Exec Drives Business Development

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After Elizabeth DeMaso graduated from Syracuse University, an advertising headhunter urged her to take a job in new business.

"She said, 'You'll get exposed to a little bit of everything,'" recalls Ms. DeMaso, now senior VP-business development at Deutsch, New York.

In the decade since, she has proved the recruiter right. Not only has she worked with agency creatives, planners and account people, she's also had her share of client-oriented encounters.

One of her favorite experiences was making pizzas with Domino's franchisees before Deutsch pitched, and won, the $100 million account.

"I don't think I ever had so much fun in a new business pitch," she says.

Colleagues say Ms. DeMaso, 31, always is ready to roll up her sleeves for work, and not just to knead dough.

"She's a tireless worker," says Deutsch CEO Donny Deutsch. "Elizabeth has an incredible pulse on the agency and client business."

To keep up her prospecting -- she's in contact with about 10 clients each week -- she jokes that her family knows where to find her at 10 p.m. on Sunday night: at work.

However, her dedication has paid off. Last year, Ms. DeMaso was promoted from exec VP to senior VP. In 1998, she was a key player in establishing Deutsch's Los Angeles business department.

Ms. DeMaso began her career at Griffin Bacal, New York.

"The plan was for me to go into new business for a year or two years, then go into account management," she says. "But every time they tried to move me, I resisted."

She joined Griffin Bacal's business development department as a coordinator, and left five years later as a vice president.

"I learn something new every day," she says of building a career in business development. "Every day is like graduate school."

The most important lesson she's learned: "Don't just throw the learning away, even if you're disgusted after losing a pitch. Apply it to something else."

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