As chief relationship officer with a mid-sized metal fabricator, Deb knows a thing or two about building business during some of the most challenging economic conditions in recent times. She understands that deep connections help businesses survive and thrive; in fact, Deb is known for her uncanny ability to uncover those invisible threads that become the strongest ties in business. She knows and shares that if you’re not building connections you’re not building business.

The beauty of the stainless hoppers, augers, and frames created at Ace Metal Crafts may be in their design, function or cost-effectiveness, but those are simply byproducts of Deb’s calling. During her 16 years with Ace Metal Crafts, she has helped deliver the company’s aggressive growth and helped shape its engaging culture, which have been transformational enough to capture the attention of Toyota. As the master of optimizing process, Toyota, through its Toyota Production System, has investing time and resources to help Ace accelerate its growth and improvement.

For Deb, creating connections gets personal too. Whether it’s through mentoring in The Gadget Girls program that encourages young girls to pursue technical careers, or helping women find their way back to a “new normal” after tragedy, her message is of empowerment regardless of personal situation. And those are the kind of connections that prompt other people to do exceptional things, too.