Debra Penzone

President, The Charles Penzone Salons and the Brittany Group Professional Beauty Products and Education, Powell, Ohio

Licensed in: In 1937, after attending the Ohio State School of Cosmetology

Affiliations: ISBN, FBA/NCA

JANUARY 2012 MARKS Debra Penzone’s 25th anniversary with The Charles Penzone Salons, with six locations in the Columbus, Ohio, area. She started out as an assistant and gradually worked up the company’s ladder, as a stylist, designer, director, senior director; creative director, vice president of training, senior vice president, then president. In addition to continuously charting the company’s course of success, Penzone has worked tirelessly for her local community on projects such as American Cancer Society’s Look Good Feel Better, American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women, Komen Columbus Race for the Cure, as well as developing The Charles Penzone Mother-Daughter Spa Day for A Kid Again. In 2011, Penzone published her first book, Debbie’s Club Discovering MyTrueBeauty for Girls to help inspire and empower girls to see their unique beauty from the inside out.

How has being a woman made your career path harder or easier? “As a woman, my empathy for others and leading with my heart has been a barrier at times. However, it also is my greatest asset.”

What would you consider your biggest professional break? “Having the foresight and vision to apply early in my career for a job at The Charles Penzone Salons, where focus on training, career development and personal growth are paramount.”

What’s the best business advice anyone ever gave you? “If you want to glow your company, get out from behind the chair so you can see the big picture. You need to focus on building your team of professionals, your corporate team and your community presence.”

What business achievement are you most proud of? “This is two-fold one for philanthropy and the other leadership, in 2004, Columbus Business First honored our entire company for the Corporate Caring Award which recognizes and honors exemplary companies who are creatively dedicating their resources to a variety of not-for-profit organizations. In 2010, Smart Business magazine honored me with the Kent Clapp CEO Leadership Award which recognizes the top executive of a for-profit organization for his or her ability to create a culture of giving.”

What do you hope to achieve in the next five years? “I recently finished my first book, Debbie’s Club. Discovering MyTrueBeauty for Girls and I hope to have a second book published for women I want to continue to grow. The Charles Penzone Salons by developing our team of professionals and building my charitable foundation, Earth Angels The Debra Penzone Foundation at the Columbus Foundation. I hope to continue giving back to support cancel research and to empower girls and women in our community.”