Deborah Knupp has worked globally with CEOs, managing partners and professionals as a coach and business executive for 25 years. She has helped leaders in the legal, accounting and financial services fields align their people and business objectives to create cultures based on the principles of accountability, integrity and authentic relationships.
Her work focuses on making the work environment a place where the best employees want to work, where profitable clients want to buy, and where inspired leaders want to serve a bigger purpose in their communities. Prior to joining GrowthPlay, Deborah founded Akina, a national consulting, training and coaching firm that helps professionals rethink relationship building to increase sales and organizational effectiveness.
Akina spent the last decade as an industry leader in business-development training and coaching for lawyers, successfully training and coaching thousands of attorneys at over 150 law firms worldwide. Akina also served insurance advisors, financial advisors, accountants and management consultants.Prior to founding Akina, Deborah was a front-line sales and human resources executive with Alcan Packaging, Frito-Lay and Pearle Vision. Her diverse background ranges from general management of a $75 million business unit to facilitating strategic global leadership and culture-change management initiatives.Deborah is a highly sought after international speaker in business development, relationship building, culture and leadership, having been a superior-rated speaker for organizations including the Legal Marketing Association, Association of Accounting Marketing, National Conference of Bar Foundations, National Conference of Bar Presidents, American Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, Association of Legal Administrators, The Coalitions for Women’s Initiatives in Law Firms, Empowering Women Network, Loyola University, IIT – Chicago Kent School of Law, Lex Mundi, Meritas and USLaw.
Deborah graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with Senior Fellows Honors and a BS in Speech/Organizational Communication. She regularly provides leadership and staff development on a pro bono basis for numerous non-profit organizations and is a committed thinker and partner to The Insight Labs in Chicago.