a variety of subjects heavy and light, from heroin and apartment zoning to The Texas Pool and comedy clubs.

“We try to make them entertaining and engaging, and make it about the voices of the people so you learn something,” Tammy said. “We appreciate that this is a pretty remarkable community.”

Long an advocate and volunteer for education, Tammy ran for school board in 2013 and lost. Despite the disappointment, she vowed to find a different way to help Plano schools. The project most near and dear to her heart is Junior Achievement, an educational program that teaches financial literacy, entrepreneurship and job readiness. It partners with organizations within the community and puts professionals in front of the students.  She met resistance at first, but eventually managed to get the program into the district five years ago. Its first volunteer was then mayor-elect Harry LaRosiliere.  

Tammy’s work earned her recognition as Junior Achievement’s Dallas Community Volunteer of the Year and Champion of the Year. However, she’s not the only one in her family to earn community recognition. Daughter Gigi, who just started 8th grade, was nominated for Junior League of Collin County’s Youth Volunteer of the Year Award for her work with the Heritage Farmstead Museum. Perhaps this is foreshadowing of Plano Girl Bosses yet to come. Stay tuned.

See all of the 2018 Girl Bosses >
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