Tonja M. Brickhouse
2013 Exceptional Woman of the Year
Tonja Brickhouse was selected from a field of nine finalists as NEW’s 2013 Exceptional Woman of the Year. Appointed in 2008 as director of the City of Tampa Department of Solid Waste & Environmental Program Management, Ms. Brickhouse is the first woman to hold that position.
She went into service with the Air Force as a young mother in 1982, after earning a dual degree in economics and psychology from the University of Virginia. By the time of her retirement from active duty in 2007, she had become the first African-American chief of the air transportation division and earned the rank of colonel.
During her years in the military, which included being stationed at the Pentagon, in Germany, and at MacDill AFB, she completed a master’s degree in public education at Troy University.
Her vision for the city’s solid waste and environmental program is simple: to create a dynamic team of professionals recognized as the premier leaders in industry. Totally committed to serving our nation and community, she serves as a member of various boards, associations, and organizations and is a highly engaged community leader.