The owner, head storyteller and marketing strategist of Penguin Suits, Inc., since 1992, Debi R. Burrows’ company does all levels of marketing. However, hers works to pinpoint what a company would need. It really depends on her target audience as to where they need to be. She does that, and then works on their message. Ms. Burrows tries to give everybody a tagline or something they can play off of, so the theme of their marketing revolves around that of their brand more than just a name. It has a texture and a feel for who they are. In addition to this tenure, she also teaches at the Alamo Colleges in San Antonio since 2011.
Ms. Burrows grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. Her father had restaurants and owned a construction company with family members. One thing she saw as a small business owner was that her father knew how to be hands-on in all his business endeavors, from making pizzas to being an on-site contractor. However, she also noticed they did not do very well was promote their work. When she was a child, Ms. Burrows wrote a press release for the local newspaper about an event her father’s business was participating in. The article was picked up and the event did very well. She was only 9 years old at the time, but knew that is what she wanted to do with her life.
Prior to the start of her professional career, Ms. Burrows pursued a formal education at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo, earning a Bachelor of Arts in marketing, advertising and public relations in 1986. She then attended SUNY Albany, where she attained a Bachelor of Arts in business/corporate communications in 1992. Active in her local community, Ms. Burrows was a board member of the Boerne Community Theater from 2007 to 2013 and the NAWBO SA Foundation from 2010 to 2013, and chaired Dress for Success San Antonio from 2015 to 2017. Currently, she serves the marketing section of the Hill Country Women in Business Incorporated since 2017.
Outside of her primary trade, Ms. Burrows maintains involvement with organizations related to her field including the Leo Springs Business Association, the Bourne Chamber of Commerce, the San Antonio Public Relations Association and the Texas Air Conditioning Association. In light of her achievements, her company was named Best Advertising Agency, Best Public Relations, Best Website Design and Best Graphic Design by the San Antonio Business Journal. Likewise, Ms. Burrows was listed among the Texas Top 50 Women to Watch.
Ms. Burrows attributes her success the people she is lucky enough to work around. She also attributes it to the hard working mentality that her family instilled in her growing up. When it comes to thinking out of the box, she has no box. Moving forward, Ms. Burrows would like to mentor small businesses in their start-up process. She would also like to do more high-level planning and speaking on behalf of other small businesses getting started.