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Alums Elected to Board of Overseers

New members to begin serving immediately


Bruce J. Feirstein (COM’75) (from left), Marcy Syms (COM’75), Maya Ezratti Rosenblum (COM’98), and Shamim A. Dahod (CGS’76, CAS’78, MED’87) (not pictured) will begin serving immediately.

Four University alumni — an internist, a screenwriter, the community relations director for a residential real estate firm, and a national clothing retailer — were elected to the BU Board of Overseers earlier this month. Shamim A. Dahod (CGS’76, CAS’78, MED’87), Bruce J. Feirstein (COM’75), Maya Ezratti Rosenblum (COM’98), and Marcy Syms (COM’75) will begin serving immediately.

Dahod is a primary-care physician and board-certified internist in private practice in Chelmsford, Mass. From 1990 to 1994, she practiced medicine at Concord Medical Associates in Concord, Mass., and since 1995, she has been practicing at Chelmsford Primary Care. She is an active staff member of Lowell General Hospital, serving as a corporator and a member of the Continuing Medical Education Committee. Dahod has been a member of the School of Medicine’s Board of Visitors since 2004.

She and her husband, Ashraf M. Dahod, have two daughters and a grandson and live in Andover, Mass., where she is active in the community. She is a member of the board of trustees at the Pike School.

A member of the Dawoodi Bohra community, a Shiite Muslim sect, Dahod has discussed the role of women in Muslim society in a U.S. News & World Report article titled “Muslim Mainstream.” She and her husband have cosponsored several philanthropic projects, including the construction of mosques in Massachusetts and New Jersey. She is also very involved in educational and health-care projects in the United States and in underdeveloped countries, with several projects in India, Yemen, and Myanmar. She and her husband were major contributors to a 250-bed hospital in Mumbai, India.

A best-selling author and screenwriter, Feirstein began his career in 1975, working in the advertising industry at firms in Boston and New York for high-profile clients, including Volvo, Sony, Pioneer Electronics, and FedEx. In 1980, he left advertising to become a freelance writer. His first book, Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche, was a New York Times best seller for 51 weeks and was translated into 16 languages. His second book, Nice Guys Sleep Alone, was published in 1986 and was made into a feature film in 1999.

Feirstein authored or coauthored the screenplays for three James Bond movies: The World Is Not Enough, Tomorrow Never Dies, and GoldenEye, and has has recently begun producing movies in China as the executive director of the IDG China Media Fund, run by BU Trustee Hugo Shong (COM’87, GRS’92). His writing has also appeared in Vanity Fair, where he has served as a contributing editor since 1994, the New York Times, where he wrote for the editorial page, the New Yorker, the New Republic, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, SPY, Playboy, and the New York Observer, where he has been a columnist since 1991. He is a 1998 recipient of COM’s Distinguished Alumni Award, as well as of a 2006 Boston University Alumni Award, the University’s highest alumni honor. He serves on the COM Advisory Board, was a member of the college’s External Review Committee, and helped found its internship and Spring Break programs in Los Angeles.

Rosenblum is director of community relations at G. L. Homes of Florida, a residential and commercial real estate company based in Sunrise, Fla. Founded in 1976 by her father, Itchko Ezratti, the company builds approximately 1,800 single-family homes and townhouses a year in Florida’s Broward, Palm Beach, Indian River, Collier, Lee, and Hillsborough counties. Her brother, Misha J. Ezratti (CGS’00, COM’02), is a project manager and vice president at the company.

Rosenblum serves on the philanthropic advisory board of the Cancer Schmancer Movement, a nonprofit organization that advocates through education and political activism for the early detection of women’s cancer. She also serves on the board of directors of the Young at Art Children’s Museum. In May 2005, she was honored at the Samuel M. and Helen Soref Jewish Community Center’s eighth annual Humanitarian of the Year Dinner in Fort Lauderdale. Rosenblum is also a board member of the Miami Beach Women’s Department for Jewish Federation.

Syms earned a master’s in public relations at the College of Communication and worked at Strauss Communications and New York’s WNEW and Channel 13 before joining Syms Corporation, the chain of off-price designer and name-brand clothing stores founded by her father. Syms became president of the family corporation in 1983, and in 1998 succeeded her father as chief executive officer, president, and director. She is the author of the business-strategy book Mind Your Own Business and Keep It in the Family and has been a featured columnist for Family Business magazine. She is a director of the Rite Aid Corporation, the nation’s third largest drugstore chain, and chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Advisory Board. She is also a director of the the New Jersey Governor’s Economic Growth Council, and a past chair of the Small Business and Agricultural Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Syms received the College of Communication’s 1997 Distinguished Alumni Award for Service to Profession. In 2002, she received a Boston University Alumni Award. She established the Marcy Syms Scholarship Fund in Public Relations, which awards scholarships annually to two women from the New York City area who are in COM’s master’s program in public relations and who have demonstrated a particular interest in corporate public relations. A graduate of Finch College, Syms was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at Princeton University and attended the Owner/President Management Program at Harvard University. She holds honorary degrees from Yeshiva and Bryant Universities.

Members of the Board of Overseers consult with University administration and deans on specific projects, sit on school and college advisory boards, assist in fundraising and community relations, and promote the interests of the University. Overseers are elected by the Board of Trustees to serve terms of one to three years. Terms may be renewable, but are limited to 10 consecutive years of service.

Jessica Ullian can be reached at jullian@bu.edu.

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