Deborah L. Parker is a seasoned facilitator, motivational speaker, army veteran, cancer survivor, trainer, author, and coach with a wealth of experience on a variety of workplace issues. She has encouraged audiences to use their "gifts and wits" in creating winning foundations for their professional and personal goals.
Taking adversity as the route to “never count yourself out!” is also a part of Deborah’s inspiring platform and she has been featured in radio and online media to tell her compelling story. She grew up during the Civil Rights era of a rural Virginia town as the oldest child of a very determined single mother in the home of her wise maternal grandparents, which had no indoor plumbing. But her family encouraged her to study, be responsible, get involved and have faith. These situations impacted Deborah’s love of learning, history and culture tremendously. And now she honors the legacies of these anchoring ‘old folks’ in very profound ways, resulting in her poignant speaking and writing.
Through her company, The DPJ Training Group, Deborah's areas of expertise include leadership development, diversity, and career seminars for government, Department of Defense and private sector clients. In her work, she combines an academic background of degrees in Sociology (B.A., College of William and Mary) and Human Resource Development (M.A., George Mason University), with insight into leadership with time in the US Army Reserve, reaching the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. She graduated the US Army Command and General Staff College as well as attended certification courses with Dale Carnegie on personal growth and inspiring change. And she has authored 3 books on these topics based on her professional and personal experiences.
In the corporate world, Deborah worked in training and operations management for Booz Allen Hamilton, ExxonMobil and Phillip Morris.
In the community Deborah is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Herndon, Military Officers Association of America, and the Metro DC Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development. She enjoys travel, long walks and reading.
Industry Expertise (4)
Areas of Expertise (4)
Keynote Speaker - Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday Program - Moving Forward With the Dream (professional)
In this banner year of US and African American history, I recognized how the struggles and triumphs of the Civil Rights Movement are a must-get for all. The Douglass Community Center in Leesburg Virginia as the venue to bring a message of hope before over 200 people was wonderful. On the MLK holiday that happened to fall on Inauguration Day for President Obama, history continued to teach.
Authoring Three Books - Memoir, Personal Growth, Success (professional)
I have penned three books, Navigating Life’s Roadways: Stories of Insight from My Odyssey and Inspiration for Your Journey and Life is A Review: Observations and Collection of My Passages Through the Times. Both of these chronicle highlights of her life’s setbacks and successes with the themes of career, family, and choices in a motivating format with relatable takeaways for readers.
Graduating College - Oldest Child of A Single Parent (personal)
My mother was a senior in high school when I was born, but she went back to finish and instilled in me how important education was. We lived with my maternal grandparents in a shotgun style house with no indoor plumbing in a segregated town. But my mother was determined and my grandparents wise, plus they all emphasized how important it was to have some goals. With Dr. King's work and these three elements along with my Baptist upbringing, I pushed onward and dreamed anyway. Finished college!
Launching a Training and Consulting Business (professional)
Through my company, The DPJ Training Group, I've been providing motivational speaking, leadership, diversity and personal development learning programs for private and public sector clients for over 15 years. Using the tools of 360 feedback and other developmental assessments, I've also coached all levels of employees through periods of significant change in their career and personal lives. Named to honor her grandparents wisdom, DPJ stands for Deborah, Pearl and Joseph.
Commissioned as An Army Officer (professional)
I underwent a 14 week grueling and intensive training program, Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning Georgia. Learning army tactics and doctrine during weeks of hot sun and physical toughness, in that final phase of training, joy and pride engulfed me. Yes, I was wet and worn— but I had done things I never thought possible because I was given the right tools. Success was tangible and tart. Victory shone like the gold bars I was waiting to pin on my uniform.
Cancer Survivor - 7 Years (personal)
I was a month shy of my 50th birthday, when one starts to think about their mortality. The call came at 5:15 p.m. I’d been expecting to hear from my doctor. A suspicious finding had been seen on my mammogram and I’d endured a biopsy the week before. The pathology report was in —I carefully listened to my doctor’s words. “I hate to tell you this, but you have breast cancer” she said. Wondering, could fight this battle —in the realm of where I was in that moment? I'm still here!
The College of William and Mary: BA, Sociology 1977
US Army Command and General Staff College: Completion of Modules - , Leadership, Strategy, Tactics, Operations 1992
George Mason University: MA, Human Resource Development 1993
US Institute of Peace: Conflict Analysis Course Certificate
Strictly Business: The Dale Carnegie Immersion Seminar: Certificate of Completion, Professional and Personal Growth for Success 2008
US Office of Personnel Management: Certification, 360 Leadership Effectiveness Inventory Assessment 1998
Center for Creative Leadership: Certification, Workplace Harassment Course 1998
U S Army: Facilitation Certification, Equal Opportunity and Diversity 1978
PriceWaterhouse Coopers: Instructor Certification, Facilitation and Presentation Skills 2004
Conwal, Inc.: Certification, Coach - Military Transition Assistance Program 1993
Personnel Decisions, Inc.: Certification, Profilor 360 Assessment 1998
- ASTD (Metro DC Chapter)
- Mt Pleasant Baptist Church
- Delta Sigma Theta Sorority (Loudoun County Alumnae Chapter)
- Military Officers Association of America
Event Appearances (3)
Leadership 101: The Boot Camp Basics
Supervisors Academy National Park Service, Washington, DC
Prime Your Pump: Staying Motivated During Tough Times
Dinner Meeting Falls Church VA Rotary Club
Drive On: Navigating Change and Challenge in the Workplace
Meetings - Dulles Chapter Society for Human Resource Management and Mitre Human Capital Management - Community of Practice Session Mitre Corporation: McLean, VA and Dulles SHRM Reston, VA
Sample Talks (3)
Your Professional Brand: Focused for Leading and Succeeding
Are you branded in the best possible way? It's essential to create awareness of the image you project and its impact on your career. Three main ways to do that are: By developing a leadership style that gets things done and noticed. Examining ways to develop workplace savvy and move forward. And communicating effectively to build critical relationships. This packaging will support you in achieving your goals!
Five Ways to Engage Your GPS: Goals, Positions, and Strategies
How do you stay on course? Just like a car’s navigation system tracks the journey to various destinations, a GPS can do that when there seem to be delays in getting to your destination. Roadblocks and emergencies happen, so finding alternate routes is important. Scenarios just like this happen everyday. Preparation is key along with being equipped and ready to handle challenges. How to keep moving, these five points will steer you back on the route to success.
Diversity: A Dynamic Force for the Future
The success of any organization’s efforts to create an inclusive work environment rests primarily with those charged to manage people, processes, and procedures. Yes, managers reign as the champions of any diversity initatiatives, to get the “people plus” benefit in achieving maximum performance of all. By creating a climate that addresses career goals, cultural issues, and motivational needs, the power of diversity can be win-win!
- Workshop Leader
- Author Appearance
- Corporate Training