Environmental, Safety, Health & Quality Director
An environmental compliance and transportation subject matter expert with more than 35 years of successful experience, Debra (Dee) Markelonis, is the Environmental, Safety, Health & Quality (ESH&Q) Director for Catawba Corporations. Debra began her career as the Waste Analysis Director for a small company providing waste management support to 63 government contracts and over 100 commercial contracts combining waste streams for transport to final treatment/disposal facilities from 1987 through 1991. During this time, she ensured client compatible wastes were combined to prevent reactions as well as completing all profiles and shipping documents as well as arranging all transportation to final disposal sites. In November 1991, Debra became a project manager and compliance officer with responsibilities at the three Oak Ridge, TN sites and Portsmouth, Oh and Paducah, KY sites managed at that time by the Department of Energy (DOE) Oak Ridge Office. Her expertise expanded beyond Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) to include Toxic Substances Compliance Act (TSCA) (polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB)), Comprehensive Environmental Restoration, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA), medical wastes, and Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. During this time, she co-authored the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) PCB Federal Facilities Compliance Act (FFCA) Agreement as well as was responsible for the interpretation and implementation of the requirements and for maintaining an accurate inventory of waste covered by the Agreement. After spending a few years as an environmental and project management consultant, she co-founded a small business, Visionary Solutions, LLC, with a core focus on transportation and technical services for clients such as DOE, Department of Defense (DoD), National Aeronautics Safety Administration (NASA), and nuclear power plants including the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). During her nearly 20 years as co-owner and Chief Operating Officer, she grew the business to $21.6 M in revenue at its peak performance. Debra managed up to five subsidiary companies during her time at Visionary Solutions, LLC. In December 2020, Debra became the ESH&Q Director for Catawba Corporations owned by the Catawba Indian Nation. Catawba Corporations is a tribal owned entity with companies participating in the SBA Business Development 8(a) program as well as HUBZone certified companies.
Debra enjoys spending time with her family. She has two children: Tyler West and Deanna Markelonis Cunningham. She also enjoys learning new skills, reading, knitting, crochet, and stained glass as well as other handmade crafts.