Deana L. Porterfield

Deana L. Porterfield

Power 100 list

Deana L. Porterfield

President, Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary

deana-porterfield-headshot-rbj-powerYears in current role: 6 1/2

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career?

The most important lesson I’ve learned in my career is that knowing who you are is one of the most important gifts you can bring to yourself, others and your organization. Also, it is equally important that we need to give back to others what we have been given. For me that is the opportunity to create opportunities and access for the next leaders.

What’s been your biggest success?

As a first-generation college student, my greatest success was completing my doctoral degree. My educational journey transformed my life and the future generations of our family. It also created a path to Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary, where I have the opportunity to support the education of so many others.

What are your hopes for the Rochester community this year?

I hope that we can lead the way in creating a community that is vibrant, innovative and collaborative. Our rich history challenges us to stand for injustice while building community. If we can stand together to make change, we can be a light for others who are trying to find a way forward.

What do you do to unplug in your free time?

I enjoy reading, walking, biking and connecting with my grandchildren.

This profile is part of Rochester Business Journal's Power 100 list for 2021. Information used in this profile was sourced from the honoree. View the full list at