Watch Deborah speak on “Civility in the Workplace” (2 min).
Deborah King, AICI CIP, CPC, CPECP
Deborah King is an internationally recognized civility and etiquette expert. She is founder and CEO of Final Touch, a company specializing in social behavior training since 1989. With nearly 40 years of experience, Deborah is a sought-after speaker, corporate trainer, consultant, television personality, and author. A civility pioneer, Deborah developed unique social behavior curriculum focused on relationship building that culminates in a single question: How do you want to be remembered? ™
Deborah’s passion is to equip people from all walks of life with the skills necessary to cultivate social capital. Her clients confidently evaluate and respond to business and social environments—whether formal or informal—with grace and ease. Deborah designs and delivers courses on topics such as civility, etiquette, communication, personal branding, and impression management. Through customized programs, one-on-one consulting, and keynote speaking, Deborah partners with individuals and organizations across the country and around the world. Her classes instill confidence, enabling professionals to better represent themselves and their organizations.
Deborah was mentored by the legendary Letitia Baldrige, who was social secretary to the American ambassadors in Paris and Rome, and Chief of Staff for Jacqueline Kennedy. Deborah is a Certified Protocol, Etiquette and Civility Professional (CPECP), a Certified Professional Coach (CPC), and one of only 86 Certified Image Professionals in the world (AICI CIP).
As a Founding Director for the Institute of Image Training and Testing International (IITTI), Deborah partnered with six of the world’s top etiquette and image experts to create the first-ever global standardized certification on soft skills. Deborah also co-founded the Global Protocol, Etiquette & Civility Academy (GPEC), and is a Founding Member of the Association of Image Consultants International Civility Counts Project, which established May as Global Civility Awareness Month on Chase’s Calendar of Events.
Deborah is a reliable resource to the media, author of More Than Lipstick, and a co-author of Image Power, Executive Etiquette Power, and The Power of Civility. Her speaking style is warm and engaging. Deborah’s clients describe her as a “dynamic” and “inspiring” speaker that has a “genuine desire to educate,” and whose knowledge “helps us all to remember [that] how we act and how we dress will leave a lasting impression with everyone we meet.”
A Seattle native, Deborah currently lives on a farm near Dallas, Texas with her husband. When she is not teaching, you can find Deborah cooking, traveling, and spending time with her granddaughter.
Watch Deborah speak on “Civility in the Workplace” (2 min).
Melissa Case-Merritt, J.D., CFN
Melissa Case-Merritt is a management consultant that specializes in communication and civility. She is President of Final Touch, a company that trains individuals and companies around the world in social behavior. Melissa helps leaders use behavioral science to increase their effectiveness and strengthen their relationships. She is an engaging speaker, a dynamic corporate trainer, and an inspiring consultant with over a decade of experience.
Melissa creates unique social behavior curriculum that translates cutting-edge science to practical strategies that strengthen communication among employees, with clients, and at home. Melissa is passionate about helping her clients authentically connect with others. Why? Because all business is done between people. And people do business with those they know, like, and trust.
Melissa built her career around understanding the pivotal role communication plays in successful relationship building. She began her communication training early. She was a three-time state champion in speech and debate, placed ninth in the nation in high school, and fourth in the nation in college. Out of 93,000 competitors, Melissa was one of only 25 people honored as a National Forensic League All-American in 2001. After graduating magna cum laude with special honors in economics from the University of Puget Sound, Melissa earned a J.D. from the University of Southern California Law School while serving as the University-appointed student teacher for all first-year legal curriculum.
After law school, Melissa joined the Los Angeles office of a prestigious law firm. She was fortunate to amass an extraordinary amount of trial experience early in her legal career, along with a renewed appreciation for excellent communication skills and unshakable poise. Melissa’s passion for the courtroom was matched only by her love of mentoring young lawyers. It was during her years in “big law” that Melissa fully realized the tremendous power of social behavior. Despite years of formal education, critical “soft skills”—maintaining eye contact, effective listening, and powerful first impressions to name a few—were often underdeveloped in her colleagues. While the legal skills of the young attorneys selected to work at big law firms were roughly equivalent, their “soft skills” were not; soft skills often separated thriving associates from struggling ones.
A lifelong fascination for how we engage one another eventually translated into a career of teaching others and brought Melissa to Final Touch. Melissa is a Certified Corporate Consultant and a reliable resource to the media. Leveraging her diverse business and legal experience, Melissa brings a fresh, contemporary perspective to the industry. Her experience leading and operating high performance teams in complex environments provides a unique depth of training and consulting services to Final Touch clients. Melissa partners with highly-motivated individuals and companies around the globe looking to gain confidence, knowledge, and sharpen their professional presence.
Melissa grew up in Seattle. After practicing law in New York and Los Angeles, Melissa moved to Dallas, Texas with her husband and their daughter. She loves water sports, legal novels, cheese, and escaping to the ocean.