Bridges of Saint Mark is very pleased to announce and welcome Debra Kaminski as the Director of Planning, Communication, and Outreach Education. Debra will be working on solidifying long-range strategic plans for continued support of Rach Suc Mission in Can Tho, Vietnam. She will also assist with online communications about Bridges of St. Mark’s progress and needs. Additionally, she will begin work on an outreach education program as a guide to other Catholic parishes that wish to provide one-on-one assistance for a sister parish located in a poverty-stricken area elsewhere in the world.
Debra graduated with a 4.0 GPA from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she received a M.Ed. in Executive Human Resource Development. She also graduated Magna Cum Laude from Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio, with a BS in Human Resource Management and a BS in Organizational Leadership Management, and was the recipient of the D.R. Smith Endowment Scholarship for academic excellence.
Debra has been in the resource development field for over twenty years. She is the former President of Image, a consulting company that focused on improving clients’ reputations through development of their workforce. Debra provided advice, written pieces, and training to local businesses, national foundations, and international Fortune 100 clients. A few of her clients included Pearson, Financial Times, Johnson & Johnson, MetLife, Macy’s (as Marshall Fields), The Ohio State University, Bath and Body Works, InFre, and Chase (as Bank One), Wachovia Bank, and Prentice-Hall.
Early in her career, Debra held training positions at Ernst & Young, Borden, Inc., Owens-Corning Fiberglas, and at Nationwide in the Retirement Solutions Division. At Nationwide, she served as Training and Financial Education Manager, and later in Marketing and Communications as Strategic Behavioral Finance Consultant where she used adult-education and behavioral finance expertise to teach customers about their retirement plans. She simplified marketing and educational materials for customers—actions that ensured Nationwide Retirement Solutions’ plan participants could easily comprehend relevant financial presentations and supporting materials. Debra also designed The Public Employees Investment Essentials Curriculum, which served as the basis for a simplified, 3-tiered financial learning program, known as Join It! Learn It! Live it! ™. This program helped one and one-half million customers knowledgeably plan their retirements in a multi-billion-dollar industry. It marked a milestone in the way that customer education was viewed across the financial industry with many competitors simplifying their programs to match Nationwide’s.
Other programs designed by Debra included financial education projects (asset allocation models, stable value retirement funds, retirement education on the Nationwide Financial Website), Sales Training, Customer Service Training, Presentation Skills, and business process changes that shortened the time from hire-date to job-readiness by more than three months. She also built numerous publications designed to improve the dynamics of communication.
Debra co-authored the creation of The Three Little Pigs: A Financial Fairy Tale. This project changed the familiar childhood story into a financial lesson that adults could use to teach children the importance of balancing spending, saving, and sharing. The story and supporting materials launched nationally on Take a Child to Work Day, and was then placed online as a free support tool for teachers. For this effort, Nationwide Retirement Solutions received 1st Place in the Eddy Awards: Excellence in DC Plan Participant Education presented by Pensions & Investments and Workforce Management magazines.
Debra has held both the NASD Series 6 and Series 26 licenses, and is a Certified Instructional Designer. She is a former member of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) and of the ASTD Manager’s Forum. She has held membership in Women for Economic and Leadership Development, Ohio’s premier organization dedicated to furthering the issues of economic development for women, and was the United Way Education Chair for Nationwide.
Debra has always been actively involved in community service. She was on the Victims of Domestic Violence Board of Directors, helped with the Domestic Violence Network, and assisted the Treasurer’s Office of the State of Ohio in helping to launch financial training to domestic violence shelters. In addition, she wrote and held annual training for the domestic violence shelter’s volunteer staff. In memory of her sister, she helped with efforts to form the first-ever fund raising toward Sarcoma Research at The Ohio State University. She served as a Community Computer Outreach Program Teacher for the City of Columbus and as an Adopt-A-School Initiative Tutor for Columbus City Schools. She has been a recipient of the Columbus Community Award for Peacemaker of the Year, and twice won Nationwide Exemplary Employee Awards, both in Community Service and Professional Development. She has shared her experience in lectures and has mentored other women on their professional potential.
Debra is the oldest of nine children of William and Dora Zweydorff. She is mother to Kathryn and Margaret, and grandmother to Kalib, Kennedy, Steven and Emily. Shortly after Margaret’s death from SUDEP, Debra retired early from professional life to raise her grandchildren who had lost their mother. She now lives in Lancaster, Ohio, with her husband Tom, the two grandchildren, two dogs, and a hamster named Tim Horton. Debra homeschools the children and is actively involved in their activities and social functions. She previously taught 2nd and 7th grade PSR at St. Joseph in Sugar Grove. In addition, she volunteers whenever she can at St. Mark’s Church, including PSR, The Emerald Family Choir, St. Mark Food Pantry drives, Soup and Psalms, the Lazarus Committee, and youth groups. Debra is a lifelong Catholic, strong supporter of Pro-Life efforts, and has great faith in the power of prayer.