Deb O’Halloran ‘76 was the youngest of Charlotte and Irvin Rubbelke’s five children. They all attended St. Frances de Sales for grade school. Their parents selected the Catholic high school that best fit each child. They chose Derham Hall for Deb, and she graduated in 1976. She earned a business administration degree from Marquette University and an MBA in Finance from the University of Minnesota.
In 1986, she married John O’Halloran, a member of the Cretin class of 1975. They have two children, Murphy and Charlotte.
Deb worked in the corporate world for 25 years, managing functions such as marketing, product management, and mergers/acquisitions for major bank holding companies. She later moved into investment banking.
When she left the corporate world behind, she wanted to use her unique skill set to make a difference. She worked on Habitat for Humanity landscaping projects and chaired a foundation to upgrade the only senior facility in a Catholic church in St. Paul.
In the late 1990s, Deb co-founded Second Stork alongside Matt Michalski ‘87. Their mission is to help new parents in crisis who lack the essential items they need to keep their newborns safe and healthy. The non-profit, which is entirely volunteer-run, has helped more than 10,000 Minnesota families and partners with nearly 90 hospitals. Second Stork works to respect the dignity of the new mother in need of help and is founded on being non-political and non-religious.
She was praised by Maria Friederichs, Senior Program Officer at the Schulze Family Foundation. “She has been a champion for at-risk families in providing supplies to keep their new babies not only comfortable but safe. Most importantly, she believes in protecting the family’s privacy without judgment.”
Deb has served as a leading officer on the board since its inception, including as Board Chair and Director of Operations for most of those years, putting in full-time hours many weeks and never taking any form of compensation. Under her leadership, Second Stork has refined a unique model that leverages the passion of experienced and talented professionals in marketing, technology, strategy, and other disciplines, and relies on highly-organized, reliable and dedicated volunteers.
"Deb devotes so much of her time and energy to caring for new parents in need,” said Second Stork board member Ann Hilger. “She has offered a hand up in a time of crisis to literally thousands of people through her work at Second Stork. So many babies get a healthier and safer start in life because of Deb."
Deb was selected for the Hugh Derham award due to her undying commitment to newborns and families in need.