About Program Savvy Consulting

Mary Beth Debus imageThank you for visiting my site. My name is Mary Beth Debus and I am the President of Program Savvy Consulting. I have decades of experience and success working within nonprofits, large and small organizations, and collaborative programs.

I have designed and provided effective training, led capacity building and organizational development initiatives, steered major change management efforts, developed new programs, designed and conducted strategic planning, facilitated creative problem solving sessions, coached leaders through challenging times, and helped prepare job seekers for their interviews.

I love what I do! Nothing is more rewarding to me than working with clients to address a challenge through a customized approach. I always strive for that something extra that will make for a rewarding experience. Together, we partner for solutions!

“Mary Beth was asked to present on communication and change for our Supervisors’ Learning Forum here at UB. She did an exceptional job, and the session was rated very highly by the participants. I would definitely have Mary Beth return again to speak to our group – she is a true expert and an engaging speaker.”


— Susan Steck, Manager Organizational Effectiveness and Orientation Programs, University at Buffalo

When I am not working on behalf of my clients, I enjoy time with my daughters, appreciate the outdoors, attend community events, and write and read. I am passionate about being healthy and work out nearly every day – mostly through weights and brisk walking.

Program Savvy Path Image

To better understand the value that I provide to my clients, I retained the agency of Higgins and Parks to conduct a 360 degree assessment of my consulting business. The following four themes emerged (quoted directly from the report):

Mary Beth thoroughly prepares for her engagements.  While it’s expected that everyone should be prepared for the tasks assigned to them, several people remarked on Mary Beth’s level of preparation as extraordinary. She knows the subjects cold, and that knowledge earns her an authentic confidence that puts people at ease.

Mary Beth can speak “truth to power.” We learned that Mary Beth is exceptionally skilled at keeping groups on-task, even if it means she needs to cut off a meandering conversation by someone who is her boss (or client). From a branding perspective, we would say that Mary Beth offers candid, honest advice, and has strong leadership and group-management skills.

Mary Beth delivers. Similar to the note on being prepared, we expect everyone to deliver on what they promised. But Mary Beth provides a level of follow-up and delivery above and beyond what is normally expected. This means ultra-fast responses to calls and emails, and leaving an engagement with enough tools in place for the organization to succeed in her absence.

Mary Beth is “real.” This credibility she has, this ability to speak to people both above and below her on organizational charts in a way that’s candid without being blunt, and the ability to make those in her training session audiences feel her information is vital and applicable contributes to the impression that Mary Beth is a “real” person. When we say “real” in this context, we mean that she comes across as someone who has the training and wisdom to be able to teach a group something new, but can do so without condescending, and with an intimate understanding of how the information she presents will operate in her audience’s lives, in the “real world.” When people attend a session given by Mary Beth, they feel that they haven’t just been lectured to, that have been engaged.


About the images

Other than my profile picture (the work of AJK Fine Arts and Photography), all of the photos on this site (and many on my blog posts) were taken by my daughter, Monica Debus. I feel that they represent the types of journeys that nonprofits and their clients are on. They represent the starkness of the challenge, the hope for the future, and the promise of doing our work well.

If you would like to get in touch with Monica about any of her photos, please feel free to contact me.