Debra Scala Giokas began her life as a stoop girl in Astoria, Queens until her family moved to “the country” when she was nine. In between playing stickball, riding her bike on the sidewalk, and visiting her grandparents for pasta dinners every Sunday, she discovered her love of words. She began writing poems in second grade and would send homemade cards to family and friends. Her first poetry recital in the second grade was in front of 500 people at the St. Joseph Elementary School’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. The poem: “It Ain’t Easy Being Green.”
Words continued to serve her well, and so did Long Island. She earned her Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, in English from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and her Master of Business Administration from Dowling College where she taught a course in services marketing for six years as an Adjunct Assistant Professor.
After working at 17 different part-time jobs including cashier, salesperson, waitress, bank teller, customer service representative and gym receptionist, to name a few, from the age of 17 until 21, she began her legal marketing career in 1990. She has been in her present role as Director of Marketing at Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman, LLP for the past 15 years. Certilman Balin is Long Island’s second largest law firm with 14 areas of practice and offices in both Nassau and Suffolk counties.
She has been a long-time member of IABC, has served on its board, and in 2004 was honored with the Achievement in Communications Award.
Debra’s love of words actually helped her to find love, too. In 2008, she married George Giokas, a journalist and entrepreneur. The two even enjoy editing each other’s works. George has a book forthcoming in the spring, entitled, Nickel Ice. As for Debra, she has been revisiting her first love, poetry. Her poems have appeared in the Great South Bay Magazine, Dan’s Papers, The Montauk Sun, BACCA’s “Writer’s Space,” and The Path. She is working on a collection of 50 poems on 50 places in the United States.
She manages her firm’s social media, and also has her own Twitter account. If you’re interested in matters of communication (especially literature), follow her on Twitter @debrascalag.