I have the privilege of working for some amazing clients. To serve them. One amazing person, someone IÂ learned as much from as she hopefully did from us, is Deb Fortune. Deb passed away on November 9th. I just found out. And it is tremendously sad news.
Deb Fortune could only look at how to move forward, never how to step back. If you did step back she was reaching out, grabbing your hand, and once again showing you the way forward. Racing you to pick up the lunch tab. Smiling. Crossing cultural and generational boundaries as few can actually do. Yet she could. All the while her quick wit, and sometimes a dab of sarcasm, would make you smile knowing she was right.
From Deb’s site:
â€œThere is nothing more exciting than to be involved with an organization that builds a high performance culture through development and implementation of their values, vision, and guiding behaviors. Helping to build on an organizationâ€™s strengths to shape an environment where individual and organizational health can be achieved is truly rewarding.â€Â – Deb Fortune
To borrow from her quote – working with Deb was “truly rewarding.” Deb was a driven person. Not by money as she had achieved that. Yet she did not have an off button when it came to topics she was passionate about. One of those topics was corporate culture.
“Culture is like the water fish swim in. It is an integral part of their environment; they are surrounded by it every day. Its effects can be felt, yet it remains unseen.” – Deb Fortune
I knew Deb initially from a professional relationship. But she became a friend. Not sure if she really could do business long term with someone she didn’t like, and to me that is a huge compliment. I made the cut. Yea! Thanks Deb!
From her obituary on the chronicle site:
DEBORAH JANE GIBBONS FORTUNE was born on June 13, and died at her home
in The Woodlands on November 9, 2007. She is survived by her children,
Jennie, Josh, Katie, stepchildren Beth and Tara, and seven
grandchildren: Pete, Jhett, Jonas, Alexander, Cynthia, Jennifer and
Christopher. Deb was 59, and gave life and love to all those around
her. She trusted that the Lord would put her where she was meant to be,
and this wisdom lifted her into His arms, out of pain, and with her
family in Heaven.
I’ll paste Deb Fortune’s full CV after the jump, mainly because it is simply too important to risk the record not being retained. In closing this post I’d like to say
“Deb – you will be missed greatly. You made the world a better place and your family is blessed to have had you in their lives. May God bless you and go in peace Deb. Go in peace.”
Deb Fortune’s CV from her web site:
Deb Fortune is the founder and President of the Deb Fortune Group. Deb brings extensive expertise and experience in the corporate arena of leadership, organizational change and effectiveness, training and development, and operations. Having personally experienced 8 mergers and/or acquisitions, Deb has unique experience in the human factor side of changes that occur in a merged or downsized workforce and why organizational health is so important to a company’s future success.
Over the past twenty-five years, Deb has held senior level management and consulting positions in airline, customer service, healthcare, telecommunications, organizational change, and energy service industries. Most recently, Deb held the position of Vice President for the Senn-Delaney Leadership Consulting Group, an international consulting firm focusing on corporate culture and effectiveness. Her clients included Pacific Bell, Pacific Bell Directory, Navistar (International), Continental Airlines, Reliant Energy, Vastar (Arco), McDonald’s Corporation, KFC, Atmos Energy, Verizon, Mutual of Omaha, Union Pacific Railroad, Henry Ford Health Services, the Air Line Pilots Association, and Commonwealth Edison.
Deb began her â€œcorporate cultureâ€ focus as a member of the start-up team for People Express Airlines. Hired and mentored by Donald Burr, she was charged with the responsibility of developing and delivering all training for the airline’s management as well as all technical training programs, including flight crew and maintenance programs. Under Burr’s tutelage, Deb was responsible for incorporating his vision and values in what was and still continues to be the leading edge of corporate culture work in leadership development programs today.
As Director of Corporate Training and Education for Continental Airlines, Inc., Deb was Her clients included Pacific Bell, Pacific Bell Directory, Navistar (International), Continental Airlines, Reliant Energy, Vastar (Arco), McDonaldâ€™s Corporation, KFC, Atmos Energy, Verizon, Mutual of Omaha, Union Pacific Railroad, Henry Ford Health Services, the Air Line Pilots Association, and Commonwealth Edison.responsible for 45,000 employees worldwide in the areas of Leadership Development, Employee Development, and Corporate Regulatory Compliance programs. While at Continental, Deb also served as Director of In-flight Training, Recruiting and Procedures, serving 7000 Flight Attendants worldwide in service, safety, and leadership development.
After Continental Airlines, Deb was President of Fortune Associates, Inc. â€“ an organizational change and effectiveness consulting group. She worked with Buick Motor Division, Coca-Cola Foods, Teleometrics International and served as a faculty member at the North Harris-Montgomery County College System.
Her clients included Pacific Bell, Pacific Bell Directory, Navistar (International), Continental Airlines, Reliant Energy, Vastar (Arco), McDonaldâ€™s Corporation, KFC, Atmos Energy, Verizon, Mutual of Omaha, Union Pacific Railroad, Henry Ford Health Services, the Air Line Pilots Association, and Commonwealth Edison.Deb was Director of Organizational Learning for Transco Energy Company. Her role was to create a â€œlearning organizationâ€ through a culture shifting process. The building of the learning organization began with Leadership Development and Teambuilding workshops targeted at the entire organization. The values and winning behaviors established in those workshops then became the foundation for the realignment and integration of the Human Resource systems and the implementation of Business Process Improvements.
Deb lives in Kingwood, Texas with her husband, Mike, and daughter Katie. She also has two grown children, Jennie and Josh. Deb supports Katie’s involvement in fastpitch softball and has followed her playing career as far as Australia where Katie’s team competed against teams from that region, including China and Japan. In her spare time Deb enjoys swimming, cycling, and tennis.