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Debbie Plager

Debbie Plager

  • Instructor and Coach, MS in Learning and Organizational Change Program
  • Organizational Strategist and Executive Coach, The Plager Group


Debbie Plager is an executive coach and organizational strategist with over 25 years of experience in transforming individuals, teams, and businesses during times of growth, contraction, and change.

Debbie is deeply skilled in working with leaders at all levels – from the C-Suite to Divisional Presidents and senior leaders. Debbie is known as a trusted advisor and partner. She collaborates with leaders and teams to achieve marked change and sustained business results. As an executive and team coach, Debbie is known as a creative, direct, and supportive coach. Her clients experience lasting leadership impacts and feel happier and more productive. Coaching highlights include coaching a Divisional President who turned around her poor performing division (from -2% to 15% EBITDA growth), accelerating readiness for divisional president successors to move into their larger roles, and aligning a CFO and his executive team as they decreased their organizational footprint by 25% while improving retained employees’ engagement.

Before launching The Plager Group, Debbie was Chief Talent Officer at HUB International, where she built out the talent function and key people practices. Her actions were instrumental in HUB winning a Stevie’s Gold Award for Best Employer in 2021. Debbie also served as the first Director of Talent Engagement at Relativity (a rapidly growing technology firm) and Associate Vice President of HR at Unum Group. Prior to Unum, Debbie led organizational effectiveness and talent teams at Allstate Insurance.

Debbie is experienced in a wide range of business categories including construction, financial services, high tech, higher education, nonprofit, and pharma

Debbie lives in the Chicagoland area. She is a novice gardener, avid reader, and a choral singer in search of her next choir. Debbie is an instructor with Northwestern’s Masters of Learning & Organizational Change program.