Osceola County, Florida – Brownie Wise was a business leader whose legacy continues to inspire millions of entrepreneurs and women around the world. On the day the Tupperware sales and marketing pioneer would have celebrated her 104th birthday, Osceola County opened a new park in her honor.
Purchased in 2014 through the Osceola County Environmental Lands Conservation Program, Brownie Wise Park at Tupperware Island Conservation Area is the newest addition to the County’s exceptional inventory of scenic, natural lands for the public to admire and enjoy.
“This park is another example of what makes us a great community. It showcases Osceola County’s many distinctive recreational opportunities all in one location and ties in a history lesson, too,” said Commissioner Cheryl Grieb, whose district includes the park, which offers sweeping views of Lake Tohopekaliga and surrounding wetlands. “It’s special to be able to honor Brownie Wise, who was such an important role model to women in the 1950s. She made it OK to step out of traditional roles, enter the business world and become independent. And she rose to success here in Osceola County.”
The 25-acre park is named for Wise, who lived nearby. She convinced Tupperware’s executives to relocate the company’s headquarters to Osceola County, where it remains to this day and continues to play an important role in our economy, Grieb noted.
With a $200,000 contribution from Tupperware Brands, the County has invested more than $400,000 installing two pavilions, a restroom, access drive, observation deck, canoe/kayak launch, water fountain, and trail for residents and visitors.
Visitors have opportunities to observe nesting bald eagles and osprey, picnic amongst spectacular vistas with family and friends, and hike along the same shoreline that once captivated Wise.
It is also the latest stop-off location for those travelling the recently-established Shingle Creek Paddling Trail (blueway) by canoe or kayak. The paddling trail follows along the famous creek (Headwaters to the Everglades) and the northern portion of Lake Toho.
One unique aspect of this natural park is its close and convenient proximity to downtown Kissimmee and the new NeoCity development project.
About Brownie Wise
Wise found herself a divorced single mother working as a secretary in the late 1940s when she was first approached with an opportunity to join another direct selling company. She joined Tupperware, selling enough to attract the attention of founder Earl Tupper. At her suggestion, he removed Tupperware from stores, and in 1951 Tupper named her the general sales manager of the new Tupperware Home Parties division.
During the 1950s, Wise’s success empowered thousands of North American women, mostly homemakers, who were looking to improve their social and economic status.
Wise, then a recent transplant to Florida, also convinced Tupper to relocate the company’s corporate headquarters to the state, saying it was where “We felt that many of our people would like to visit us, especially with the wonderland of Florida to add warmth to the invitation.” Wise ran the sales division out of the Orange Blossom Trail headquarters location that is still present and operating today. She also used this land and nearby Makinson Island for Tupperware’s Jubilee, an annual training and recognition event.
In 1954, Wise became the first woman to appear on the cover of Business Week magazine. She resided in Kissimmee until her death at the age of 79. Her legacy continues to inspire millions of entrepreneurs and business women around the world.