About Deb

Untitled design (1)Deb Brown is a speaker that shares stories and advice about working and living in a small town and creating the kind of community you want to live in.

Deb Brown, recognized online as @debworks, is also the Webster City Area Chamber of Commerce in Iowa Executive Director and loves to tell the stories of how they’re changing their town into the kind of place the community wants to live, work and play in.  She is also the co-founder of www.saveyour.town along with Becky McCray and they bring practical advice on how to shape a brighter future for your small town.

What does she do?

Deb Brown listens, asks questions and identifies ways to help small towns and rural areas reclaim their character and purpose.   Deb provides the guidance and structure to get conversations moving in the direction of accomplishment. Deb supports small towns and rural living through interactive instruction and motivation.  She does these things both in her position as Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce in Webster City and through speaking engagements and work shop facilitation through her Debworks and saveyour.town.

_IGP9400Deb has been the keynote speaker at:  Stuart, Iowa Chamber Annual Dinner 2016, Michigan Rural Economic Development Conference 2015, Roscommon County, Michigan 2015, Central Iowa Tourism 2014, Milbank, South Dakota Chamber of Commerce, 2014.

She has presented at: TedX Brookings, 2015, Misfit 2014, 140 Character Conference Small Town 2010, 2011 and 2012 in Hutchinson, Kansas; 140 Character Conference/State of Now in New York 2011 and 2012; Additional presentations: Western Iowa Tourism, Iowa Byways association, Iowa Museum Association, Southern Illinois Economic Development, Preserve Iowa Summit.

I’ve brought in Deb Brown to speak at my events because I know she’ll share ideas that work for small towns and she’ll do it in a way that keeps people entertained and involved. I trust her enough to tap with last minute assignments and to adapt to what the audience needs most.  .. Becky McCray, organizer of small town 140 Conference

Deb Brown speaks at conferences, meetings, clubs and events.  Some of the topics she covers are:

  • Social Media and the Small Town – Best Practices and Good Advice
  • The Tour of Empty Buildings
    • Showcasing What You Have
    • How One Tour Filled Their Empty Buildings
    • Now What? Moving Forward in Your Community
  • Online and Offline Marketing for Small Businesses
    • Hitting the Ground Where You Are
    • Many Ways to Market Online, What Works?
    • It’s All About A Plan

TEDx Brookings – Tour of Empty Buildings Presentation

Deb speaking about living and working rural and the Harvest Tour with Michael Libbie:

Video from 2012 speaking at the 140 Character Conference Deb organized, hosted and spoke at:

8183162474_f1ea10f67b_qDeb Brown is the real deal.  She speaks from the heart and lives what she speaks.  Deb is a wonderful authority and shares her hands-on experiences regarding small towns and making them thrive.  If you’re in a small town, you need to hear from Deb.  Leslie McClellan, Tourism Currents


Hutch Blogger tour group croppedDeb Brown was one of the original 11 bloggers on the now famous Hutchinson Kansas blogging tour.  Hutch brought in a group of bloggers and in essence, gave them a FAM tour.  That was April 2009.  As a result, they’ve been written about all over the world and much excitement was generated from this tour and people are still talking about it.  #Hutch is a model of how using bloggers to promote your small town can work, and work well.


“Deb’s energy and passion for people and small business is evident in everything she does. From building momentum during a speaking event, to touring small towns, to her blog, she always has a fresh prospective and helpful, positive attitude.” Connie Larson, Milbank, SD Chamber of Commerce


Wrap Up of #140confAgIowa given by Deb:


It started with compilation of blog posts and putting them into ebook format.  You can find several on the marketing ebook page.   You can sign up for the newsletter with updates on different ways to build possibility where you live.  Keep informed of ways you can create possibility in your town!  Receive an email every Wednesday morning, simply subscribe to our Building Possibility Mailing List – in cooperation with www.saveyour.town

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We don’t call this blog Need A Little Advice for nothing!  Contact Deb to bring a small town perspective to your business and see how you  can utilize some of the online marketing tools to create new business.  Deb knows the importance of developing relationships with your customers and creating a life long relationship.


photo by CC Chapman

photo by CC Chapman



paulPaul Merrill of Greener Grass Media says, “Deb is one of the most concrete thinkers I know. She is able to reach a solution to most communications problems quicker than just about anyone I know. I have worked with her on several projects and would not hesitate to recommend her for your endeavor.


Contact Deb


641-580-0103 cell phone

Find Deb on these social networks and follow her:


Facebook Fan Page 



FullSizeRender (1)More, there’s more? What else would you want to know? 

60 years old, lived in Chicago for most of her adult life, likes dry red wines from Greece, likes going to Greece even more than drinking their wine, spends a lot of time talking about tourism and the value to communities in promoting their everyday activities to outsiders, and devoted to twitter and Facebook (most of the time).

Deb was born and raised in Franklin County Iowa.  Luther College educated her and she lived in Chicago for many years.  Her children and grandchildren are still in Chicago.  She’s worked as an insurance underwriter, a retail management professional, salesperson, a teacher and a writer. Deb returned home to Iowa to care for her elderly parents.

Much to her surprise, the Iowa she remembered was so much more than just a place to raise pigs. Iowa has a rich prairie heritage, is loaded with historical sites and treasures, welcoming neighbors and good old fashioned entrepreneurial spirit.

Deb’s a fan of the local business, supports non-profit organizations in her community and works hard to give back.  Deb brings a wealth of experience to the table because of the various industries she’s worked in and brings an unique outlook to your organization.



Creative Commons License
Text from Debworks and Debworks images by Deb Brown is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.