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Women Bisnow
April 15, 2008


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


By Karin Tanabe, Bisnow on Business


‘Tis better to give than receive, may be the mantra many Washingtonians espouse but few have given it credence quite like Democratic fundraiser Beth Dozoretz. A fixture in Democratic circles since ’92, Dozoretz—get ready to raise your eyebrows Washington—needed some prodding by her husband before she discovered her passion for politics.


Dozoretz at home. The key to fundraising success? “Do not take it personally and don’t judge other people. Everyone has a right to give however they choose. You don’t know their personal financial situations or the other charities on their plates. If people are willing to take your call it’s a gift. And then be really grateful.”


“I was a big advocate for women, too,” says Worcester, Mass. native Dozoretz, who spent much of her professional life as an executive in the apparel industry. “I made it my job to make sure women had great opportunities.”


“Very few would expect to see me here,” says Dozoretz in her kitchen. People have this idea of me always being out and about—they would be surprised to know what a homebody I am. I came to motherhood very late so I had plenty of time to go out.”


Dozoretz made her foray into the world of fundraising when she received a call in ’92 from then-Senator Chuck Robb of Virginia, asking her to raise money for women in the Senate. “I remember sitting next to Senator Metzenbaum and thinking how great it was. I got hooked and raised a lot of money. I like fundraising because it’s a way that I can contribute to the process. Who’s in office influences the water we drink, the air we breathe.” Dozoretz served as Finance Chair for the Democratic National Committee in 1999, the first woman to hold the position.


In the sitting room where she hosted Queen Rania of Jordan. After leaving the apparel industry, Dozoretz worked side by side with husband Ron, founder and CEO of FHC Health Systems (of which they just sold half), until her son was born. “We have 50/50 men and women at the helm of the company and the new CEO is a woman.” Dozoretz remains on the board.


Since stepping off the full-time career path, Dozoretz has made personal study of women she admires: Hillary Clinton; Chairman and CEO of IHOP, Julia Stewart; and playwright Eve Ensler, to name a few. “If you choose to have a family, you will never live another day without guilt, there will always be more on your plate than you can handle. Don’t be too hard on yourself and know what’s authentic for you. You need to speak your mind and be willing to take risks. I always speak truth to power, maybe that’s why I get myself into a few tussles.”

At Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where she is Vice Chair of the Advisory Board of the Center for Public Leadership, Dozoretz recently spoke on a panel about her experiences as a woman in the business and political worlds. “I told the young women it’s quite likely that the boys don’t want the girl in the sandbox. Anticipate it and never give up.”

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