Deborah Szekely

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Deborah Szekely (née Shainman) was born May 3, 1922 and is a prominent Southern California-area activist, philanthropist, and writer from Brooklyn, New York. Hailed by the Huffigton Post as the [1] "Godmother of Wellness ,". Szekely, whose mother was a past vice-president of the New York Vegetarian Society, married [[Edmond [2]Bordeaux Szekely]] in 1939.[3]

In 1940, the couple opened a camp in Tecate, Baja California, Mexico, which they named Rancho la Puerta, where they could explore and test their ideas.[4] The couple had two children, Alexander and Sarah Livia.

In 1958,[5] Szekely opened] the Golden Door, a smaller luxury spa property in Escondido, California

She founded (COMBO), Combined Arts and Education Council of San Diego County in 1978, which has raised over $25 million to support 21 cultural organizations. In 1978 COMBO raised over $6 million to rebuild the Old Globe Theatre.[6]

Szekely ran as a Republican for a San Diego area congressional district in 1982. She came in fourth in the primary and did not run for another office.

From 1984 to 1990 she was President of the Inter-American Foundation (IAF), an independent foreign assistance agency of the United States government which furthers grassroots development by awarding grants directly to the organized poor in Latin America, Caribbean, and the groups that support their efforts.

Deborah Szekely founded Eureka Communities in 1991, a national leadership training program for CEOs of nonprofit organizations. She served as Eureka’s President through December, 1995, and is currently Chair Emerita.

After running for Congress, she conceived and launched Setting Course: A Congressional Management Guide. Now in its 13th edition, Setting Course continues as a comprehensive training and reference manual for newly elected Senators, Congress members and their staffs who are faced with setting up and managing a congressional office.

Representing the United States she was co-founder and co-president of the U.S.-Mexico Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange (Fulbright Commission). She has also served as the U. S.A. Principal Delegate to both UNESCO and the InterAmerican Commission on Women (CIM).

In 2012, Szekely founded Wellness Warrior, a non-profit 501(c4) organization in San Diego, California. Through membership fees and other donations the organization raises funds to act as a PAC (Political Action Committee) that lobbies members of Congress to support wellness initiatives.

In 2014 Szekely was inducted into the San Diego County Women’s Hall of Fame by the Women's Museum of California, the Commission on the Status of Women, the Women's Center at UC San Diego, and the Department of Women's Studies at San Diego State University.