Deborah Lopez has been a licensed Realtor in San Francisco since 1977 when she got her license to support herself and her two young children as a single mom while she attended UC Hastings College of the Law from 1980-1983. She currently works as a Broker Associate with Paragon Real Estate Group and has been a top producing agent (top 5% in San Francisco) throughout her career. Ms. Lopez got her BA in 1970 from UC Berkeley after transferring from the University of Michigan. Prior to beginning her career as a Realtor and entering Hastings, Ms. Lopez studied towards an M.A. in Early Childhood Education at San Francisco State and taught pre-school and parent education. She helped organize and obtain funding for the Mission Model Cities Childcare Program.
Ms. Lopez was Editor-in-Chief of the Hastings Law Journal and graduated Order of the Coif and Thurston Society. While Editor of the Journal, Ms. Lopez ran the first alumni fundraising campaign raising enough money to buy the Journal’s first computers in 1982. Ms. Lopez then practiced corporate litigation and real estate transactional law for 3 years with Pillsbury Madison & Sutro (Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman) and went on to become the liaison to the City Attorney’s Office and the Manager of Claims and Contracts for the General Manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. She lobbied on water and power issues at the state and federal level, oversaw the investigation and settlement of all accident claims against MUNI and the SF Water and Hetch Hetchy Power Departments and the leasing of over 60,000 acres of PUC land.
Ms. Lopez left the PUC to become the “Queen of Trash” – Vice-President and San Francisco Regional Manager of then Norcal Waste Systems (Recology). Responsible for all of the waste management operations in San Francisco, Ms. Lopez successfully integrated the recycling program into the rate structure of the companies enabling it to become a key part of the Zero Waste program of the City and County. Besides overseeing the management of 800 employees in companies with $100 million in revenues, Ms. Lopez managed political campaigns to protect the company’s franchise rights, negotiated labor contracts with the Teamsters and worked with management and employees through a stressful financial workout.
Ms. Lopez left Norcal to travel, scuba dive and live in South America where she met and married her second husband, Jorge. After developing a bed and breakfast and a land reforestation project in Ecuador and becoming fluent in Spanish, Ms. Lopez returned to a full-time real estate career in San Francisco in 1998. She is a Certified Residential Specialist (a designation held by fewer than 4% of Realtors nationally), a Certified International Specialist and holds a GREEN designation from the National Association of Realtors. But her favorite designation since December 2011 is “Grandma” to her darling granddaughter.