Deb Boelkes is an author, keynote speaker, symposium producer, and founder of Business World Rising. She developed her unique sense of leadership style rising through the ranks of a heavily male-dominated business world starting at age twelve. She credits a few tremendous role-models, lots and lots of leadership books, the phenomenal leadership training she received back in the days when AT&T and IBM focused on developing their high-potentials, and more than a few managers who reinforced what not to do.
Deb highlights what she considers to be the most important leadership lessons she learned in the two books she has authored in collaboration with renowned psychiatrist and international best-selling author, Mark Goulston, M.D. Their first book, The WOW Factor Workplace: How to Create a “Best Place to Work” Culture, will be available in the fall of 2019. Book number two, Heartfelt Leadership: How to Capture the Top Spot and Keep on Soaring, will be released in spring 2020.
During her 30-year career leading sales, global business operations and professional services organizations within Fortune 500 technology companies, Deb gained an undisputed reputation as a passionate, people-oriented leader who, together with her teams, could always be trusted to deliver WOW results…especially in situations others believed to be impossible. How? As a role model heartfelt leader, she created a “best place to work” culture wherever she was.
Not one to settle for the status quo in corporate America, Deb ultimately elected to take on an even bigger challenge: to transform the business world into a more enriching experience for all by helping business leaders and organizations everywhere build thriving workplaces where all employees are inspired to be at their best and high-performing teams consistently deliver results beyond expectations.
Deb launched Business World Rising a decade ago, originally as Business Women Rising, a leadership development firm dedicated to the advancement of high-potential and high-achieving business women to senior leadership roles.
For its first few years, the company focused on its Leadership Vistas program, engaging peer-to-peer mentoring forums facilitated by successful business leaders and executive coaches, where business women from multiple disciplines, at similar levels on the career ladder, came together monthly for leadership education and collaborative problem solving in confidential small groups to exchange business ideas and accelerate career success.
Twice each year, all the mentoring forums came together for inspiring full-day symposiums.
Deb received overwhelmingly positive response from her clients, Leadership Vistas symposium guests, and speaking event attendees. Over time they convinced her that what she had created for women was needed by men, too. So the company evolved into Business World Rising, the highly respected brand it is today, with a mission to help organizations everywhere create best places to work, where heartfelt leaders at every level inspire their teams to be the best they can be.
Beyond the business world, Deb founded and currently serves as chair of the Florida-based civic organization, We the People; she also serves as a chapter Vice President for P.E.O. International. She recently served as Florida State Coalitions Director for the Convention of States project and served as President of the Newcomers Club of Amelia Island, FL. She previously served as a lead community organizer for the city of Newport Beach, CA’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), named best in the nation by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. She also served on the Brandman University Business School Advisory Council.
Before beginning her post-graduate career in high tech, Deb attended UCLA as a math-computer science major. She earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Fashion Design from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandizing in Los Angeles and designed junior swimwear and sportswear for a variety of apparel brands, including private label for Nordstrom. Deb earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and her MBA in Management Information Systems from the University of Rhode Island.
Deb lives in Florida with her husband, Chris. They have three grown sons and three grand-daughters.