Women of Distinction 2019: Debbie Allen

It is Milwaukee Magazine’s pleasure to introduce this special section featuring female business owners, financial and spiritual leaders, health care professionals, entrepreneurs, philanthropists and all-around glass-ceiling breakers!

“I’ve already retired twice,” jokes Debbie Allen. After 20 years at a utility company, she earned a doctorate degree in business administration and became an owner-operator of several McDonald’s restaurants. “McDonald’s was not a business plan, but to own my own business was,” she says.

Through DNA Network, she consults female entrepreneurs and has heard business pitches as a Mogul on the “Project Pitch It Show” on WISN Channel 12. Building a capital campaign for the DNA Conference Center on the Northwest Side is an extension of her current work, as well as co-chairing a campaign to create the African American Chamber of Commerce Legacy, a new co-working space for Milwaukee’s African American community.

“Although we are 99.9% identical, the remaining one-tenth of a percent makes us each unique.”- Debbie Allen, DBA (aka “The DNA Doctor”), Founder, DNA Network LLC

Q&A with Debbie Allen

How are you a force within your community?

“I consult women entrepreneurs, helping them become better business owners. I serve on boards that focus on creating opportunities for disadvantaged individuals to thrive in work and in business.”

What is your life purpose?

“My mission is to transform lives by compelling and inspiring people to live out their purpose and passion in life.”

Click Here to Read More of This Year’s Women of Distinction



A seasoned writer, and a former editor at Milwaukee Home & Fine Living, Kristine Hansen launched her wine-writing career in 2003, covering wine tourism, wine and food pairings, wine trends and quirky winemakers. Her wine-related articles have published in Wine Enthusiast, Sommelier Journal, Uncorked (an iPad-only magazine), FoodRepublic.com, CNN.com and Whole Living (a Martha Stewart publication). She's trekked through vineyards and chatted up winemakers in many regions, including Chile, Portugal, California (Napa, Sonoma and Central Coast), Canada, Oregon and France (Bordeaux and Burgundy). While picking out her favorite wine is kind of like asking which child you like best, she will admit to being a fan of Oregon Pinot Noir and even on a sub-zero winter day won't turn down a glass of zippy Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.