William G. Mays Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award

Deborah and Nathan Oatts | 2019 Champions of Diversity | IndianapolisHosting its 2019 Champions of Diversity Awards,  Magazine celebrated individuals, companies and organizations statewide that have exemplified diversity either through their hiring practices or their outreach programs, or who have individually overcome racial or gender barriers.

Winners of this year’s William G. Mays Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award are Nathan and Deborah Oatts, owners of Oatts Trucking and Nubian Construction Group. Founded by Nathan’s father, Oatts Trucking and has now passed into its third generation of family ownership and management. Debbie started Nubian Transport Management, Nubian’s transport arm, in 1994, and has evolved the company into a trucking and a construction management firm.

Deborah and Nathan Oatts receiving their 2019 Champions of Diversity Award

Working as Nubian Construction Group, Debbie works to help businesses meet or exceed diversity requirements with existing minority- and woman-owned businesses. Debbie serves on the Diversity Team for the Indiana University Health Bloomington Regional Academic Health Center project, and she is the Diversity Consultant for 16 Tech, an urban innovation district on the northwest side of Indianapolis.

Nathan and Debbie have been married for 48 years, and were presented the prestigious award at the annual dinner celebration on January 18, 2019.

Deborah Oatts: Madame Walker Theatre Center 2015 Spirit Award Honoree

Deborah Oatts

Deborah Oatts, president of Nubian Construction Group and past-president of NAWBO-Indianapolis, has been selected the Madame Walker Theatre Center 2015 Spirit Award Honoree for Excellence in Corporate Citizenship.

Madame CJ Walker was the first female self-made millionaire in the country, and the Madame Walker Theatre Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving her legacy. Since 2006, the Center has honored the nation’s foremost leaders in entrepreneurship, civic engagement, philanthropy and arts & culture through the “Spirit Awards,” which pay homage to Madame CJ Walker’s success.

The 2015 Spirit Award for Excellence in Corporate Citizenship, given annually, pays tribute to an individual who leverages both personal and corporate resources to improve the quality of life of others through supporting the arts, culture, diversity and education.

The Number of Woman-Owned Businesses is on the Rise
Debbie Oatts of Nubian Construction Group featured on RTV6 News

Debbie Oatts being interviewed by RTV6 News in Indianapolis

Debbie Oatts, owner of Nubian Construction Group and Past President of NAWBO-Indianapolis, discusses the growing number and impact of women-owned businesses with RTV6 News. Click the image (left) to view the full report.



Nubian Construction Group is Featured on RTV6 Promotion
Nubian Construction Group, working hard, dump trucks, hauling

Nadina Edwards in the promotion for RTV6 News in Indianapolis

Nadina Edwards, VP of Operations, highlights Nubian Construction Group’s hard-working dirt-hauling in a promotion for RTV6 News in Indianapolis. Click the image to the left to watch!



Deborah Oatts “Roasted” at the 2014 Celebrity Barbecue and Grille
Debbie Oatts raising funds for Indy Links

Debbie Oatts is “roasted” at the Celebrity Barbecue and Grille, a fundraiser for Indy Links

Debbie Oatts was selected to be one of the 2014 “roastees” for the Indianapolis Chapter of The Links “Celebrity Barbecue and Grille.” Along with ex-Colts player and IMPACT Foundation leader Gary Brackett; Indiana Congresswoman Susan Brooks; and AT&T External & Corporate Affairs Director David Lewis, Sr; Debbie was roasted at the 31st annual fundraiser for The Links on April 24, 2014, with funds benefiting The Martin Center, Inc. and its Sickle Cell Initiative.

As a national volunteer service organization of extraordinary women, The Links is dedicated to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the identities, culture and economic survival of African-Americans and other persons of African ancestry. Since its inception in 1946, The Links has grown to 270 chapters and a membership of 12,000 professional women of color.

Nubian Construction Group President Debbie Oatts Speaks at IndyGo’s 20th Year Club

Passionate about sharing her story of entrepreneurship and success, Debbie spoke on April 3, 2014, at the IndyGo 20th Year Club. A celebration for employees with more than 20 years of service at the company, the 20th Year Club event showcased select businesspersons, honoring their success and that of IndyGo’s long-term employees. IndyGo, the Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation, provides public bus transit services to residents and visitors throughout Marion County. With 30 local service fixed routes and an ADA-compliant paratransit service, IndyGo provides an average of nine million transit trips per year.

Deborah Oatts now serving as Past President of NAWBO-Indy

June 26, 2014, Indianapolis—After a year of significant progress in promoting and supporting women-owned businesses, Debbie passed the baton to incoming Board President of NAWBO-Indianapolis, Jeryl Mitsch. A key initiative under Debbie’s leadership, the YEA! Academy launched at the IUPUI campus with 24 students for the fall of 2014. An educational program that takes students in grades 6 through 12 through the process of starting and running a real business, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) has been the focus of efforts by NAWBO-Indianapolis to encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs. Ending her year as Board President, Debbie states, “ I am thrilled that we were able to participate in the national movement of making experiential entrepreneurship education available to youth all across our country. And I’m excited to feel I was able to contribute in some small way to this effort.”

NAWBO is the unified voice of America’s women-owned businesses, serving to strengthen the capacity of its members, promote economic development, create change in the business culture, build strategic alliances and transform public policy to benefit women business owners.

The Indianapolis chapter of NAWBO was established in 1997 and, with more than 220 members, is currently the largest of 70 chapters in the country. NAWBO-Indianapolis is the leading organization in Indiana connecting women business owners to information, growth opportunities, and each other. Through its advocacy efforts, economic impact, diversity, influence, membership size and power, NAWBO-Indy strives to propel Indiana to be a leading state for women-owned businesses.