From middle school teacher to bakery business owner to M&A Investment Banker, Deborah Agrafojo
puts her negotiation, relationship building and leadership skills to work daily. As a teacher and mom, Deborah realized that her wage potential just wasn't where it needed to be in order to justify paying for childcare while she taught other children. She decided to lean into her passion for baking and quickly grew her business. She was on the verge of completing a large capital raise - by herself - to land a new manufacturing facility when an Investment Banker asker her a simple question. Is this really what you want to be doing 24/7 - making sure shifts are running and baked goods are constantly coming off the line? The answer was no. And the banker went on to say that she should instead turn her experience in raising capital into her next career as an Investment Banker. She scoffed at first but then came to understand that all the skills she possessed were valued in the field. The Investment Bank sponsored her to get the financial certifications she needed and invested in her potential.
Fast forward a decade and Deborah is a partner in Touchstone Advisors
. She has a demanding but flexible career and is able to make more than ends meet - plus she's able to support other business owners in achieving their dreams while she works from the inside to increase the representation of women in the industry. The mother of 2 fierce teenage girls, Deborah is a role model for us all in her tenacity and fearless leadership.