First working in the Jacobi family’s janitorial business and in her parents’ many community involvements, Dodie began her solo career as a professional performer at age 11. She graduated from Southern Methodist University with a bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance, but switched to the production side of show biz soon after. She worked first in the research and development division of Henson Associates (aka The Muppets). She then followed her mentor to Harrison/Erickson, where in addition to small business administration, she helped develop new concepts for stage, television, film, video, and children’s licensed merchandise for clients such as The Children’s Television Workshop and The Philadelphia Phillies.
Dodie left NYC to found her own production company, Designs & Details, which specialized in social and corporate events. The venture yielded extensive national media attention, a syndicated newspaper column, a training program for industry professionals, and several strategic alliances with media, including The Kansas City Star and local FOX Television affiliate, KSHB-41. During her 12 years as Designs & Details’ owner, Dodie founded GiftNet, a pre-internet gift registry aggregate, and began consulting with other business owners. After selling Designs & Details, Dodie served as President/CEO for Launch Plans Venture Partners, a boutique venture development firm that provided management consulting services and seed funding to high-growth companies.
A three-time entrepreneur who also co-founded three not-for-profit organizations, Dodie was instrumental in developing business plans for several entrepreneurship support programs funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation: Go Connection (a micro-lending source); KC SourceLink (an online referral forum for entrepreneurs); a course about entrepreneurship for matriculated business school students from three universities; and The Entrepreneurial Effect, a continuing education course for economic development professionals.
Dodie also has volunteered for many entrepreneurial support programs, including: Athena’s Power Link (mentoring for women entrepreneurs), The Kauffman Entrepreneur Internship Program (mentoring for college students), Springboard and Invest Midwest (VC investor forums), The Arts Incubator (a gallery, creative space, and support program for emerging artists), and Women’s CEO Roundtable (facilitated growth support group). She was the founding president of the Crossroads Community Association, a communications and advocacy group for a mixed-used, urban economic development success story in KC.
Currently, Dodie consults with small businesses in the for- and not-for-profit sectors about how to grow their ventures. She also teaches Missouri Bank’s Small Business Course and hosts Circles of Trust, peer advisory think tanks. Dodie is a frequently featured conference speaker and a quoted media source. Her advice has appeared in numerous recognizable media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, NPR’s Marketplace and Good Morning America. She lives in Hyde Park with dog Pippa, and can be found quilting, dancing the Samba (really!), or riding horse Sami on the trails at the Saddle & Sirloin Club.