Debra is an internationally recognized expert in employment and career development and is known for her passion and innovative techniques for introducing Career Development to a population many believe are unemployable.
Richard Bolles, author of What Color Is Your Parachute?, named Debra as one of “six thinkers who have had the most influence on me, over the years….” She has received both local and national awards for her efforts on behalf of the homeless and disadvantaged. A few include:
- Outstanding Contribution to the Field by the International Job Search Trainers association,
- National Customer Service Award, presented by the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals,
- Woman of the Year, presented by The Salvation Army,
- Ten Outstanding Young Americans, presented by the National Jaycees and
- Outstanding Young Woman, presented by the United Nations’ National Council of Women – USA,
Debra has been involved in developing innovative programs to address poverty and homeless issues for over 25 years. In her early years she developed award winning homeless shelters, numerous emergency service programs, youth and holiday programs for the Salvation Army. Her Holiday Angel Tree Program can still be found in shopping mall throughout the USA during the Christmas Season. She spear-headed the writing and lobbying of the first Homeless Assistance Bill funded in the state of Nevada.
In an effort to better meet the needs of the poor and homeless, Debra, in co-operation with World Vision developed the WorkNet Model of Career Development & Job Placement. For 8 years she ran a direct-service program that produced phenomenal success rates for job placement (86%), job retention (64% at 1 year) and career advancement (28% within 1 year) among these difficult-to-place populations.
As President and Founder of WorkNet International, Inc. (WNI) she and her associates have trained more than 50,000 employment service providers and impacted millions of lives around the globe. She has co-authored more than 80 Career Development resource and two books:
- the highly acclaimed book, No One Is Unemployable: Creative Solutions for Overcoming Barriers to Employment, named a Top Ten Career Book of the Year by the Los Angeles Times newspaper. This professional’s handbook was dubbed “the handbook for the welfare to work movement”, in the book, The Career Developer’s Handbook, and
- the latest book, The 6 Reasons You’ll Get the Job: What Employers Look for-Whether They Know It or Not, which has been highly praised by the business world as well as the employment community. Joel Manby, featured on CBS’s Undercover Boss and CEO of Herschend Family Entertainment stated, ‘Finally, a job search book that teaches people to think like the employer … people would be getting hired faster .. if they understood what this book teaches.”
She is a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce for the UK. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Communication and Psychology with a minor in Psychology from Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California. She is a sought-after keynote speaker, workshop presenter, staff trainer, and consultant. She has been a guest expert on several news shows and talk shows such as The Leeza Show and Good Morning Australia.