Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-06-09



Debbie Pacchioni, from soccer to renewable energy industry
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times

This article shared 3802 times since Sun Mar 8, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Soccer has been in Debbie Pacchioni's blood since she was a 4-year-old girl watching her father suit up for his first practice.

"I started playing in the streets with the boys in my Sao Paulo, Brazil, neighborhood," said Pacchioni. "We used rocks or sticks to make the goals and I was barefoot because my parents did not have any money to buy soccer shoes."

At first, Pacchioni was interested in playing volleyball professionally but that all changed when her team's strength and conditioner coach let them play soccer to warm up. The coach told Pacchioni, then 15, she should play soccer, not volleyball, and gave her the Brazilian national soccer team captain Marcia Onorio's phone number.

When Pacchioni visited her first soccer facility with her mom to meet Onorio, she was mesmerized.

"This was the first time I saw women play soccer against each other," said Pacchioni.

Shortly after that visit, Pacchioni started playing for the Brazilian national soccer team making her the first person in her village to become a professional soccer player.

"Brazil is a very male-dominated country where women are told to stay home and raise their children to the exclusion of other endeavors," said Pacchioni. "The fact that I was the first person from my village to become a professional soccer player, not a man, made me very happy."

Ahead of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, the Brazilian team's training ground was in Rapid City, South Dakota where the women's team stayed in the National American University ( NAU ) dorms.

Pacchioni said the NAU president at the time approached one of the Brazilian team's directors and told him he wanted to start a women's soccer program at the college and give a few of the players a full-ride athletic scholarship. This is how Pacchioni was able to go to college in the United States and become the first person in her family to leave Brazil.

While attending college, one of Pacchioni's best friends was planning to travel to Chicago for an interview in 2001 so she offered to go with her and share the driving duties.

"When I saw Michigan Avenue and Lake Michigan, I felt in love and realized that America was a big place with amazing cities," said Pacchioni. "I remembered I had been to Chicago before when I was representing the South Dakota State Select Team but I did not have a chance to explore the city due to training.

"I had a friend who was the president of the Illinois State Soccer Association living there already so I called him and said I wanted to move to Chicago. This is how I ended up living here and playing for the Illinois State Select Team and then the Midwest Select Team."

The move to Chicago meant changing colleges. Pacchioni graduated from Chicago's Robert Morris College with a bachelor's degree in business administration and management in 2003 and later got a master's degree in sports science and pedagogy from Gardner-Webb University, which is in North Carolina.

"I am the first person in my family to get a master's degree," said Pacchioni.

Pacchioni was on the cusp of playing for the U.S. women's soccer team; however, her immigration status prevented her from joining the team. This led her to start Sprouts Athletics, where she coached at the youth developmental level.

"My passion about teaching and child development was the catalyst for Sprouts Athletics, a program using a sport and its movement to boost cognitive development in young children," said Pacchioni.

After 17 years of coaching, Pacchioni saw that youth clubs were changing their focus to becoming a money-making enterprise versus a place where kids can learn and grown so she decided to take a break from coaching a few years ago.

"When my dad died and while facing depression, I realized I needed a change in my life," said Pacchioni. "I took a deep look from the inside out and started to work on myself. It was not an easy time, but it was needed. In the process, I started to realize that I wanted to do something bigger with my life by helping others as well as the ecosystem we live in."

Pacchioni started working as an independent consultant, bringing sponsors such as Wintrust, Go Go Yogurt, Kind Bar and others to the professional women soccer league.

Another client was an English sporting goods brand that she helped break into the U.S. soccer market.

"Although I was having success as a consultant, I knew my calling was in the sustainable/green industry but I had no clue how to start," said Pacchioni. "I was introduced to the renewable energy industry and it fascinated me so I started working for Voltaic Energy Solutions, where I act as a broker to provide homeowners with the renewable energy solutions that best match their needs."

"My job is to educate communities, homeowners and businesses so they become energy independent while also helping the planet. My goal is to help individuals find renewable solutions to meet their needs in a more efficient and cost-effective way."

Pacchioni recently started her own renewable energy company, 312 Solar Group. Her dream is to provide jobs, especially for women and immigrants, through her company and as a result, have her employees feel good about their job and what they are doing for the environment. Pacchioni's long-term goal is to create solar farms to reduce carbon emissions due to fossil fuels.

