Business Woman Spotlight: Debi Lamb-Burrows

Penguin Suits, Inc.
Head Storyteller/President

What do you do?
We tell our clients’ stories through marketing to help them effectively reach their target audiences and grow their businesses.


What is it that you like best about your job?
Learning about my clients and developing creative marketing stories that highlight their businesses and allow them to grow bigger, better and stronger. I still get this same great feeling every time I create a logo, a website or a marketing campaign that effectively tells my client’s story.

B.A. in communications with concentration in marketing, advertising and public relations.

What career path led you to where you are today?
At 9 years old, I wrote my first press release. I did not know it was a press release, but I took my loose-leaf paper and Polaroid picture to the newspaper, and they surprisingly printed it. The story became about the little girl who brought them this story, and voila, my dad’s restaurant was packed on Friday night: I pleased my dad, it was like winning a prize. The exhilarating feeling hooked me for life. After that, my dad would ask my opinion on his ideas, and I just kept thinking about new promotions we could do. It made me feel 10 feet tall.

When did you know that you were in the right place in your career?
When I opened my office 10 years ago, my lights did not work right, all my desks were not set up, and my phone was not connected yet. But I had my desk and my computer working. So I sat down quietly in my little inner office and said, “God, I need a sign. I think I listened, I think I am in the right place, but a sign would help.” Within the hour He sent me my first client. I built my first website and had my first month’s rent paid the hour I opened. I figured that was a good sign.

Who were your mentors?
I came from humble beginnings. My family all worked together in small family businesses. My dad was the head. He worked tirelessly to help everyone and tried to never let anyone down. He tried to never give the “no” answer but instead to lead in a better alternative way and give better options. He was loved for who he was and what he did. Even though he is no longer with us, I draw on his energy, and I work every day to make him and my family proud of me.

What person do you most admire?
Growing up, I always admired Erma Bombeck and Lucille Ball. They were ladies with quirky senses of humor who looked at the world a little bit differently. Currently I admire some of my clients, Susan Nash and Nancy Victor. With style and grace these ladies work to achieve their dreams. They are go-getters.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to sing in my church choir, to create jewelry, do Zumba and to hang with my lovely husband, Tom, and my three kids — Drew, Cecilie and Aaron.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life personally and professionally?
My family is my biggest influence. Coming from a large Italian family, you would think one could get lost in the shuffle. But not me. I learned how to stand out and be remembered. I learned to think big and dream bigger by listening to their stories of achievements and failures. You are only limited by the size of your dream, and dreams are boundless.

What community or not-for-profit groups are you involved with as a volunteer?
I am on the board at NAWBO SA, as chair of the Entrepreneurial Spirit Awards committee. I am a graduate and protege in the City of San Antonio Small Business Boot Camp, which is part of the SA Small Business Empowerment Initiative. I serve on the boards of the Boerne Community Theatre and the Moonlight Fund, a nonprofit organization to assist burn survivors. I am a baseball coach with my daughter.

How do you find balance in your life?
I am very lucky. When I opened my business 10 years ago, I located my office right in the center of Boerne near my kids’ activities and schools. This gave me the ability to work alongside and grow with them. We share similar loves of music and theater. I try to remember that work is what I do so that I can enjoy life with my family. They are the joys of my life.

What are your goals?
To make a difference and be the agent of happy change. To show women that you CAN be who you are, pursue your dreams, and make an impact in business. And to have my family be proud of my accomplishments.

What is the best advice that you have ever received?
Never limit yourself, and never let anyone else tell you that you can’t do something!

People would be surprised to know that I …
have had my own television show — Discover the Hill Country — and as part of that I have ridden a camel and a water buffalo, been tackled by a football team and passed the riders edge class, giving me my motorcycle license.

more posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our