Debra Gano is the CEO, Publisher, Founding Editor of BYOU ‘Be Your Own You’ magazine, a national self-esteem publication for girls ages 8-16, and the best-selling author of the Heartlight Girls series.
As a passionate advocate for women’s & girls empowerment, she is a sought-after national speaker and self-esteem expert for television, radio, and print media. Her book, Beauty’s Secret, A Girl’s Discovery of Inner Beauty, is the recipient of multiple national awards, including Gold Winner of the Mom’s Choice Award and Children’s Fiction First Place in the USA Book News National Best Books Awards.
Her work has been endorsed by many best-selling empowerment authors (such as Jack Canfield, Marianne Williamson, & Neale Donald Walsch), girls’ organizations including the Girl Scouts and Smart-Girl, Inc., educators, counselors, corporations, and parents and girls alike. Debra is a graduate of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business (B.B.A. in Marketing) with an extensive 20-year history in the fashion industry.
Her entrepreneurial background includes her work as a national fashion show producer for major retailers, columnist in five metropolitan newspapers with her own weekly fashion feature, college-level fashion merchandising marketing instructor, professional speaker, and director of her own modeling school and agency. She may be best known, however, for her work as an international model/actress featured in print, film, television, and runways around the world, working with some of Hollywood’s top actors and premier fashion designers worldwide.
After a series of life-changing incidences, including a near-fatal car accident, Debra’s perspective shifted from one of superficial external-focus to a deeper inner awareness that “it’s what’s inside that counts.” Driven with a passion to share this and empower others, and as a single mother of a one-year old girl, Debra abandoned her ‘glamour’ career to dedicate her life to teaching and coaching others to live authentically in their most empowered sense of self.
She founded Heartlight Girls and authors a book series under this same name. Her first book, Beauty’s Secret, A Girl’s Discovery of Inner Beauty, is the recipient of multiple national awards, including the Mom’s Choice Award Gold Medal, Moonbeam Children’s Award Silver Medal, USA Book News ‘National Best Books’ First Place Children’s Fiction Winner, and the COVR Visionary Award for Best Children’s Book of the Year.
Her second book, Star’s Attraction, A Girl’s Discovery of Inner Power, is scheduled for release in 2013. Still a single mom, Debra is CEO, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of BYOU “Be Your Own You” magazine, a self-esteem publication for girls ages 8-16 that features positive celebrity role models, ‘real’ girls making a difference, self-esteem articles & tips, games, contests, and much more. Her mission is to build self-esteem in fun ways in girls around the world. She lives in Denver, CO with her 10-year-old daughter, Ella.
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