Women of Substance: Debra Penzone
The Charles Penzone Salons and the Brittany Group Professional Beauty Products and Education
Licensed in: In 1987, after attending the Ohio State School of Cosmetology.
Affiliations: ISBN, PBA/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 the American Cancer Society’s Look Good…Feel Better, the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women, the 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, <I>Debbie’s Club: Discovering MyTrueBeauty for Girls<I> to help inspire and empower girls to see their unique beauty from the inside out.
Who was your mentor along the way? “I wake up next to Charles Penzone….need I say more?”
How has being a woman made your career path harder or easier? “As a woman, my empathy or 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 grow 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, <I>Smart Business Magazine<I> 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 is the best business book you ever read? “I would have to give three books for a well-rounded business leader. The first is all about business, the second is about personal growth, and the last one is about being a great manager/leader: Great to Good, by Jim Collins, The Truth About You, by Marcus Buckingham, and The Dream Manager, by Matthew Kelly.
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 cancer research and to empower girls and women in our community.”