By William A. Foster, IV
A truly strong and sound mind is the mind that can equally embrace great things and small. — Samuel Johnson
They always say it is not how you start, but how you finish and Deborah S. Thomas is finishing the year on top. The Alabama State University alum and HBCUpreneur was honored on December 5th as Washington Business Journal Reader’s Choice Most Admired CEO in the Professional Services category for businesses in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. With more than ten thousand entries cast competition was surely fierce, but in true HBCU fashion Ms. Thomas emerged on top by being a true vanguard in her industry.
It was the inaugural awards for the Washington Business Journal and the nine industry categories for Most Admired CEO were federal contraction, real estate and development, construction and architecture, technology, banking and finance, health care, professional services, hospitality, education and nonprofit. The categories representing the heart, blood, and infrastructure of the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. In total, there would be 49 other CEOs along with Ms. Thomas honored at the awards with a packed house at Fairmont Hotel in Washington D.C., but ultimately the night belonged to those whose star shined the brightest in their respective categories and the companies they represent.
Ms. Thomas’ company, Data Solutions & Technology, Inc. is heading into its 20th year and she stated at the awards that some of her vital keys to success over the years have been working with integrity, delivering quality work, superior performance, and something often overlooked in many of today’s corporate environments is valuing her employees which she holds as a core value. These ingredients have allowed her to succeed, thrive, and push the bar of standards in her industry higher and higher year in and year out. As the only HBCU alum to be amongst the winners, her victory is one the entire HBCU nation can cherish and should serve as motivation for other HBCUpreneurs in the area.