Tracey Brown, The CEO of the American Diabetes Association, Speaks to the Sweet People Club and Inspires a Nation

Tracey Brown, Special Guest Interview

Got inspiration?

Or need a little more? Then you will want to listen to the leader of the American Diabetes Association, the charismatic Tracey Brown.

You see, Tracey knows what it’s like to have high blood sugar. She’s living and thriving with type 2 diabetes. Sure, she has impressive degrees (MBA, BChE) and is the CEO of the largest diabetes organization in the United States (and arguably in the world), but it’s her personal experience that makes her message most meaningful. It’s her story and her passion that influences everyone in her wake.

Tracey knows what it’s like to get the diagnosis. She knows what it’s like to have years of high sugars, and she knows how it feels to give up on the numbers. She also knows what it’s like to find inspiration to turn her health around. Her story of realizing the turning point for her may honestly give you rocket fuel to do your best. Because whether or not you have already tapped into your personal reason to put in the daily effort to thrive with prediabetes or diabetes, her story will definitely lift you up. She helps us see the big picture about belonging to a community. About not doing this alone.

I had the honor of meeting Tracey during the Women Leaders in Diabetes Conference, which I co-hosted with Beverly Thomassian in May 2019. Her speaker ratings were the highest we’d ever seen in our careers, because she is that captivating. She’s a visionary.

Maureen McGrath, Tracey Brown, Theresa Garnero, Beverly Thomassian, Nicole Johnson, Ann Albright, Edi Matsumoto, Susan Guzman

Worth all these details, from left to right: Maureen McGrath, MS, PNP-BC, BC-ADM – Associate Clinical Professor, Director, Diabetes Minor, UCSF School of Nursing; Tracey Brown MBA, BChE – CEO, American Diabetes Association; Theresa Garnero, APRN, BC-ADM, MSN, CDCES – Instructional Designer Specialist, UCSF School of Nursing, Founder, Sweet People Club; Beverly Thomassian, RN, BC-ADM, MPH, CDCES – Founder, President, Diabetes Education Services; Nicole Johnson, DrPH, MPH, MA – National Director of Mission at JDRF; Ann Albright, PhD, RD – Director, Division of Diabetes Translation at the CDC; Edi Matsumoto, FNP, MSN, MFA, CDCES, BC-ADM – Montage Medical Group and Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula;Susan Guzman, PhD – Director of Clinical/Educational Services, Behavioral Diabetes Institute, San Diego.

Tracey is resiliently positive in the face of all the “Debbie Downer” messages out there about diabetes.

And remember, it’s the messages we tell ourselves that impact what we decide to do (or not do) for our health.

Some key messages from Tracey during our interview:

  • Move beyond shame and denial to drive positive change.
  • It’s not an all or nothing game.
  • We are not our diagnosis.
  • We are meant for more.
  • We are meant to thrive.
  • We are brave.
  • We have real courage.
  • We are examples of how to thrive

But it’s not just her words that inspire, it’s how she speaks from the heart. Here’s a short clip:

Hopefully that sneak peek gives you a sense of Tracey and how hard she works to help you, and me, and everyone with diabetes and prediabetes. Sweet People Club members get to see her full video recording in our Complete Video Library. You can log in here to access, and get your full dose of inspiration!

And everyone can actively participate in our community by joining the conversation and supporting each other within our private Facebook group. Are you a member? Here’s the link to join for free: Prediabetes & Type 2: Your Pathway to Wellness


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2 Comments on “Tracey Brown, The CEO of the American Diabetes Association, Speaks to the Sweet People Club and Inspires a Nation

Eileen Clarke
January 26, 2020 at 7:43 pm

Really was upset when ADA pulled out of CT. We used to do all of the fundraiser, I would go speak with newly diagnosed parents of Type 1’s. It was such a part of my life. How many times did we go to Washington? Having twins diagnosed 5 days apart at 14 months was hard but ADA did help me a lot!

Theresa Garnero
January 27, 2020 at 4:36 pm

So sorry to hear that resource is not available locally. And having twins with T1D? Wow – so much to juggle. Hopefully you’ve found some of the online diabetes community, like,, and – all very active groups.


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