The Oxford dictionary defines a “True Professional” as a person whose job performance is exceptional and whose professionalism is remarkable.  It also defines “philanthropic” as a person or organization seeking to promote the welfare of others, and it goes on to define “philanthropy” as a private initiative for the public good focusing on the quality of life.  

As I continue with my recognition of females within our community who have achieved a remarkable level of “Giving Back,” I have the honor of writing about a person who not only is a True Professional within the world of engineering but is a noted philanthropist as well,  Adolphine “Dodie” Keith-Lazowick, CEO of Keith of Pompano Beach.  We all know her as Dodie and as the daughter of William “Bill” Keith.  Her dad was a legend
in Broward, Dade, and Palm Beach Counties and after his untimely death at what is today considered a young age, his daughter stepped into a big empty pair of shoes.  The professional community had its doubts as to her ability to be successful.  Today, Keith is still at the forefront of professional services within the engineering and planning communities and Dodie has not only expanded the firm but simultaneously honored the Keith family legacy both professionally and philanthropically.  A remarkable Horatio Alger story.  

Under the direction of Dodie, CEO of Keith, the firm has positioned itself into managing some of the largest infrastructure projects in the three counties.  Projects of particular note to our area are The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Expansion, City of Pompano Beach and Deerfield Beach CRAs, Broward County Courthouse, Florida Department of Transportation major infrastructure projects, Miami Tunnel, Nova Southeastern University Master Drainage Plan, AIA Improvements in Broward County, City of Parkland Master Plan, and the list goes on.  I believe the completed projects of the firm are testimony to their exceptional professionalism and the extraordinary leadership of Dodie Keith-Lazowick. However, this is an article about Giving Back.  

A person can give in many ways.  Some give to their professional organizations, others to religious affiliation or humanitarian efforts, and others just share the wealth.  There a few that do it all.  Dodie is one of the few.  On a professional level, she has held corporate positions within the FSMS, Florida Society of Surveying & Mapping.  Within our community, she has served organizations both large and small.  As a Board Member
of the Broward Partnership for the Homeless, she has moved through the various officer levels during her tenure since 2007 and was Chair of the Annual Salute to Leadership for four years running.  Dodie also served on the Broward County Small Business Development Advisory Board and has been responsible for mentoring start-up disadvantaged businesses.  One of her special interests is the Seafarers’ House Place of Welcome where, through in-kind service and inspiring others to get involved, she was awarded the South Florida Business Leader of the Year Award in 2019. On a local level, she has been a Board Member, major donor and all-out champion of the Sample McDougald House Preservation Society, Inc. As such, she donated professional resources to assist in the moving and renovation/preservation of the House and was Chair of four consecutive fundraising events at John Knox Village, themed “Breakfast at The Big House.”

Dodie is a former resident of the City of Parkland and has served her local community on the Parks & Recreation Board, Youth Recreation Soccer Club, Parkland Educational Resource Committee, Planning & Zoning Board, Charter Review Board and, when she ran for public office, she was elected to The City Commission and served from 1991 to 1995.  Currently, she makes her domicile in the City of Pompano Beach in order to be closer to her corporate offices.  

One cannot forget her “Sisterhood,” and so in 2012 Dodie was honored as a recipient of the Broward County Women’s Education & Empowerment Award.  In addition to the above, she serves on the Port Everglades Association Board and the City of Pompano Beach and City of Deerfield Beach Chambers of Commerce.  

The above philanthropic endeavors were achieved while Dodie unexpectedly inherited the firm from her father Bill Keith upon his death. Although many doubted her abilities, Dodie never flinched. The firm has grown to 170 employees with offices in numerous cities in Florida and has continued to be a force within the planning and engineering components of the rapid urbanization of our region. Daddy’s little girl never gave up wanting to honor her father. She fought tirelessly to honor his accomplishments within Broward County. To that end, she has been instrumental in having two parks within our County bear his name.  She lobbied, donated, and worked as a tireless advocate, and, yes, she succeeded.  I guess that is that stuff form which “True Professional Philanthropists” are made.

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