Dennis leaves American Jewish Committee

BY MIKE SHERWIN, STAFF WRITER

Betsy Gallop Dennis has stepped down as executive director of the St. Louis chapter of the American Jewish Committee and has accepted a new position at the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation.

Dennis has served as head of the St. Louis office of the AJCommittee since November 2002.

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Dennis has begun her new position as Alumni/Auxiliary Relations Manager at the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation.

In statement, Dennis said, “It has been an honor and a privilege to support such an incredible organization and while I may not continue as the staff person, my commitment to the mission of AJC is as strong as ever.”

AJCommittee Chapter President Matt Coen said Dennis has been an “incredibly strong leader.”

“She’s been a tremendous presence in the community and she’s done a great job being our bridge to the national organization and helping us cultivate the next generation of leaders at the AJC,” Coen said.

“We’re sorry to see her move on, but Betsy found a great opportunity, and she’s moving from a two-person office to the largest employer in St. Louis,” he said.

The AJCommittee will not replace Dennis with a new executive director. Rather, the office will be headed by the new position of a chapter coordinator, who Coen said will work closely with another new position, a “full-time, high-level regional” director working out of Chicago who will work with St. Louis and two other chapter offices. Coen said the St. Louis chapter is actively recruiting for the new chapter coordinator, and he expects the position will be filled within the next month.

Coen said that having close ties to the national-level coordinator in Chicago will help the St. Louis chapter remain “closely aligned” with the mission and goals of the national organization.

After celebrating its first 100 years in 2006, the AJCommittee is restructuring, creating several National Leadership Centers based in large metropolitan areas throughout the United States. For the Midwest region, there will be a National Leadership Center in Chicago, and the St. Louis chapter’s newly created Chapter Coordinator position will work directly with the National Director in the Chicago center.

Dennis is a native of St. Louis, and has deep ties to the St. Louis Jewish community. After graduating with her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Michigan, she earned a law degree from Duke University School of Law.

Prior to her post at the AJCommittee, Dennis worked as a lawyer in her father’s firm, Gallop, Johnson & Neuman, LLC, and as a corporate lawyer for the Medicine Shoppe International.

Dennis served on the AJCommittee’s board before she became executive director, and she has been active with Hadassah and the St. Louis Jewish Federation. The Gallop family was awarded in 1997 with The Netzach Award from the AJCommittee.

She is married to Joel Dennis, and the couple has two daughters, who attend the Saul Mirowitz Day School, where Betsy Dennis also serves on the board.