When I was choosing a college, I wanted to become a photographer. But my parents didn’t want me to be a starving artist. So, I studied to become an accountant and accepted a position with one of the largest public accounting firms in the world.
I’m fortunate to have parents who paid for my private college education, while I contributed by working 3 of the 4 years as a Resident Assistant, which paid for my food and housing.
But once I graduated, I was on my own to pay the bills. Rent. Car payments. New corporate wardrobe. Furniture. And whatever my social life required. I accumulated some debt as I got up and running.
During the first 5 years of my career, I worked really long hours and earned my CPA license. While busy working and studying, my personal finances didn’t get the attention they needed. I developed young-adult-debt-syndrome.
Before I knew it, I had a negative net worth and a negative self-worth.
Feeling ashamed and embarrassed by my debt balances, I was afraid to ask for help. Yet I knew I had to do something or I’d never own a home or be able to retire someday.
By now I was working for a bank and was lucky to take advantage of my company’s education reimbursement benefits. I enrolled in the Financial Planning Program at Boston University. Those skills not only helped me clear my debt load, I found I enjoyed financial planning.
So, I was on a path to the rest of my career.
But I still wanted to be a photographer.
So, in my early 30’s, while working full-time in my banking job, I went to photography school at night to learn the trade. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined I’d spend the next 25+ years side hustling as a freelance sports photographer assisting some of the world’s best photographers cover high profile sporting events for Sports Illustrated magazine.
Photography equipment is expensive, which drove me to advance my financial career skills so I could earn more to pay for it.
I became a commercial lender, worked for an investment bank during the tech boom (and bust), and became a wealth advisor serving wealthy individuals and their families.
None of that would have been possible if I hadn’t learned how to take charge of my personal finances.
As I was working with wealthy families, it became clear to me that even wealthy people can struggle with money matters.
That’s what led me to become a Master Life Coach.
We all bring a set of values and beliefs to our relationship with money.
It’s a painful experience when we struggle with debt, can’t save money, stay in undesirable relationships due to dependency, or on the flip-side are so generous that we short-change ourselves in the process, making it impossible to retire someday.
These are all signs that we’re out of alignment with our money. When that happens, we feel stuck in a financial cul-de-sac with no escape route.
My coaching skills taught me how to uncover these hidden beliefs in clients and help reframe them, so they can take positive actions.
Pairing my financial skills with my life coaching skills, I now coach and teach people about financial matters, bringing their lives into alignment with their finances.
Deb worked with two top tier private wealth management firms, US Trust (also known as Bank of America Private Bank) and Northern Trust, most recently as a Senior Vice President and Managing Director. Her career spanned both the northeast and the west coast of the United States.
Deb led a team of multi-disciplined professionals and advised affluent individuals, executives, and their families on comprehensive wealth management planning strategies that included:
Deb worked for BankBoston (now a part of Bank of America) as a commercial lender in the Media and Communications industry. During the tech boom in Silicon Valley she was a High Technology commercial lender, working directly with venture capitalists by financing their acquisitions of private companies.
While working for Robertson Stephens, an investment bank, she advised executives as they monetized their wealth, which was often concentrated in a single stock position after an initial public offering or the sale of a business.
Although not practicing any longer, Deb became a CPA (inactive) while working at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
For more than 25 years, Deb has simultaneously freelanced as a photographer, assisting some of the world’s best photographers cover high profile sporting events for Sports Illustrated magazine and national sports leagues.
Deb earned her B.S. in Accountancy and an A.S. in Management from Bentley University. Deb became a Certified Master Life Coach through Martha Beck's training programs.
Throughout her career, Deb served in leadership positions on several non-profit boards with an emphasis on youth development, education, and the arts.
Deb resides on the west coast with her husband, John, a sports photographer.