The Start of a Career


At the age of 37, Debbie was a single mother of two boys and knew if she was going to move forward in her organization, she needed to pivot her life and develop a career. She started as an administrative assistant at Adams County Economic Development (ACED) and had been promoted, but to go any further she needed a college degree. Through her work, she had become familiar with FRCC’s workforce development efforts and was impressed. So Debbie started taking classes at FRCC, which was affordable and convenient, offering night and weekend classes to fit her busy schedule. In 2000, Debbie graduated from FRCC with an A.G.S. and transferred to Regis University, where she earned a B.S. in Business Administration (Small Business Administration minor) in 2002.

Debbie’s educational foundation allowed her to build a successful career in economic development. After 16 years with ACED, where she had worked her way up to executive vice president, she moved into other leadership roles with Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation, Colorado Nanotechnology Alliance, and Colorado MESA. In 2011, Debbie decided to bring her economic development experience to the City of Northglenn, where she lives, as its economic development manager and urban renewal executive director. She works to fuel the local economy through an increased tax base, job creation, and new business investments that help improve the quality of life and services for residents and the community.

As one of 11 family members spanning three generations who have attended FRCC — including her father, sister, sons, nieces, nephews and daughters-in-law — FRCC holds a special place in Debbie’s heart. College could have been very intimidating as an adult learner, she adds, but FRCC’s dedicated instructors and staff created a positive, supportive environment.

"Through my job in economic development, I’ve gotten to know FRCC’s president, Andy Dorsey, and other college leaders, and I’m consistently impressed by how the college responds to the demands of industries in Colorado by offering relevant degree and certificate programs. For me personally, FRCC was an excellent experience. The college prepared me for Regis University and gave me the skills and the confidence to be successful."