Focus on Faith and Family First
Debi’s trademark drive and energy have fueled her love of real estate development, passion for her husband, Mark, and 28 Angel Babies. The result is a 40 year career as a highly successful real estate broker and developer, a loving and prosperous marriage, and a legacy as a dedicated volunteer in Hawaii and Montana as a state licensed foster mother. At the core of her ambition is a love for people. She focuses her talents and resources toward her purpose to make a difference in other’s lives through restoration, loyalty and bringing a smile to those in need.
Forty years ago, Debi and Mark traveled to Maui for a week’s vacation and decided to move there, ringing true the saying “Here today, gone to Maui.” The Aloha Spirit of the people of Maui stirred her passion and wherever she goes, Debi invests herself into her life’s purpose. She acquired her real estate license in 1978. In 1980 Debi earned her broker’s license and opened her own firm, Rolfing Realty. By 1984 she received island wide recognition with making the highest sale for a condominium on Maui.
In 1985, Debi along with her husband Mark, founded a sports marketing company, Rolfing Sports, Inc, which helped put Maui on the map of the golf world. Debi continues to serve as the Vice President of Rolfing Sports, Inc. Currently she is working on Rolfing Sports Chalet Hospitality venue to host Rolfing Partners during the Ryder Cup 2016.
In 1988, Debi and Mark formed Rolfing Development Corporation, creating Rolfing Partners. Rolfing Partners, through a joint venture with Kapalua Land Company doing business as Plantation Club Associates, co-developed Hawaii’s most successful real estate development, The Plantation at Kapalua. Debi was solely responsible for generating the cash funding for the development partnership. On the first day, the Plantation had residential land sales of over 64 million dollars, allowing limited partners to recoup 100% of their investment plus a significant profit. Debi continues as a Kapalua resident today and has continued to stay active in real estate brokerage and development on Maui.
In 1990 the Rolfings sold their interest in the Kapalua Bay Hotel seeing their partnership interest soar from a purchase price of 26 million dollars to a sale price of 107 million dollars with over 300% profit.
After completion of the Plantation at Kapalua and Kapalua Bay Hotel projects, Debi turned her attention to Rolfing Ventures Nebraska. In this initiative, founder and general partner, Richard L. Youngscap studied and utilized the Rolfing Development model for the Sand Hills project.
After the sale of the Kapalua Bay Hotel in 1990, Debi purchased the one of a kind Kootenai Lodge property in Northwest Montana. A magnificent summer retreat built by two early Montana Copper Kings in the early 1920’s and a place of healing for the Native American Kootenai Tribe for hundreds of years. Her real estate expertise understood the value in Kootenai Lodge as a savvy real estate investment for rest, relaxation and rejuvenation for the Rolfings but when she embarked on an historic development journey it turned into a life changing opportunity for Debi and Mark. Over a period of 15 years she planned and directed a restoration initiative that resulted in the Kootenai Lodge being accepted into the National Register of Historic Places. In 2005 the Kootenai Lodge property was sold to a private developer.
Throughout her 40 year career, Debi has played a significant role in a wide variety of development projects. Each project relied on Debi’s planning, financial and marketing expertise. Today Debi is working on a large golf course endeavor on Chicago’s South Side.
At the height of Debi’s career, she overheard a conversation about the need for foster parents, specifically for newborns. With the enterprising attitude that created a hugely successful real estate career, Debi dove deep into becoming a licensed foster mother in Hawaii and Montana. Debi created a ‘cradle care’ ministry to provide foster care for medically and sometimes critically fragile newborns, keeping them safe, loved and sheltered until either reunification with their birth parents, placement with kinship family or adopted when their ‘forever’ family became available. Debi’s deep love and commitment has impacted the lives of these special children, birth parents and adoptive ‘forever’ parents. Today, Debi is the blessed mother of 28 “Angel Babies” and 3 Hanai children – Michelle, Matthew and BJ. To date, half of the 28 “Angel Babies” that have received critical and loving care in the arms of Debi and Mark, were nursed to health on the healing grounds of Kootenai Lodge and the other 14 babies received an Aloha welcome in their Maui home.
