MEET DEBORAH OLIVIA
Deborah Olivia Farmer is president of Brown Farmer Media Group Inc., a full-service, Chicago-based communications firm. Established in 2014, the fast-growing firm provides strategic media advice and counsel to a select clientele that includes small businesses and entrepreneurs, faith-based and community organizations, media personalities, and more throughout the Chicagoland area and nationwide.
Deborah Olivia was born into a family that stressed loyalty to kin, community, church, and country. With that mantra instilled in her from birth, she has made a conscious, persistent effort to use her talents and hard work to reach personal goals, while assisting others in achieving theirs.
Prior to forming her company, Deborah Olivia was named Director of Station Relations in 2006 at NBC5-TV Chicago, an NBC Universal-owned and operated broadcast station. Serving as the link between the station and the community, she provided media exposure for hundreds of underserved, non-profit organizations across the city of Chicago and surrounding suburbs. Under her leadership, NBC5 sponsored several community initiatives focusing on health & wellness, youth & education, and arts & culture, including the Making A Difference Campaign, which raised awareness of those giving back to the community. Deborah Olivia also spearheaded the Community Action Board, which served as the moral compass of the station, comprised of over 85 civic, business, and community leaders from around the city. In addition, she launched NBC5's first-ever Women's History Month clothing drive benefiting WRAP, Clara’s House, and The Primo Center for Women and Children, which became a model for drives across all the station groups.
Deborah Olivia earned a Bachelor’s degree in Radio-TV Broadcasting from Lewis University in May 1995 and also received the Father Aquinas Colgan Award in recognition of a stellar academic career. During her college years, she participated in student government, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Pan-Hellenic Council, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Her degree opened the door to an internship with World’s Greatest News (WGN-TV), where her goal was to learn from and add to, the station’s reputation as a national broadcast powerhouse.
She worked the assignment desk, a bit of a juggler in the circus-like world of television news-- researching facts, getting wind of breaking news and sending reporting crews out to get the story, setting up video shoots, and even conducting interviews for airing. As her talent was increasingly recognized, Deborah Olivia was promoted to several positions, including segment producer for WGN’s Morning News. In that capacity, she developed special segments and features such as “Unsung Heroes,” which touted noteworthy individuals who give back to the community, mirroring her own sense of commitment.
With a strong conviction to give back, Deborah Olivia works tirelessly in the community. She is a member of Rotary Southeast, where she lives out their motto, “Service Above Self." She sits on the boards of The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago’s Achievers program, Black Perspectives, and the United Way Diversity Committee, to name a few. Deborah Olivia was also recognized as one of “12 Women We Admire” by N’DIGO magapaper, as well as one of the WVON 1690AM Radio and Ariel Investments “40 Under 40 Game Changers.”
Deborah Olivia currently sits on the board of directors for Goodcity Chicago, which serves to identify high-potential, community-based entrepreneurs whose goals are to create and enhance the neighborhood and faith-based programs that promote self-sufficiency, hope and a sense of purpose in the lives of individuals in under-resourced communities. She and her adopted son, Joshua Daniel, reside in Chicago and are members of Living Word Christian Center in Forest Park, IL.