When Debbie Perantoni 00EvMBA became president of the Goizueta Alumni Board in 2019, she had no idea just how much of her tenure would be spent on Zoom. “It made it easy for us to meet and engage, especially for board members living in places like San Francisco, Seattle, and New York,” says Perantoni, director, consent & preference management, AT&T. “For those of us who socialize before and after the meeting, it was a little less fun, but we made the most of a challenging year.”
From 2013 to 2018, Perantoni acted as a Goizueta@Work ambassador at AT&T, helping to foster an alumni community at AT&T. She joined the Goizueta Alumni Board in 2017 and was elected vice president in 2018. Her tenure as president ended in August.
Perantoni began her career at AT&T (then BellSouth) in the late 1990s. While she never envisioned staying for more than 20 years, her roles have varied. “The MBA helped me accelerate my career as well as do things I wouldn’t have considered,” she says. This past April, Perantoni moved from product management in international roaming and long distance to her role as director of consent and preference management.
Being on the board has given Perantoni “a new infusion of people into my life that makes it more fulfilling,” she says. It also strengthened relationships with Goizueta faculty and staff. In addition to board duties, Perantoni has acted as both a judge and as an AT&T sponsor for Goizueta IMPACT projects. “We encourage alumni to share their time, talent, or treasure with Goizueta,” says Perantoni. “Through their engagement, they strengthen Goizueta’s reputation and brand, which in turn makes their degree more valuable.”
The most memorable part of her MBA experience, Perantoni recalls, was “the level of camaraderie” she gained with classmates. She admits she might be biased (she met her husband, John Perantoni 00EvMBA in the program), but Perantoni believes that the three-year timeline for the evening MBA cohort creates unique opportunities to connect.
That camaraderie and collaboration are what stay with me. I’m still in touch with a lot of people in my class. It’s a lifelong bond.Debbie Perantoni
Speaking of lifelong loyalty, Perantoni is a founding member of Atlanta United, the city’s Major League Soccer team, and she, her husband, and twin 16-year-old boys are big fans.
The Goizueta Alumni Board actively engages with the school’s network of nearly 20,000 alumni through programs including Goizueta@Work and the Goizueta Mentor Program. Alumni engagement gives graduates the opportunity to be part of a vibrant community, as well as supports the ongoing education of principled leaders who are changing the future of business and society. For more information on ways you can give back, contact Lindsay.Topping@Emory.edu.