Having lived in Crowley the majority of her life, Deborah is the daughter of Kenneth and Dolores Nutt. She is from a family with long standing ties to the International Rice Festival, as her mother was president of the 65th International Rice Festival in 2001 and her sister, Connie, was president of the 78th International Rice Festival in 2014. Collectively, these three ladies, have over 100 years of volunteer service with the festival. Deborah is the proud mother of two boys; James “J.W” and Keith Whiting.

Deborah graduated from Norte Dame High School of Acadia Parish in 1984. She continued her education obtaining an Associate Degree in Business Management and a Bachelor Degree in Psychology.

She has spent most of her professional career working in the business office of several companies specializing in payroll and accounting. For the last three years, she has been employed by Kergan Brothers, Inc. where she is a payroll specialist and accounting assistant.

For as long as Deborah can remember, she has participated in the International Rice Festival in some capacity. She has served as chairman of the window decorating contest and chairman of the queens’ contest judging committee. She has also served as assistant chairman and choreographer for the International Rice Festival Ricettes. In 2015, she was awarded the President’s Choice Award recognizing her 30 plus years of volunteering for the festival. Currently, she is serving as the chairman of the emcee committee.

As an active member of the community, she has been a member of the Crowley Business and Professional Women’s Club, Child Activity Club, Beta Sigma Phi and several Relay for Life teams. She has also served as a member of the board of directors of the Crowley Town Club, Vice President of the Ladies Auxiliary and treasurer of the Town Club Kings and Queens Association. In 2007, she was chosen to reign as queen to King Cimmer LII for the Town Club Mardi Gras Ball.

Deborah is honored to be chosen as president of a festival that has been such an integral part of her life. She recognizes that the rice industry plays an important role to our community and our economy; past, present and future. She is looking forward to celebrating the rice industry with everyone this October in downtown Crowley.

Deborah Nutt Whiting
83rd IRF President