Debra’s nomination revolves around many business accomplishments (from blazing the trail in architectural school as one of five women in her class) to choosing the business development and management side of the design industry, leading the effort to win many iconic projects through the years, while with HLM, then TLC Engineering for Architecture, with ten years as the CEO at TLC (she retires on May 1, 2015).
Debra has a long history of participation in the American Institute of Architects, the architects’ professional society, including board positions in the local Orlando chapter, and the State Chapter. She was Florida AIA’s first female president, involved for years with efforts on the AIA PAC to protect architects and engineers best interests, working with the legislature on CCNA and preserving the separation of qualifications and fees. Debra has been a leader and strong supporter of TLC’s efforts in sustainability and technology.
On the personal front, she managed to raise a son, beat breast cancer and maintain her career – simultaneously. She is a super hero in the office at TLC, (I have been told)– or the Easter Bunny or dressed for whatever holiday is on the calendar, always providing encouragement and support. As a leader she has never tried to emulate the old “Men’s Club,” but follows her own path, which is a new management model to emulate.
Here is a link to the article on the finalists by Cindy Barth on the Orlando Business Journal website: http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/news/2015/03/20/meet-the-2015-women-who-mean-business-nominees.html
And here is a link to TLC Engineers website, to learn more about her company, and their sustainable expertise: http://www.tlc-engineers.com/