For over 25 years, Debi has served as a Trustee and Director of the Mark and Debi Rolfing Charitable Foundation. Debi reviews and directs funds to several Hawaii and mainland charities primarily helping children’s charities in the United States. Additionally, Debi has been involved in several high profile, not for profit restoration projects including being invited to be a member of the Founding Board of Directors of the Vice President Residence Foundation. Debi assists in raising funds to preserve the United States Naval Observatory built in 1893 which serves as the official residence of the Vice President of the United States.
Debi has devoted her time, talent and treasure, for over nine years, to Maui Family Support Services as an active member of its Board of Directors. In 2016, upon finishing her nine year appointment of the Bishop of Helena to the Board of Directors of Catholic Social Services of Montana, Debi was made a "Fellow” of the Roman Catholic Church.
Debi and her husband are cherished members of the communities that they live in. In Montana, Debi has served on numerous Boards of Director, including Family Concepts and Glacier Center for Families. Providence Home, an Emergency Children’s Shelter has benefitted from Debi doing double duty, providing funding for the start-up of the facility, including furnishing it and visiting as The Easter Bunny with bountiful Easter Baskets for each child residing there.
In Maui, Debi’s legacy is intertwined within the fabric of those serving the island’s children. Alan M. Arakawa, mayor of the County of Maui, proclaimed Oct. 19, 2012 as "Mark and Debi Rolfing Day." The mayor's proclamation accompanied a special message from Gov. Neil Abercrombie (on behalf of the people of the State of Hawaii) commending the couple for their lifelong dedication, generosity and commitment to the Maui community.
Gov. Abercrombie stated, "The Mark and Debi Rolfing Charitable Foundation has been instrumental in supporting the mission of The Friends of the Children's Justice Center of Maui in providing programs that assist abused and neglected children. Beyond their financial contributions, which continue to aid the agency and numerous programs it operates, both Debi and Mark also serve as volunteer licensed foster parents by providing care for newborn babies until they can be reunified with their birth parents or placed with adoptive parents." The governor went on to say, "You are truly incredible individuals that touch the lives of so many children and the youth of Maui County. You are truly an inspiration to us all and true pillars of the community."
At the heart of her dedication and focus, Debi desires to love her husband and others passionately. Debi is able to extend the Aloha Spirit wherever she is and responds to the needs of others. Debi is the epitome of understanding her life’s purpose and she has dedicated her life work to directly reflect these qualities.
Real Estate Designations Earned:
• Certified Commercial Investment Member Candidate with an Approved Resume
• Certified International Property Specialist
• Certified Residential Brokerage Manager
• Certified Residential Specialist
• Graduate, Realtor Institute
• National Association of Realtors
• Realtor Association of Maui, Inc.
• Urban Land Institute Full Member since 1996
CANCER AND NAYSAYERS: MARK ROLFING TELLS IMPROBABLE STORY OF THE
CHICAGO PARKS GOLF ALLIANCE
USA Today labeled him "TV sport's best on-course golf reporter," and
for good reason. Mark rise to the top of network golf television is a
unique and intriguing story.
In 1997, Rolfing signed a multi-year contract with NBC Sports to
cover its prestigious 15-event golf schedule, including The Players
Championship, The United States Open, and The Ryder Cup.
In years past, it took a major championship victory to land a
position as a network golf analyst. Rolfing has never won a major
championship or a PGA TOUR event, for that matter. In fact, he never
even qualified for the PGA TOUR. However, his knowledge and love for the
game, his ability to play at the club professional level and his
magnetic personality made him the exception.
ESPN discovered Rolfing in 1986. After a two-year stint with golf's
number one cable network, he became NBC's lone on-course commentator in
1988. After four years with NBC Sports, Rolfing signed with ABC in the
fall of 1991. He was an integral part of ABC Sports’ golf team for
six-years before returning to NBC in 1998 where he is at home today.
As a part of the NBC Sports golf team he shares an Emmy Award for
Best Live Series.
Rolfing is proud of his Midwestern upbringing. After a distinguished
high school career in football, basketball, and golf in DeKalb,
Illinois, he headed to Indiana's DePauw University where golf became his
His golf record at school was extremely impressive. By his junior
season, he was captain and "Most Valuable Player" of DePauw's strong
conference championship and nationally ranked team. In 1999, he was
inducted into the DePauw Athletic Hall of Fame for golf. He graduated
from DePauw with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science in 1971.
Rolfing returned to his roots in 1972, and enrolled in the graduate
program of Northern Illinois University. In 1973, he received a Masters
Degree for his efforts.
