Deborah Linke believes in doing something to better the lives of at least one person everyday. This mindset is shown through her history of volunteer work in many organizations, such as Bootstraps, P.E.O for Women, Girl Scouts, the Family Support Center for Abused Children, and the Red Cross. She has also volunteered as a math and science tutor for girls of lower income families.
Deborah says that 95 percent of her success and desire to support her community comes from her family and the people around her. Her husband, Harold, has been one of the most intricate supporters of her career for 43 years. Her passion for hydropower and education allowed her to develop many skills that have become useful over the course of her career and volunteer work.
After 35 years of a successful career in the hydropower and environmental engineering field where she was involved with completing numerous projects for the Department of Energy, Deborah decided to “retire.” However, with the amount of volunteer work she has done and the recent development of her own consulting business, many would disagree that she has actually retired.
Deborah is grateful for the many opportunities that have developed over the years, and she sees the work that she is doing now as a way for her to continue her passions of education and helping others. “I believe that it is not about being in control, but it’s about the vision and gratitude,” she explained.
Having served as president of Bootstraps in recent years, Deborah identifies it as one of her most beloved organizations that she volunteers with, loving how focused Bootstraps is with providing support and encouragement for students to continue their education. She believes that Bootstraps is not only a tribute to the donors, but the organization is a true testament to our mountain communities’ belief that education is important. Since the organization began in 1945 providing financial support for local students and helping reduce the ever-growing financial burdens of college, it has awarded more than $2.5 million in scholarships and interest-free loans to 800+ students.
One of Deborah’s most impressive volunteer experiences was with the Red Cross last year during one of Colorado’s worst fire seasons. She was called to run an emergency command response vehicle to Loveland to help a limited volunteer staff aid more than 250 victims. Although she was originally only going to volunteer for a week or two, she stayed for an entire month due to a shortage in volunteers. Most of her days involved 18 or more hours helping and comforting the victims; Deborah says that the Red Cross’s dedication and service towards the community influenced many lives, as well as her own.
Deborah believes that every opportunity that has shown up in her life has been there for a reason and the influence of those around her is amazing. She looks forward to returning the support that her husband has given her, in his new-found niche for sculpting.
In her spare time, she enjoys participating in triathlons and many outdoor activities. Her motto for her triathlons is “I’m not competing; I’m completing,” which is similar to the well known quote “It’s not about the destination, but the journey.” Her motto says a lot about her.
Deborah continues to create her journey and impacts many people along the way, both with her lovely personality and her desire to improve her community.