From Fired to Fabulous: A Conversation with Beth Solomon
“How many of you have ever been fired from a job?” she asked an overflow crowd of Washington Network Group (WNG) guests last week, during a conversation over cocktails at the 18th Street Lounge. Quite a few hands went up. “How many of you have been fired more than 10 times?” Laughter. No hands up. So began a delightful presentation by Beth Solomon, author of the upcoming book, Fired to Fabulous!
We know her foremost as Founder of The Georgetown Dish. Thank you, Beth!
Too modest to tell WNG, but here's what she's been doing:
With journalism in her genes — her mother was a society reporter for the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Chicago Tribune; her aunt was Nina Hyde, the Washington Post Fashion Editor — Beth began her career as a radio reporter in East Africa for the Voice of America, Radio France, and Deutsche Welle. As a freelance producer for ABC News, she covered the fall of the Berlin Wall and the first democratic elections in Eastern Europe after the breakup of the Soviet Union.
When her parents asked Beth to come home to get a “real job,” she was somewhat offended, but soon returned to Washington and begged for a job as a receptionist at the Atlanta Constitution’s national bureau in D.C. There, she began writing op-ed columns on politics. Her writing led to a role as a speechwriter for U.S. Senator Sam Nunn (D-Georgia), serving on the staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Always interested in communications and politics, Beth later co-founded Planet Vox, producing documentaries and media for public interest campaigns. This led to senior strategic communications roles at the National Association of Manufacturers, the International Franchise Association and the National Restaurant Association.
Along the way, Beth was recruited to be an executive headhunter with global search firm CTPartners, where she served for four years, and worked in Hollywood at talent agency William Morris Endeavor helping represent Stan Lee, Chuck Norris, Michael Moore and others. While in Los Angeles, she wrote a weekly column for the Santa Monica Daily Press.
Eventually missing her hometown of Washington, she headed east and founded The Georgetown Dish before being recruited to be CEO of the National Association of Development Companies, representing commercial real estate lenders. From there she was hired as Vice President of the Government Practice by U.S. Bank, the nation’s fifth-largest commercial bank. She is now Managing Director of Strategic Initiatives & Development at CARE International, the global humanitarian and development organization focused on women and girls.
With self-effacing humor, Beth described a few forks in her rocky but enlightening road. On one occasion, she was going into a meeting, proud of her recent accomplishments, poised to ask for a promotion, when it turned into please close the door- we're going in a different direction- pack up your desk- your staff has left the building - leave now kind of morning.
For the record, she wasn’t fired from every job, but enough to fill a book. We know it all ends well.