Secretary/Treasurer, Board of Directors
Senior Manager, Quality Programs & Events
NextEra Energy, Inc.
(Florida Power & Light)
Debra Shultz is the Senior Manager of Quality Training & Programs since 2004, but has been with NextEra Energy since 1987. She has played several roles in helping Florida Power and Light Corporation win the Deming Award. Currently, she plans and executes all major corporate quality events, James L. Broadhead Award and the Quality, Safety, and Innovation Expo championed by NextEra’s top executive team as well as many other annual events. We have her to thank for the curriculum and programs including Yellow Belt, Green Belt, Black Belt, and Master Black Belt programs certifying over 5,000 candidates since its inception.
What, above all else, have you gained from being a member of the Sterling Board?
The Sterling Board allows like-minded business professionals the chance to refine strategies and key business objectives both for our own organizations and the state of Florida by sharing best practices. The Sterling Board is an opportunity to form strong business partnerships where we help each other to reach our ultimate goal of a state of excellence. As with any endeavor, you get what you put into it and I believe it is up to all of us to pull together and work together and share our strengths for the state of Florida and again our own organizations.
What do you look forward to most every year as a Sterling Board member?
Actually the same things I listed for the value of being a board member. Also, the highlight of the year is our annual Sterling Conference held at the end of May every year. Here, the best of the best share their best practices, give attendees valuable tools and techniques to help them improve their business results. We have it in Orlando, central Florida, so it’s easy to get to from anywhere in the state. I also use the conference as a way to reward and showcase a winning quality team from our own organization. This is a great boost for them and shows the team how much we value their contribution to the organization especially when we’re asking them to share it with all the conference attendees.
Who is your hero?
My mother and father. My parents were young, had four kids by the time they were 22, and managed to raise us with such great family values, a terrific work ethic, and a closeness that still exists today. They managed to do things that to this day I still marvel at.
What was your first job?
Other than babysitting, which was my first job, I worked in a steak house wearing a cowgirl hat, red and white check shirt and I loved it! I always wanted to be a cowgirl.
What motivates you to work hard?
Self-pride. I want to be the best at what I do for both myself and to help others. The best thing you can say to yourself at the end of each day is “you did good today. You helped others and really added value”!