UBR Spotlight: Data Solutions & Technologies CEO Deborah Scott Thomas

This week on The Urban Business Roundtable, UBR contributor Renita D. Young speaks with Deborah Scott Thomas, the president and CEO of Data Solutions and Technologies (DST) in Lanham, Maryland. DST provides a full-spectrum of professional services in information technology, aviation management, and scientific and technology support for state and federal agencies, marking her among the few Black female STEM industry entrepreneurs.

Prior to starting her company, Thomas spent three decades serving in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, eventually retiring with the rank of colonel. In 1994, she launched DTS, acquiring clients including the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and even the Executive Office of the President of the United States. Along the way, Thomas earned numerous awards, including the Legacy of Leadership Award from Spelman College and the Bronze Eagle Award from the National Black Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees. Thomas joins the roundtable to share how she transformed a career of military leadership to become a distinguished business leader.

Also, UBR Contributor Jason Smith speaks with Bahiyah Shabazz, the founder and CEO of Shabazz Management Group, a financial improvement and personal development firm. An author, speaker and columnist, Shabazz brings her expertise to the Roundtable to show entrepreneurs how to win business lenders over and increase the odds of getting the business loans they need for their ventures.

In addition, in my “Alfred’s Notepad” segment, I share the most important things to focus on when pitching your business to potential investors, and why it’s important for entrepreneurs to learn and practice the important skill of asking for investment capital. This crucial skill set was brought to the fore in the latest installment of CNN’s Black In America: The New Promised Land, Silicon Valley, hosted by award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien, during which several talented Black technology entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas with hopes of gaining much-need funding for their ventures. The No. 1 lesson learned: Pitching your business for capital is more than just a talent show.

And finally, every week on UBR, you’ll get motivation and inspiration from author and entrepreneurial icon Farrah Gray, a weekly wrap-up of business news from USA Today business correspondent Charisse Jones, our Patient Investor Report from Ariel Investments and key economic intelligence for small business owners from our UBR economists Derrick Collins and Rasheed Carter.

If you have a question you want answered or a topic you want addressed on The Urban Business Roundtable, connect with me at BE Insider, the social media network for people who are serious about Black Enterprise. You can also find me on Twitter and Facebook.

Alfred Edmond Jr. is the senior VP/editor-at-large of Black Enterprise and the host of the Urban Business Roundtable, a weekly radio show, sponsored by Ariel Investments, airing CST Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m., Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. on WVON-AM 1690, the Talk of Chicago. You can also listen live online at WVON.com. Check back each week for UBR Spotlight, which features additional resources, advice and information from and about the topics, entrepreneurs and experts featured on the show.