Debra is the Founder & President of the 501(c)3 Breaking The Chains Foundation (BTCF) as well as an American Council on Exercise (ACE) Certified Health Coach and Behavior Change Specialist. She holds several ACE certifications such as Corrective Exercise Program Design, Special Olympics Inclusive Fitness Training, Practicing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion as an Exercise Professional, Mental and Physical Exercises for Long-Term Stress Management, among many others.
After receiving a full-ride college dance scholarship to Oakland University in Michigan and there after a successful dance career, Debra became a leading health and fitness expert with clients such as Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL), Sony, Warner Brothers, and other Time Warner Entities, Rancho La Puerta as well as a personal trainer to Hollywood elite. Debra has taught nationally in various prominent fitness facilities, including as the Health & Fitness Director for RCCL. As an ACE Faculty member and teacher, she presented her workshops/seminars internationally to other health/fitness professionals. Inspired by dance and its healing elements, Debra founded BTCF whose work is committed to the prevention of body-focused and mental well-being stigmas by using the power of art and expression to foster creativity, build connections, and create a community in which individuals can thrive.
Debra had the honor of being a NEDA (National Eating Disorder Association) Network Co-Vice Chair for 2020-21. Recently, Debra was a guest speaker at the 2022 Los Angeles NEDA Walk sharing her personal story of hope and her BTCF journey. In 2020, she was the featured presenter at NAMI Eastside Virtual Educational Support Forum. Under her leadership, BTCF was the first-ever eating disorder platform to present at the 4th annual 2019 Worldwide Women Girl’s Festival at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, California, including being a featured panelist on the Arts & Entertainment Career Mentoring Panel.
From personal experience, she has shared her story and creative works with a variety of publications and media platforms such as Deborah Kobylt Live, LA Voyage, TZ Element Magazine, Alexis Joy VIP, Say It Brave, Good Celebrity, Whosay.com, Meghan McCain’s Take Part Live, MaximoTV, I Am That Girl, Jess Fama, and Red Carpet Report, as well as guest speaker for NEDA Connections and the Los Angeles International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (IAEDP) Gala.
Debra is also an award-winning writer/director/actress, with such projects as Chained and Bound, Call Box, Finding Alice, & Passing Darkness. She is a co-creator of the Sci-Fi Supernatural book, Afterlife from Zimbell House (2020).
Debra is married for over 20 years and has two sons.