Career ladder: After spending the early part of her career coordinating HUD programs, she led the Arab American Institute as Michigan director. In 2003, she was asked to help organize the U.S.-Arab American Forum as vice president of operations. Beydoun managed fundraising and connected with oil company CEOs and more. She helped develop forums in Detroit, Houston and Washington, D.C. She joined American Arab Chamber in 2008, the same year she became COO of Tejara and Tejara Global Business Development Center, an incubator for minority- and immigrant-owned businesses. Now 52, she helped to create the Council of Ethnic Chambers of Commerce, which shares best practices. She serves as its executive co-chair.
Power metrics: The American Arab Chamber has a budget of $500,000 and around 1,200 members, up from 650 in 2011. Beydoun had a key role in the U.S.-Arab Economic Forums; and she has raised $10 million for various nonprofits and business organizations.
Super power: "I multi-task really well. … What helps is always looking at the bigger picture."
Big win: Working on three U.S.-Arab Economic Forums. "We had every CEO from every major oil company, CEOs of major auto companies, seven of the top 10 Fortune companies represented. It was a very big international event."
Surprising fact: She adores accessories, earrings or a fashionable purse. And she uses them to convey her professional image. "It's my armor — my mental preparation for the day."
Involvements and boards: Many boards, often focused on international and ethnic businesses and exporting so they complement each other. Among them are New Detroit, East Michigan Export Council, Global Detroit. Co-founded the US Arab Women's Business Council. Third vice chair of the Michigan Democratic Party.
Best mentor: "My father. He gave me the confidence to not allow the fact that I am a woman stop me from doing anything that I wanted. Even if it meant being the only female in a room."
How do you help other women succeed? She's mentored young women, primarily young professional Arab American women, for 20 years. "By mentoring young women professionals, discussing with them career and life challenges and sharing experiences. By setting an example for young women who operate in male-dominated endeavors and how to be considered an equal."
Quote: "Someone once told me: 'The smartest person around the table is the quietest one. Not the one who's creating the most noise. Sit back and observe.' "
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