Until recently, Pacchioni was not interested in a long-term romantic relationship. However, that all changed over three years ago, when she met Lauren Ducoli, who has two kids they are raising from a previous relationship.

"Life is way too short for us to not be who we are," said Pacchioni. "We need to follow our dreams and stand up for what we think it is right—no matter what."

For more information about 312 Solar Group, contact Pacchioni at .

This article shared 3802 times since Sun Mar 8, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

9/11 Memorial Stair Climb and Walk taking place at Soldier Field
In remembrance of the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, members of the public will join area firefighters to climb the stairs of Soldier Field in honor of the 343 firefighters from the FDNY who ...

Gay News

Olympics: Japan tops U.S. in gold-medal softball game
In the Olympics, host country Japan beat the United States 2-0 to take the gold medal on July 27. Softball was added to the games at host country Japan's request, and from the moment it became ...

Gay News

NBC Sports apologizes for misgendering Olympian; GLAAD responds
GLAAD responded to media coverage of the first several days of the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo, including the misgendering of Team USA skateboarder Alana Smith. Smith made Olympic history July 25 as the first ...

Gay News

Olympics: Women's soccer team advances to quarterfinals
United States women's national team (USWNT) forward Alex Morgan had a goal disallowed as the squad settled for a 0-0 tie with Australia in its final game of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics group stage, noted. ...

Gay News

Gay British diver wins Olympic gold
The British team of Tom Daley and Matty Lee narrowly won the 10-meter synchronized diving competition on July 26 at the Tokyo Olympics, upsetting favored China and keeping the diving powerhouse from any chance of a ...

Gay News

Chicago Red Stars fall to Gotham 2-1
The Chicago Red Stars' Makenzy Doniak scored in the second half's stoppage time—but the team ultimately lost to NJ/NY Gotham FC 2-1 at Harrison, New Jersey, on July 25. Allie Long and Midge Purce scored for ...

Gay News

NATIONAL California cases, trans woman killed, Pride staircase, sports law
Proponents of Proposition 8 have to file a brief on or before Aug. 16 to show they have standing to appeal a district court decision to release tapes of the landmark Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial that ...

Gay News

Women's soccer: U.S. Olympic team bounces back with 6-1 win
Days after Sweden snapped the U.S. women's national team's (USWNT's) 44-game win streak with a deflating 3-0 loss, the U.S. team scored a 6-1 victory over New Zealand on July 24, The Sporting News noted. The ...

Gay News

Gina Ortiz Jones, Shawn Skelly confirmed by U.S. Senate; both make LGBTQ history
--From a press release - Washington, DC — The United States Senate today confirmed two historic LGBTQ presidential nominees by unanimous consent. Gina Ortiz Jones, confirmed for Under Secretary of the Air Force, will be the first out lesbian to serve ...

Gay News

Women's soccer: Sweden snaps United States' 44-game win streak
In women's soccer, Sweden dominated the United States 3-0 on July 20 in Tokyo, snapping the Americans' 44-game winning streak in convincing fashion, Yahoo! Sports reported. The U.S. team entered this event as heavy favorites to ...

Gay News

Hockey prospect makes history by coming out
Just weeks after the first active pro-football came out as gay, a professional hockey prospect has done the same. Nashville Predators prospect Luke Prokop has come out as gay, becoming the first active player under contract ...

Gay News

Trans model makes history with SI Swimsuit cover
On July 19, Sports Illustrated (SI) Swimsuit announced this year's cover models: rapper Megan Thee Stallion, tennis player Naomi Osaka and model/actress Leyna Bloom—each making history in her own way. A press release sent to Windy ...

Gay News

Chicago Red Stars net 3-1 victory over OL Reign
Vanessa DiBernardo and Kealia Watt celebrated league milestones as the Chicago Red Stars defeated the OL Reign at home (SeatGeek Stadium) on July 18. DiBernardo reached the 10,000th minute mark in her NWSL (National Women's Soccer ...

Gay News

Billy Masters
"No excuses—I messed up. I'm a big sports fan. I'm like the guy at the end of the game who misses a free throw or a kick."—Spike Lee explains why he prematurely announced the winner of ...

Gay News

Queer In(n) producers announce inaugural installation unveiling, upcoming website
Partners and co-producers, Kelli Simpkins and Adithi Chandrashekar are creating a curated, generative online arts gallery called Queer In(n). The inaugural unveiling of a five-foot-by-six-foot wheat paste portrait of longtime ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.