Debra serves as President & CEO of The Learning Studio.

Debra is considered an industry leader in speaking, training, facilitating and “all things adult education.” Debra founded The Learning Studio in 2004, after realizing a need in the market for high quality adult education expertise coupled with the business mindedness needed to help an education enterprise flourish.  In addition, after sitting through far too many uninspired training courses, Debra knew The Learning Studio could provide a better experience to clients across the globe.  From there, the TLS full line of leadership and management training was born.

Debra has lived adult education, training and leadership for nearly her entire career.  Prior to launching TLS in 2004, Debra served in many senior staff positions with a variety of organizations. Those included the Association Forum of Chicagoland, The Young Presidents’ Organization, The Joint Commission and the American College of Healthcare Executives.  She has consulted with world class organizations such as Vistage, the National Association of Realtors, DDB, International Avaya Users Group and more.

Debra feels passionately about:

  • Developing young leaders – they are the future of our business and world!
  • Fully developed communication skills – – no matter what line profession you happen to call your own, strong communication skills are the centerpiece of professional mobility.
  • Days spent with toes in the sand and nose in a book. These times are better than just about anything else (particularly if they happen to be in Southwest areas of either Michigan or Florida . . . )
  • A world in which every person is doing a little for the greater good (it makes the world a better place!)
  • Conversations worth having … the are the only ones to be had.
  • Wine culture . . . wine tasting, wine exploring, wine country, wine regions, wine repositories . . . wine.
  • Anthony Bourdain. ‘Nuff said.

Debra received her bachelor’s degree in Speech Communications/Public Relations from Southern Illinois University, and her master’s degree in Management of Public Service from DePaul University. She has earned her Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation and is a fellow in healthcare management, earning the FACHE. Debra is a “Best in Class” PCMA speaker and  has just been selected to Google’s Search Inside Yourself program, focusing on mindfulness and emotional intelligence.

Beyond those items, Debra is a proud mom to two amazing teenagers, a steadfast follower of Homeland and House of Cards, a foodie who enjoys dining experiences from the gritty to the high end, global traveler, a political junkie, someone who knows way too much about pop culture, and a woman who loves a great pair of shoes.