Col. Deborah Scott Thomas, U.S. Air Force Ret’d.
President and CEO
Data Solutions & Technology Inc., Lanham, Md.
Col. Deborah Scott Thomas’ belief that every challenge can be overcome prepared her to establish — and helped her maintain for 17 years — a successful IT consulting firm, Data Solutions & Technology Inc. The firm, which prides itself in providing superior customer service, supplies aviation, IT, logistics and management support services to private and public agencies. Thomas runs a tight-knit company, relying on positive feedback and encouragement. “I tell my employees that their individual and team-oriented achievements uplift the entire organization. The same goes with my family,” she states.
While she’s enjoying her dream job as an entrepreneur, Thomas asserts that if she had to choose another path she would spend the majority of her time volunteering with the Students in Free Enterprise program run by the College of Business Administration at her alma mater, Alabama State University.
Thomas served 31 years in the United States Air Force before retiring as a colonel in 2006. She earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and management from Alabama State and a master’s in public administration and management from Webster University in Saint Louis, Mo. A strong work ethic, prayer, family and self-reliance help to keep her motivated, she says.
A devoted philanthropist, Thomas participates in the March of Dimes, The Salvation Army and World Vision programs. She is also keen on mentorship and advises young women to believe in themselves, invest in their goals and to never give up no matter how difficult or challenging the circumstances may seem. At the beginning of her career, she says, a manager gave her some vital advice. “He told me ‘Let none deter you from that which you know that you can do. Your perseverance and tenacity are instrumental in your success,’” she says. Given her career and business achievements, it’s clear that Thomas took heed.