He turned professional in 1974 and, over the next two years, played
over 70 tournaments on four continents with little success. Two
unsuccessful attempts at the PGA TOUR Qualifying School lead to a change
in career direction.
After living on the 1st
green of the famed Pebble Beach golf Course for three years, he moved to
Maui in January of 1976 with his wife, Debi, where they still reside.
With Mark's desire for competitive golf somewhat tempered, he took a
job in February of 1976 at Kapalua, the island's newest resort. It
wasn't long before he started moving up the company ladder: ... cart
barn attendant ... assistant golf professional ... golf shop manager ...
head professional ... and finally, director of marketing and recreation
for the Kapalua Resort. It was in the latter capacity that Rolfing
created one of the PGA TOUR's top post-season events, the
Lincoln-Mercury Kapalua International. The tournament's humble
beginnings in 1982 started with a total purse of $110,000 and no
television coverage. The 1997 event, the final of a 16-year run,
featured a purse of $1,200,000 and four rounds of live network
television coverage on ESPN and ABC. Davis Love III was victorious in
the final event.
Mark volunteered to be the Executive Director and tournament manager
of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions for the 2011 event at his Kapalua
home. Along with his wife Debi, their charitable foundation, The Mark
and Debi Rolfing Charitable Foundation became the Host Organization for
this prestigious PGA TOUR event and donated over $300,000.00 to local
Maui charities. This 2011 event featured a total purse of $5,600,000.00
with $1,120,000.00 going to the champion.
In 1985, Rolfing's career expanded when he, along with a group of
investors, purchased the luxurious Kapalua Bay Hotel & Villas. Until the
hotel changed ownership in 1990, Mark served as on-site general partner
for the investment group.
However, his business ventures didn't stop there. In 1986, Rolfing
went full bore into golf course development via a joint venture between
Kapalua Land Company, Ltd. and Rolfing Development. One of Mark's most
successful projects, with his wife Debi, good friend Ben Crenshaw and
Ben's partner Bill Coore is The Plantation Course at Kapalua. Opened in
May 1991, The Plantation Course has already garnered a bevy of awards
including one of the top 10 new resort courses for 1991 by Golf
Magazine; runner-up for Golf Digest's Best New Resort Course for 1991;
one of Golf Week’s America's Best Golf Courses for 1992; and ranked #4
among America's 75 Best Resort Courses in 1992 by Golf Digest.
Mark’s television show, "Golf Hawaii," a highly successful weekly
television show aired for three seasons on ESPN. As the program's host,
Rolfing has entertained such guests as Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus,
Fred Couples, Ben Crenshaw, Davis Love III, Greg Norman, Lee Trevino,
Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan and many others. Beginning in January of
1999 "Golf Hawaii" found its new home on The Golf Channel, where it
aired 12 seasons.
His very successful "Global Golf Adventure" airs currently on NBC
Sports and showcases venues around the globe such as: The Hawaiian
Islands, Bermuda, Wales, The Bahamas and the famed Pebble Beach.
In September 2012 Mark was host and provided narration for NBC Sports
Groups Ryder Cup Programming of three specials: Road to the Ryder Cup.
"The Ryder Cup in Chicago is truly a bucket-list event for me.
Having grown up in the Chicago area, I share the passion of so many
sports fans in one of America’s greatest sports towns. Even though
there’s never been a World Series at Wrigley Field in my lifetime,
now I get to experience golf’s biggest event on one of its grandest
– Mark Rolfing, Golf Channel on NBC analyst and
"Road to the Ryder Cup" host
Today, in addition to his television responsibilities, Mark heads
Rolfing Sports, Inc., a sports management and consulting company. He has
served as a Governor’s appointee on the Hawaii Tourism Authority, where
he was the Chair of the Events Marketing Committee. Mark was inducted
into the Hawaii Golf Hall of Fame in the spring of 2000.
Mark has resided at Kapalua on the island of Maui with his wife Debi
for 37 years. Together they have provided care for 27 newborns awaiting
adoption placement in both their Hawaii and Montana homes.
There is little doubt that Mark Rolfing has carved a niche for
himself in the world of golf and television sports. His popularity with
the public and the media has and will continue to propel him into the
spotlight. Rest assured Mark will always be up to the challenge.