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Women Bisnow
April 10, 2008


This issue of Washington Women is presented by
Reznick Group:
"Building Business Value"


By Stacey Pfarr, About Town Editor, Bisnow on Business


Though you won’t see her in a boxing ring on Fight Night, Michela English, CEO of Fight For Children, is slugging it out for the District’s needy kids. A noted businesswoman by background, Michela has spent the last two years applying her money-making skills in the non-profit world, as head of the charity that has raised over $80 million from private sources and made grants to 150 community organizations


Fight For Children is most famous as the parent of Fight Night, the Washington event started by Joe Robert, founder of a mammoth international real estate investment firm. For the last 18 years, Fight Night has mushroomed into an over-the-top, cigar-laden event at the Washington Hilton where the Who’s Who of (male) DC gather to watch boxing, eat steak, and hobnob with celebrities. It’s a lot of fun—and raises millions for charity. (In 2007, a record-setting $3.1 million in just one night.)  With all that money flowing in, Joe needed a business-minded person to disburse the funds. Enter Michela, whose  resume includes a Masters of Public and Private Management from Yale, time at McKinsey, Marriott, and National Geographic.  Most recently, she was president and COO of Discovery.com. Her first job out of college was working in child welfare in Newport News, and her leadership post at Fight For Children draws on that passion. 


Michela shows us some underwater pictures her son took in the Turks and Caicos. The giraffe, purchased at a school auction, reminds her of a family trip to Africa last summer. 


At the moment, Michela’s organizing this month’s School Night gala at the DC Convention Center. Featuring a live performance by Grammy magnet John Legend, the event is chaired by Mayor Fenty and wife Michelle, and Washington Mystics Managing Partner and BET co-founder Sheila Johnson. NBC White House Correspondent David Gregory will emcee. Proceeds support Fight For Children’s Quality Schools Initiative, which awards $100,000 grants to three District schools for  best practices in leadership, training and professional development. Michela is also creating an action agenda for improving the quality of life for kids within DC, the research for which she says will help set priorities for public and private investment.

For more information or tickets to the School Night fundraising gala on April 24,  visit www.fightforchildren.org, or call 202-772-0436.

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