Deborah Hastings, whose father was in the Air Force and whose mother was a stay-at-home mom, graduated from DHS in 1983. She had always dreamed of becoming a teacher. However, she says, “I took the harder road of life.” She went to work in manufacturing and operations for a few companies like Advanced Micro Devices (San Antonio, 1983-86), Intel Corporation (San Antonio, 1986-1990), and Sony Micro Electronics (San Antonio 1990-92). Over those years, she says she matured and developed a mentoring work ethic.
As a female, Deborah found it difficult working in an industry that was dominated by men. To combat this, she arrived to work earlier, worked harder, and worked longer hours. Often times, she hit that proverbial glass ceiling. There were times that she was hurt by over-hearing a negative conversation or cruel remarks, but, she was determined. She continued to hold her head up and stay positive, knowing that God would lead her in the right direction. Meanwhile, she worked to become the best quality technician she possibly could.
Deb finally received a break when she went to work as a Quality Engineer for Burris Scopes, a manufacturer of rifle scopes, in Colorado. The job did not last long, only a year, but it was the break she needed to move to the next step.
That step took her to a company in San Antonio, Lancer Corporation, as a Quality Engineer. Lancer manufactures Coca-Cola dispensing machines. Deb traveled to Atlanta to work closely with the Coca-Cola engineering staff to create a program that would improve the product’s quality control process. Although she is no longer with that company, she says she is still quite a Coca-Cola fan.
Still feeling the limitations in her career, in 2001, Deb went to work with Oberthur Gaming Technologies, an international company located in San Antonio but originating in France, that prints scratch-off tickets. Deb’s position was Director of Quality Assurance of North America. She was responsible for the ISO9001 certification and all the processes within the locations of San Antonio and Montreal, Canada. She said that this was a great company and she learned so much even about herself. The company was purchased in 2007, and that year became a pivotal point in her life.
Approaching the age of 40, Deb began to reflect on her childhood dream and regretted that she had not gone to college and fulfilled that dream of becoming a teacher. Then, fortunately, it dawned on her that she actually was a teacher. “My leadership style was always to mentor,” she says. So, she was actually teaching every day. In many areas along the way, Deb had been self-taught; so, she forwarded those lessons and experiences on to others.
Also at this time, another pivotal experience, a tragic one, occurred. Although divorced in 1991, back in the early 80s, Deb had married Blasé Allen Wright, and, in 1985, they had a son, Blasé Allen Wright, Jr (BJ). On February 2, 2007, BJ was shot in his apartment – murdered at the age of 21. This unsolved case remains with the Texas Rangers today. (Deb says his story can be found by googling his name.)
Still grieving, a year later, Deb moved to Colorado and went to work for a small company, Team ProMark, a job which she interestingly found off Craigslist. Deb is proud to still be working with them today. This company works directly with the NFL, MLB, NHL, and approximately 70 colleges, providing products for major retailers such as Walmart, Academy, HEB, and several smaller shops supporting their regional teams. In addition, the company is launching a State Fanatic line that expresses pride in one’s home state.
Deb finds the work there to be wonderful. Teams, sports, and state pride are all positive and bring people together. “I love that,” she exclaims. What is more, Deb says that the Christian leadership of this company helped her move through her grief and “brought me back to life.” She adds, “Their leadership with Christian beliefs reinforced my faith and took my leadership skills to an even higher level.”
As Director of Operations at Team ProMark, Deb is part of an executive team of three people. The president (her boss) focuses on sales, marketing, and product development. The Chief Financial Officer focuses on finance and accounting. Deb says she runs the rest of the company, from order fulfillment, procurement, quality, warehousing, logistics, and customer service. As of February of 2019, the company relocated to Fort Worth. She shares humorously, “Of course, my employees think that I have corny dance moves, but I can arrange a fabulous BBQ!”
Aside from her work, Deb enjoys travel. She loves to go on cruises and to visit the many “wonderful places in the United States.” Her favorite travel destinations have been Washington DC (Smithsonian), the New England states, and the Northwest Pacific region. Sometimes she flies to her destinations; other times, she travels in her motorhome.
Deb shares that she also has a creative side. At one time, she owned Christmas Shop and Collectibles in San Antonio. She creates artwork with such mediums as glass, paint, and paper, and she has sold her pieces across the Southwest region – Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Colorado. She also tinkers with creations on the Internet with her website – blazin27.com – as a hobby.
As for her personal life, although she has not remarried, Deb says she hopes to one day, trusting that God will bring the right man to her when it is time. Meanwhile, she does get involved with community events and hopes to do so again once she purchases property and a home outside the Fort Worth area.
Deb’s parents live with her. Her brother Bill and his wife live in Surprise, AZ, and her brother Tim lives in Stephenville, TX.
Deb looks ahead to an opportunity to have an art studio in her yet-to-be-purchased property and to retire someday, “if I can settle down and not be such a busy body.”