TO BENEFIT JEWISH FAMILY SERVICE
Professionally Choreographed Dance Competition - Dinner
Members of our Cincinnati family count on our Jewish Family Service to be there in times of need. But they can’t be there without our support. Which is why I agreed to dance in the upcoming JFS fundraiser. My kids hope I don’t break a hip and I hope I make it through this once-in-a-lifetime experience with as little humiliation as possible, but what I wish for most is your benevolent backing.
Thank you for your generous support…and, please, be generous! It means so much to me and to the JFS, but, mostly to our community members facing challenges and stress.
How long have you lived in Cincinnati?
I’ve lived here all of my life, except for my college years. I was raised in Pleasant Ridge and was consecrated, confirmed and graduated from Wise Temple Religious School, as did both of my children. I attended Walnut Hills High School, then got an Economics degree from University of Michigan. I then returned to Cincinnati, and after a short stint as a Personnel Director at a plastics company, joined our family business, Mike Albert Fleet Solutions, beginning as Asst. Controller. I married local Jewish boy #1, Max Elkus and had two wonderful kids: Megan, who now is 35; and Matt, who now is 32. I am proud to have earned my MBA at night from Xavier and my JD at the University of Cincinnati. I passed the bar, but never practiced law; instead, I returned to the family business where I held several different positions, becoming President in 2000 and CEO in 2017. I did get divorced and had a “rebound” marriage to local Jewish boy #2, but that only lasted a few years. I’ve been single for 21 years.
What is your profession?
In addition to working for Mike Albert Fleet Solutions, I have also been involved with my family’s other business, the Superior Dealership Group. The most interesting aspect of that ride was the opportunity to be at the table to witness Hyundai Motors rise from the inferior product ashes and re-establish itself as a quality brand.
It has been an “interesting” journey as a woman in a predominately male industry. I’m happy to see that my generation has been able to bring us a long way, but we have a long way to go to achieve true gender equality.
What about your volunteer history?
The first thing that I remember doing for the social good was in high school. Way back then, they were building I-71 and original plans had it cutting directly through the beautiful park in front of WHHS. We coordinated a letter writing campaign and got them to move the expressway to the location that we know.
I’ve served on numerous philanthropic boards including: the Cincinnati Fire Museum; Wise Temple Sisterhood; the American Jewish Committee; the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati; the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati Executive Committee; the University of Cincinnati Law School Alumni Board; the Founding Board of Goering Center for Family Business at UC; the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce; and the HUC Annual Dinner Committee. I’m currently serving on the boards of the Greater Cincinnati Red Cross, the Plum Street Temple and the Jewish National Fund.
I used to deliver Meals on Wheels and have worked the IHN program at Wise Temple. I just completed a stint on search committee for the new Red Cross CEO, and I was also on the search committee that hired Lewis Kamrass as Wise Temple’s Senior Rabbi many years ago. I’ve also worked on programming for Goering Center. One year, I helped select the Simon Lazarus award winners for American Jewish Committee.
What are you hobbies?
I love to golf and knit. I enjoy listening to audiobooks while walking my little pup, Baxter. Travelling is great; I have visited Costa Rica, Italy, West Virginia, several cities in Florida, California (three times and several different cities), Charlotte N.C. and Washington, D.C. just in the past year.
What’s your best dancing asset?
I would say complete ignorance. I was on the drill team in high school, but have never had a professional dancing lesson in my life. I did spend many years attending choreographed exercise classes (for what that’s worth!).
What inspired you to dance for Jewish Family Service?
Once again, I would have to plead complete ignorance. Just kidding! I attended the first JFS Dancing With Our Stars event but was out of town for the last one. However, I called DWOS veteran Hank Schneider to inquire about the experience. He said that it was the most fun he has ever had and that I should do it. So, I suppose that you could say that Hank was my inspiration. Plus, the one I attended was a fun event for an excellent cause. And, I was a bit flattered when Judy Kadetz reached out to ask me to participate. I must admit that when viewing a DWTS television preview, what went through my head was “What the ____did I get myself into?
What don’t we know about you that would make someone want to support you?
Well, that even though I am about the oldest, I still volunteered to do this! I may never have had a dance lesson but I’m still willing to hit the dance floor! Despite my outgoing personality and true interest in talking to and learning about people, I am still the shy little girl who’s afraid to walk into the room; I’ve been speaking to large groups and managing work teams for many years, but entering the event space is still petrifying. I’ll need all the support (and financial backing that folks are willing to provide) to feel the love and overcome the terror that I am sure to experience upon approaching the stage.
What did your family say when you told them you were dancing?
TBD. I am forwarding this question to my daughter and my son/daughter-in-law and will advise you of their responses ASAP.
Marty Betagole is raising money for Jewish Family Service of Cincinnati by competing in the 2018 Dancing with our Stars gala on November 3, 2018. Your support helps strengthen lives in times of need.
Jewish Family Service, a 501(c)3 non-profit agency, strengthens lives of people in times of need by providing social services that guide them along their road to stability, self-reliance, and personal growth.
Your support helps us promote stability and wellness to families experiencing hunger and mental illness; mentor youth toward reaching their highest potential in school and life; and assist older adults with the help they need to manage their independence and live the best quality life possible.
Thank you for your vote!