Debbie Solano, M.L.S., M.Div., CRS, ABR, CHMS, e-PRO, GRI, REOS, SRES
I grew up in the Town of Southeast, which surrounds the village of Brewster, New York, famous for Elsie the Cow and That Girl. My father had moved his family to New York in 1940 because it was the hub of the export business; he exported oil field equipment overseas.
Since his clients were based in Tulsa, Daddy always came to Tulsa first before traveling anywhere. My parents had many friends here; my mother loved to visit the Tulsa Rose Garden and she always told us how much she liked it. As a result, I have always been very aware of both the economic importance and the beauty of Tulsa.
My most vivid memories of my first trip to Green Country are of the Grand Lake Dam, the Tulsa Rose Garden, and the magician at the Petroleum Club. That was in 1967 when I was 12 years old.
Although my family was from Texas, I had a Tulsa connection. My great uncle, James G. McMurtry, had been the president of Kendall College, the predecessor of the University of Tulsa. When I moved to Tulsa in 1984 my uncle said, “I lived in Tulsa as a kid, the water tastes bad.” I replied, “Really, when was that?” He said, “1912.” A lot has changed since then. In those days Tulsa was a boom town, just forming it’s own identity as “the oil capital of the world.”
I moved here from Pittsburgh, where I had been the librarian and records manager for the General Counsel of Gulf Oil Corporation. Since then I have lived at Liberty Towers, Chimney Hills, Catoosa, on a farm in Claremore Sequoyah, in Broken Arrow, and now again in Tulsa. My goal is to buy another horse and board it on a farm with lots of acreage to enjoy without the work. Been there; done that; loved every minute of it; but I really don’t have time to run a brush hog.
In 1994 I attended the Vince Mooney Real Estate School, got my real estate license and started with Gordona Duca. When I came back into real estate again in 2005 I placed my license with Sam Rader, because that’s where my mentors at Gordona Duca had gone.
I am a member of the Council of Residential Specialists and have recently become a CRS designee. I have my GRI (Graduate Realtor Institute) and my ABR (Accredited Buyer Representative). I am certified as a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) and as a Certified Home Marketing Specialist (CHMS). I am now working toward becoming an accredited Land Consultant (ALC) with the Research Land Institute (RLI), of which I am a member.
My formal education consists of a Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude in French from SUNY at Albany (1977), a Masters in Library Science from SUNY at Albany (1978), and a Masters in Divinity cum laude from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University (1997).
Over the years I took many classes in Horse Management and Golf Course & Landscape Management at Rogers State University. I studied Education at Northeastern State University, and took courses in computer programing and web design at Tulsa Community College. I have an Oklahoma license to teach French and Library & Media.
I’ve taken vo-tech classes in masonry, carpentry, and oil & gas drilling and production. I am currently a member of the American Association of Professional Landmen and the Tulsa Association of Petroleum Landmen and so I take classes occasionally regarding landman work. My understanding of the oil & gas industry, combined with my connections with local operators, has given me an edge in understanding some of the extra challenges and opportunities connected with rural property in Oklahoma.
My favorite classes were those I attended at Trinity Episcopal Church in the Montessori method of teaching theology to children. There I became a certified catechist under the mentorship of Catherine Maresca. If I didn’t have to make a living I would be a full time volunteer at a school with Catechesis of the Good Shepherd atria. The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program is an incredible way to teach systematic theology to children. The materials that I and others handcrafted for the program at Trinity Episcopal are now being used at Monte Casino School. I consider my work for that program to be among the most significant that I have ever done in my whole life.
My educational dream is to get a PhD in Old Testament Studies, but first I have to pay off all my other school loans. My Hebrew is rusty, but I will always be able to read my Septuagintal Greek.
I started taking French from a native speaker in second grade and continued throughout high school and college. I worked on the French Help Desk at Sabre translating technical documents and assisting travel agents from Quebec, the French Caribbean, and Haiti. I also taught Middle School French in Bartlesville.
In college I studied Greek, French, and Latin. My goal had been to become a minister, but out of the necessity of supporting my ex-husband through graduate school and law school, I became a librarian instead. So after working as an Acquisitions Librarian for Albany Law School I went to Pittsburgh and became the librarian for the General Counsel of Gulf Oil Corporation.
While living in Pittsburgh I translated the Greek New Testament and began to study Hebrew with Dr. William F. Orr., a retired seminary professor from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. I went to his home every Tuesday night for two years. There are some individuals that really stand out in your life. He was definitely one of them. Dr. Orr had been Fred Rogers’ mentor and had helped him explore his alternative ministry aspirations when he was going to seminary part time and working at the TV station during the day (or vice versa). Anyway, the rest is history.