by WYNNE LOVE | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

Deborah Stumm’s story exemplifies the saying that success is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Deborah didn’t envision herself running her own business or featuring it on over 50 television appearances including the Today Show, but that’s where Deborah’s skills have led her.

Born and raised in Pleasanton, California, Deborah studied communications in college and set her sights on a career in marketing. She worked first at an ad agency, then a software start-up, and moved to Los Angeles to serve as the Vice President of Sales for a growing toy company. But then her personal life changed the course of her professional one.

“After meeting my now husband in Palm Springs on a weekend getaway, I resigned from my company, relocated to San Diego and embarked on starting my own company,” related Deborah. “The idea came to me when I was planning my wedding. There was so much information out there and I wished there was someone (or something) that could narrow my search for me.”

Ten years later, her company, ZG1Party Plan-It, has three divisions: Wedding Concierge 360 for planning weddings, Event Connection 360 for corporate event planning and Super Moms 360, for family events and resources. “After having children, I found that my new top priority was being a great mom,” shared Deborah. “ was added to our Party Plan-It family of companies after recognizing this need in the market.”

Deborah’s own life is a testament to the value of the time-saving tips her website,, offers. In her book, From Margaritas to Mac ‘n Cheese Mom, she describes juggling the responsibilities of wife, mother, author and business owner. “I am really hard on myself, so sometimes as a mom, wife and friend, you feel like you are always letting someone down,” Deborah admitted. “I try to teach myself that it is okay to be perfectly imperfect!”

Still, Deborah strives for perfection in her work. “I am not one who is very good at sitting still, so I know that we will continue to grow and evolve as we find the right opportunities,” she said. Deborah’s husband, Mark, and her children, Morgan, 9, and Dylan, 8, all help to keep her grounded, along with their two rescue dogs, their guinea pig and their goldfish.

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Name:  Deborah Stumm
Age:  42

Community:  Scripps Ranch
Founder of Party Plan-It, Inc.