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Deborah Nugent


In 2014, Deborah retired from her role as Chief Financial Officer of Best Associates, a Dallas-based merchant bank following a twelve-year tenure there. She served as Chief Financial Officer and in executive operational roles in the merchant bank’s portfolio of education companies, which included Whitney International University System, Higher Ed Holdings (parent of American College of Education), and Voyager Expanded Learning during her tenure.

Deborah has extensive experience in domestic and international markets and at value creation in rapid-growth companies with technology-driven solutions. She possesses proven analytical and problem-solving skills, combined with negotiation, transaction and deal-making abilities and is valued for her ability to develop and lead strategic initiatives in complex and dynamic business environments.

She began her career in public accounting with PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Grant Thornton LLP. Prior to joining Best Associates in 2001, she was the Chief Operating Officer for South Central Mortgage, Inc., a Texas-based sub-prime mortgage lender. Prior thereto, from 1992 to 1998, Deborah was the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Software Spectrum, Inc., a billion dollar, publicly traded, global technology company. Her professional career includes executive management positions with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, USF&G Capital Investors, Inc., a syndicator and manager of public real estate limited partnerships sponsored by USF&G Corporation, and various real estate development companies.

Currently Deborah serves on the Board and as Chair of the Audit Committee of Academic Partnerships, LLC, a leading service provider to universities around the world in the development and marketing of their online degree programs. She also serves on the Board of and is the Treasurer for the Undermain Theatre. Previously, she served on a number of private and not-for-profit Boards in the United States and Latin America.

Deborah lives in Dallas, Texas with Jim, her husband of 35 years, her sister Sharon, and their dog Basha. She is also a Certified Health Coach having recently graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN).