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.