“I needed to find my people,” said Deb Hoffman about her move back to the Twin Cities almost two years ago; we are very fortunate that her people is us, (SCVANOW). As most know, Deb is our newly elected Board President and she comes to us with not only enthusiasm but with a wealth of ideas and experiences.
She comes from good people too. Growing up in Tomah, WI she was inspired by her Great Aunt Vera, a one-room schoolhouse teacher who traveled the world, even attending Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation. Great Aunt Vera mentored Deb and instilled in her the importance of research and reading books. She took Deb to Washington D.C. when she was seven and they visited Camp David.
Equally important was her father’s influence. One of thirteen children and only an 8th-grade education Deb’s dad was sent to work at 16 to support his family; yet, he was of the belief that if it raises his taxes but was for the good of the country, he was OK with paying more. This attitude gave Deb a sense of the common good which in her view works better if we focus less on what we are against and more on what we are for.
After attending Mankato State and receiving her degree in Public Administration and Urban Regional Studies, she worked as a temp which led to a permanent job for IBM. She worked in this matching blazer and skirt corporate setting for 10 years, got her MBA and then moved on to working for a start-up non-profit called The Modernization Forum. This organization supported small manufacturers so they could work on innovations.
Her first encounter with the Alliance was attending the election campaign training we sponsored. She was impressed with the energy and enthusiasm geared towards women running for office. As she got more involved, she realized that her experience working for a non-profit gave her skills that would be useful to SCVANOW as our organization continues to grow and change.
Deb has some great ideas she wants to present to the board. One is creating a Judy Screaton Award to honor a member who has demonstrated Judy’s spirit of activism and devotion to worthy causes. Another idea is to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment by registering every woman in Washington County to vote.
Deb is ready to get to work building our SCVANOW community. She wants to build an even stronger atmosphere of support in which we lift each other up so we can continue to make a positive impact in our community. We are so very fortunate to start this new era of our grassroots organization with such a savvy, inspiring, leader.
By Peg Ludtke