Debra von Storch has played many parts in the Dallas-Fort Worth entrepreneur and innovation ecosystem over nearly four decades at EY. As of today, it’s official: the longtime EY Partner and Americas Entrepreneur Of The Year Leader has retired. Or as she prefers, “Re-Wirement.”
As a leader devoted to advising and recognizing high-growth companies and entrepreneurs, von Storch is also something of a force of nature. It’s fitting that having a sense of adventure is important to the EY partner who has “explored Machu Picchu and trekked through black lava trails in Hawaii.”
The EY partner is honored to have participated in numerous exits and entrances. With a career that started in 1982, spanning Dallas’ robust commercial banking boom, the financial industry crisis, the creation of the internet industry, the transformation of the energy sector, the tech boom and bust, and the 21st century when data became king, she says it’s been quite a ride.
In the last few years, von Storch says she’s “witnessed the prolific entrance of entrepreneurial-spirited emerging companies in our region including EY Entrepreneur of the Year award winners VARIDESK, Mizzen+Main, Dialexa, Poo-Pouri, Urban Air Adventure Parks, BioWorld, StackPath, and others.”
The common theme for these companies is robust determination to innovate and grow, she says.
Now, von Storch is preparing for her next act, after orchestrating her own exit from the EY stage last year. But as she says, “I’m staying engaged in the entrepreneur ecosystem and our community.” Because most of all, Storch believes the “stage lights will continue to shine bright” in the DFW innovation community.
Retiring during the quarantine has been especially difficult, von Storch says. “I’m a passionate Sicilian, so my true nature is to greet with a hug and handshake. Although it’s joyful to ‘see’ my clients and colleagues in virtual Zoom and MSFT Teams settings, it’s not the same as being in person.”
In typical von Storch fashion, she graciously adds, “I have stored up a treasure chest of hugs, pats on the back, and handshakes.”
Still, she looks forward to the day those things can happen in person. Even if it means wearing a mask.
Von Storch shared a parting comment and some inspiration with Dallas Innovates:
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” —Winnie-the-Pooh.
After 38 years with EY, the time has come to say goodbye. It has been my joy and honor to serve the ecosystem of startups, high-growth entrepreneurs, and the world’s largest global companies. I worked side-by-side with the best and brightest colleagues in the world, many of whom will proudly continue to support innovation and entrepreneurship in our region. Since saying goodbye is too hard, I would prefer to say “hello” to the Next Chapter. I call this Next Chapter “Re-Wirement (vs. Retirement). In the Next Chapter, I will proudly serve on the Board of Directors of CSW Industrials (NASDAQ: CSWI) and serve our innovative entrepreneurial community in many roles. Best wishes for a brighter future ahead for our entrepreneurs, our region, and our country.
Earlier this year, von Storch gave us a look back at her four remarkable decades at EY in an essay. It seems just right to share it today. Read The Exit here.
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