About Us

Deborah Knupp​

Managing Director

Deborah Knupp has 30 years of experience as a business development expert working with leaders in the legal, manufacturing, accounting, and financial services to align their people and business objectives to create cultures based on the principles of accountability and integrity. She teaches selling as an act of service through authentic relationships and other-centered problem solving.

Prior to joining GrowthPlay, Deb founded Akina, an industry leader in global business-development training and coaching for lawyers. Before Akina, Deb was a front-line sales and human resources executive with Algroup Lawson Mardon Packaging, Frito-Lay, and Pearle Vision. Her diverse experience ranges from general management of a $75 million business unit to facilitating strategic global leadership and culture-change management initiatives. With a point-of-view deeply supported in social science research and data, Deb’s human resources and sales background gives her clients a unique understanding that cultures producing engaged employee loyalty share the same traits that drive exceptional client loyalty and revenue. Clients often remark about her boundless well of energy, optimism, and hope that positive results are attainable. Clients also say that they value Deb’s mastery in communication skills and the capacity to frame complex concepts and constructs in a user-friendly, actionable manner.

Deb is a highly sought-after international speaker in new business development, relationship building, culture, firm management, and leadership. Deb graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with Senior Fellows Honors and a BS in Speech/Organizational Communication. Outside of work, Deb is a mother to three fantastic daughters and spends much of her time investing in causes that help heal people who are hurting.

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