Debbie  Thomas: From Paramedic to City Council & Beyond


Written by:
Adam Martingano, Founder & Chief Strategist
Go To Market Solutions |

It’s no secret that to build a strong local economy you have to understand all the factors that can impact growth.  For District 4 Council Member Debbie Thomas, this has been a focal point since she left her career as a paramedic over a decade ago and entered the world of Municipal Government.

When Debbie first moved to Florida at 4 years old, it was the warm weather and opportunity that brought her and her family to the Space Coast. Debbie’s father, an engineer in Canada was offered a position with Harris Corporation and decided that it was time for a change. It turned out to be the best decision they could have made. 

After spending her formidable years enjoying the beach life and attending Surfside Elementary, Delaura Junior High, and Satellite Highschool, Debbie began a career as a paramedic and spent 10 years serving her local community.  Her passion for helping others brought her into the education system where she spent another 10 years teaching at Holy Trinity.  It was during this time that she became interested in local politics.  Her husband John was on the City Council, and after 8 years was stepping down. So with the help of her son Matthew, Debbie ran a successful campaign and was elected to represent District 4. 

A few of Debbie’s most notable achievements are her involvement with the Melbourne Airport Board where she worked on the multi-million transformation to make the Melbourne Airport Florida’s gateway for TUI UK, the United Kingdom’s largest vacation provider. Debbie was also a key facilitator in a partnership with the City of Melbourne and the Community Redevelopment Agency for the building of the Hotel Melby, downtown Melbourne’s hottest new hotel.

In 2020, Debbie was offered a full-time position as the Community Development Associate for WELBRO Building Corporation, a Florida-based General Contractor that was started in 1979 by two friends that were in the pool business and were unhappy with the realization that a handshake wasn’t meaning as much as it used to in the construction industry. So their motto became that they would shake hands with their clients at the beginning of a project and that the client would still want to shake hands at the end of a project. Over 40 years later, WELBRO is still doing just that. Ida Mitzner, President of the RIDA Development Corporation, one of the preeminent hospitality development groups in the United States with whom WELBRO has done projects with agrees with the motto, “ My dad taught me that your handshake is your bond. We looked for a contractor that matched our business philosophy and everyone said that the company you want to do business with is WELBRO Building Corporation.”

WELBRO’s leadership team, Ken Wuenschell, Steve Davis, and Bruce Holmes have been instrumental in keeping this motto alive, and it is one of the reasons that Debbie agreed to join the WELBRO team. Her role allows her to continue her mission of building a strong local economy by injecting WELBRO into our community, supporting our ecosystem of tradesmen and small businesses.  WELBRO believes in strong long-term partnerships with a focus on doing business locally. Whether it’s in hospitality, education, healthcare, or industrial, WELBRO brings a level of commitment and passion to every project. 

So the next time you see a WELBRO project going up, remember that building a strong local economy takes a lot of effort, and we are lucky to have someone like Debbie Thomas in our corner. Learn more at: