Debbie Johnston is a highly esteemed entrepreneur, business owner, and company leader. With over 25 years of experience as a business executive and company leader, Debbie has become an expert at overseeing and operating company affairs.
Debbie is a health care expert who founded Care Advantage Inc. in 1988. Care Advantage Inc. quickly became a leading company for personal and companion home health care, with 15 offices and affiliates throughout Virginia. Care Advantage, Inc., Nurse Advantage, and All About Care, together employ approximately 3,000 health care professionals in Central Virginia and surrounding areas. Debbie served as the company’s CEO for over 25 years and currently serves on their board. Care Advantage was sold to Bell Health in 2017.
Debbie is also an experienced nonprofit executive. In August of 2014 with the foundation of her non-profit organization, Connecting Hearts, Debbie was appointed Virginia’s Adoption Champion by Governor Terry McAuliffe. Debbie has worked nonstop with local media and organizations to increase adoption awareness in Virginia, and has become an expert in nonprofit management.
Debbie’s newest business, Serenity First Hospice, is inspired by her personal hospice journey with her father, Pappy. Serenity First provides expert and innovative hospice care in the heart of Richmond, VA, and is rapidly growing since its start in February of 2021.
In 2013 Debbie was featured on ABC’s Secret Millionaire, where she went undercover for a week in one of the country’s poorest cities, Richmond, California, to donate thousands of dollars to nonprofit organizations in the area. She has received a variety of local, state and regional awards, including Entrepreneur of Richmond and Philanthropist of the Year.
Recipient of local, state and regional business awards for business and public relations:
- Super Women Making History Award, 2018
- Our Health Magazine’s Senior Living Awards 1st in Home Health and Speech Therapy and Honorable Mention in Skilled Nursing Care, 2016
- Eva Teig Hardy Award for Corporate Service by Senior Connections, 2016
- Home Care Public Policy Award by Virginia Association for Home Care and Hospice, 2016
- Humanitarian of the Year Award by Unity Christ Church and Bon Secours, 2015
- ALS Achievement Award, Dine to Defeat ALS, 2015
- Richmond BizSense Generosity Inc. RVA’s Top Corporate Donor, 2014
- CancerLINC Ronne Jacobs Leadership Award, 2014
- March of Dimes Nightingale Award, 2014
- Ernst & Young/Style Weekly/Troutman Sanders Executive Women in Business Award, 2013
- Finalists for UVA Darden School of Business Tayloe Murphy Resilience Awards, 2013
- Richmond’s Top 25 Growing Companies for All About Care, LLC, 2013
- Executive Women in Business Award, 2013
- Finalist for the Greater Richmond Chamber’s Impact Award, 2012, 2013
- American Cancer Society’s Cure by Design Fundraiser Honorary Chair, 2012
- Virginia Lawyer’s Media Influential Women of Virginia, 2012
- Finalist for National Association of Women Business Owners Entrepreneur of the year, 2012
- YWCA Outstanding Women’s Award, 2011
- Commonwealth Catholic Charities Service Award, 2010
- Unity Christ Church of Bon Air Super Star Award, 2010
- Bernard Savage Community Service Award, 2009
- Philanthropist of the Year Big Brothers Big Sisters, 2005
- Working Woman’s Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards, 2000, 2001
- Leadership Metro Richmond, Class of 1999
- Northstar Academy Polaris Award, 1998
- Leukemia Society’s Woman of the Year, 1997
- National Association of Women Business Owners/Bell Atlantic Community Service Award, 1997
- Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Virginia, 1996
- Blue Chip Enterprise Initiative, 1996
- Small Business Person of the Year, 1994
- Entrepreneur of Richmond, 1993
- Rising 25, 1992, 1993