Speechless perfectly defined Tammie Holland’s feelings after receiving the first Key to the City presented by St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones on Sept. 23, 2021 at St. Louis City Hall.
“Words can’t express how humble and just how proud I am,” Holland told The St. Louis American. “I love St. Louis so much, and to have been bestowed such a high honor by Mayor Jones is fantastic.”
Jones praised and celebrated Holland in a tweet for the recognition.
“@TammieHolland is a mom, storyteller, cancer fighter, and all-around genuine spirit spreading happiness and laughter everywhere she goes. I was proud to present her with my first Key to the City in celebration of #TammieHollandDay.”
Holland, a natural born performer, kept herself busy in high school competing in pageants, participating in theatre, cheerleading, and singing at church. After graduating from St. Thomas Aquinas-Mercy High School she pursued a flight attendant career.
During that time, like many young people do, she was focused on “kicking it” and living her best life. Her mother gave her a reality check and told her she needed to do something else with her life.
She listened. She found her calling at the Broadcast Center in Clayton where she received her journalism certification. As the saying goes, the rest is history.
The center was the first chapter of a story that saw the 20-year media veteran become a beloved icon.
Marc Clarke, who was one of her instructors, encouraged her to come to Majic 108 to intern with him and Tony Scott. Majic was the launchpad for a skyrocketing career.
“I gathered news stories, grabbed coffee, was very present and closely watched everything they did,” Holland said.
She gained knowledge and experience from Clarke, Scott and many other radio greats
including Doc Wynter, Calvin King, Deneen Busby, Chaz Saunders, Eric Michaels, and Dr. Jockenstein.
“They embraced me and I learned the business from some of the greatest who’ve ever done it and ever rocked a mic.” she said.
She went on to work for Gannett, Lutheran Hour Ministries, Roberts Broadcasting Company, and various roles at iHeartMedia, formerly Clear Channel Radio.
In 2017, she separated from iHeart and job offers started rolling in immediately.
She thought about relocating, but wasn’t pleased with the offers [she knew her worth], and she didn’t want to sever the relationships she built and nurtured in her hometown.
“I am truly in love with St. Louis and I could have gone,” she said.” I could have left St. Louis. I could have taken jobs in other cities but I did not. I stayed here and I invested in St. Louis.”
In the end, she knew her time in radio was up and instead took a new career route.
She created her own public relations company, Tammie Holland Public Relations (THpr). Now, she’s an Emmy nominated content creator, influencer, and host of “This Week with Tammie Holland powered by Brown & Crouppen.”
“I’ve been a longtime admirer of Terry Crouppen. With him being a pioneer in advertising and marketing, I knew I wanted to be close to him in that respect, she said.
“He came to me two days after I had been separated from the company and said, ‘Don’t worry about a thing kid I got you. We’re gonna create something for you here and everything’s gonna be all good.’”
She’s having fun with her new role because it is a release from the pressure and high stress she experienced in radio.
“It has been a delight to become better connected with Missouri because of my work with Brown & Crouppen,” she said. “I’m a Missouri girl so I often use the hashtag on my posts #MadeInMissouri, it's something I’m quite proud of.”
As someone who's been in the business for two decades, Holland knows how to maintain longevity. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with the new generation of media professionals. The biggest advice she would give them is to remember the community.
“Oftentimes we’re asked the question of what could stop violence in our city and what could we do,” she said. “It's just to begin with embracing community to have those with the power of a microphone or a large platform on social media to be concerned about what happens in the community. Not just the bad news and sharing bad news, but sharing good news stories. I think that it's very important to uplift people. Don’t just big up yourself, big up people, big up the community.”
She is battling stage four colon cancer, and remains proud of the imprint and legacy she’s left on the community. Again, she stresses the importance of everyone staying connected with the community as well.
“I have just lived my whole life and my whole career trying to share, just trying to give. I had a microphone and that was my gift to St. Louis, so it's very important to me,” Holland said.
“Even as I’m sick battling stage four colon cancer that has metastasized in my liver, my lungs and my lymph nodes; as I’m preparing myself for radiation and preparing to have surgery I’m scared daily about my life, but still very much trying to remain as optimistic as possible I just say stay connected give to the community its very important."
“I’m most passionate about that. I feel as though my living will not or would not have been in vain because I shared my platform and I shared with people.”