The Founder's Story


The Beginning

My name is Deb Purvin and I’m the Founder of the Business Owner’s MBA (BOMBA). I started BOMBA to give business owners the education I wished I’d had.
In the mid-1990’s I purchased a ski and golf resort on the same ridge of the Green Mountains as the second largest ski resort in Vermont. This competitor served more than one million guests each year; my resort, less than 200,000.
The Valley, a quintessential Vermont Township, was served by numerous Bed & Breakfasts, 5-star restaurants, a gorgeous lake, retail boutiques and craft shops, but the area guests seldom let the big resort’s property. The local small businesses struggled to survive – including mine!
After a very bad winter with bankruptcy threatening, I spearheaded creating a cooperative marketing program and 42 small businesses started offering attractive “weekend getaways for the family that were more affordable and appealing than the ‘big resorts’. Our efforts were very successful – increasing the revenue of my golf course and ski area by 50% the first year and 100% by the third year.

Deb’s Vermont Ski Resort

However, while working with the other business owners, I realized that my business partners were not always making good business decisions – in fact, they didn’t seem to understand the financial impact of their decisions at all. I started holding group coaching sessions, designed worksheets to address their challenges, and led discussions about best practices. Over time, my cooperative partners and I all successfully sold our businesses for more than $1 million NET.

Remarkably, I had also developed an entire business curriculum for small business owners – the foundation of BOMBA!

Member of US Ski Team

Meet Deb

I founded the Business Owner’s MBA as a result of my entrepreneurial experience. BOMBA is the program I wished I had taken BEFORE becoming a business owner!

I grew up traveling the world while skiing on the US Ski Team. I attended Dartmouth and Harvard – majoring in economic and real estate development. My business career began in Dallas -- completing a bank credit training program and then underwriting real estate and business credit facilities.

I began my entrepreneurial career working with one of my real estate developers – he built residential properties and I developed shopping centers on the site. By the late 1980s, I had developed 7 centers and owed $62 million when the S&L crisis hit. All the banks and S&Ls in Texas went bankrupt – so they called their loans. YIKES! Who knew? It took several years to sell my real estate. As I did, I learned all about managing cash flow, negotiating skillfully, and persevering, despite the overwhelming urge to give up and file for bankruptcy as most developers did!

Having survived, I actually made money -- enough to sail for 5 years through Central and South America with my family on our 45’ sloop! I also preserved my credit character -- enabling me to borrow $100 million for her next venture!
I acquired a ski and golf resort out of bankruptcy and redeveloped it; rebuilding both the ski area and golf course, constructed 200+ townhouses and condos, a new base lodge, 60 room hotel, founded a sewer and water municipality, and planned a timeshare project. I managed more than 150 employees with a leadership team of 8. As told in my Founder’s Story, it was not always smooth sailing. When I sold the resort, I retired.
But… I was bored.
After 18 months, I went back to work – back to banking – working with other business owners who wanted to do what I had done; build a business and sell it successfully. In addition to banking, and managing commercial lending offices for several regional banks, I’ve been teaching my BOMBA chapters and the finance modules for the Dallas Goldman Sachs 10KSB program.

Transiting the Panama Canal with Family on our 45’ Sloop.