Chairman and CEO
Jockey International Inc. | Kenosha
Debra S. Waller was named chairman and chief executive officer of Jockey International Inc. in January 2001, succeeding her mother, Donna Wolf Steigerwaldt, as leader of the family-owned apparel company.
Best known for its brand of underwear, Kenosha-based Jockey has roughly over 5,000 employees and reported just over $443 million in revenue last year.
Waller joined the company in 1982 as an administrative assistant and the following year became merchandise manager of Jockey for Her. She ascended the company ranks, assuming vice president, senior VP and executive VP roles before being named CEO.
In 2005, Waller founded Jockey Person to Person, a direct-selling division through which independent salespeople sell higher-end Jockey items.
The same year, she founded Jockey Being Family, a charity focused on supporting families after they have adopted a child. Waller herself was adopted as an infant.
Waller has served on the board of directors of The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Church Mutual Life Insurance Company, Marshall & Ilsley Bank and Carthage College. She was a founding member of the now-dissolved MargaretAnn’s Place, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing peer support groups and services for grieving children, teens families and communities.
Education: Bachelor’s, Carthage College