Ellen Sarver Dolgen is active in promoting women's health and well being around the world. Currently founder and president of Shmirshky Universal, and a principal of Dolgen Ventures (with her husband David), she is the author of the ground breaking menopause book, Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness by E (published by Voice/Hyperion and written in collaboration with her entrepreneur son Jack Dolgen). Since the book was self-published in 2009, Dolgen has unleashed a fresh, informative, and entertaining dialogue about perimenopause and menopause, inspired by her own struggles with what she calls "PM&M." She has been featured on the Rachael Ray Show, Oprah's radio channel, Playboy's satellite radio station (where she sold hundreds of books within minutes to men desperate to understand their wives and to continue happy sexual relations with them), and in The New York Post. Charismatic and highly relatable - in that best girlfriend way - Dolgen has hosted Shmirshky parties and speaks around the country. In May Dolgen was invited to The First Lady's Mother's Day Tea at the White House, where Michelle Obama said she needed a copy of the book now.
What is "shmirshky"? Dolgen answers: "Let me start by saying that 'shmirshky' is what I call my vagina. It also means woman. So I both have, and am, a shmirshky!" And what is Shmirshky the book? Shmirshky is the first menopause book of its kind - it's quick, entertaining, and full of love - and it's is a far cry from the solemn menopause guides on the shelves. Dolgen's mission - motivated by her own (initially) terrible experience - is to take menopause out of the closet and inform women about their options, sharing her experience, and what she's learned so that other women can thrive and live their best lives and not suffer through PM&M. In fact, she started writing Shmirshky as a letter to her daughter Sarah, so that Sarah didn't have to experience the pain and confusion of PM&M alone. Dolgen is an authentic, funny, and genuinely interested and interesting presence, and her shmirshky talks are groundbreakingly clever, funny, and provide an entirely serious girlfriend's guide to PM&M.
Two thirds of the female adult population of the U.S. is now 40+, and every four minutes another American woman enters menopause. And face it; menopause doesn't have a great reputation. It's rarely talked about, and when it is, it's usually quickly dismissed and often dreaded. In her Shmirshky talks, Dolgen redefines this time in a woman's life, turning a taboo topic into an all-inclusive serious and seriously informing gabfest. Whether you're a 45-year-old woman in perimenopause or an 18-year-old man who thinks his mom is in need of an exorcism, Shmirshky is the perfect introduction to a subject we all encounter in one way or another. Dolgen's irreverent, no-holds-barred tone and girlfriend-to-girlfriend perspective make her talks compulsively entertaining, as well as packed with essential information and resources.
Dolgen has continued her lifelong commitment to health and wellness through board representation, event organization, and fundraising, most recently for the Obama campaign, and served on the Host Committee for DNC Women's Leadership Forum. Dolgen currently serves on the Community Advisory Board of Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. She has also served on boards, committees, and chaired numerous events for Fresh Start Women's Foundation, Angel Charity for Children, San Diego Hospice, Brandeis University, the Phoenix Heart Ball, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Weizmann Institute of Science, Brewster Auxiliary, and Handmaker Home for the Aging.
Dolgen's previous work includes public relations, fundraising for national political campaigns, corporate representation, investment advising, hotel operations, not-for-profit fundraising and cultural and community leadership. She was the National Deputy Treasurer of the 1980 Carter-Mondale re-election campaign; was a member of Berman and Associates, a Washington, D.C., consulting firm; served as National Finance Coordinator for U.S. Senator Henry M. Jackson's 1976 bid for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination; and worked for the national United Jewish Appeal in New York City.
Dolgen and her husband live in Coronado, California, and have two adult children, Sarah and Jack.
Praise for Ellen Sarver Dolgen and Shmirshky:
"As a proud member of the "Shmirshky Sisterhood", I can honestly say that E's book Shmirshky is informative, engaging and hilarious! Shmirshky allows women who are about to embrace "PM and M" do so with power, wisdom, and most importantly, a sense of humor."
--Sarah Brokaw, author of Fortytude: Making the Next Decades the Best Years of Your Life, from the 40s, 50s and Beyond
"As a clinical endocrinologist, I see women every day who have the issues E discusses so vividly. I am going to make Shmirshky mandatory reading for them. I can imagine Shmirshky Clubs springing up around the country. We owe E a huge thanks for making us aware of, and helping us laugh with, women going through PM&M (perimenopause and menopause). We, their husbands, salute you."
-- Daniel Einhorn, MD, FACP, FACE, Medical Director, Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute, Clinical Professor of Medicine, UCSD
"Every woman needs to read this book. With great humor, some of which had me howling with laughter, E concisely and intelligently illustrates some of the diverse experiences women may have during the perimenopausal and menopausal years. She provides an insider's view into the ways in which women can turn a difficult journey into an uplifting rallying cry for love, caring and support."
-- Joseph F. Kennedy, MD, FACOG, Board Certified ABOG
"Je me suis rendu compte que finalement il n'y avait aucune difference entre une Shmirshky francaise et une Shmirshky americaine! Quelle bonne nouvelle! (I found out that there is no real difference between French and American shmirshkies! Good news!)"
-- Michele Ferrebeuf, President, McCann Erikson France
"This book saved my wife!"
-- The-one-and-only Husband of E
"An essential read for all women or anyone with a woman in their life - husbands, boyfriends, even the kids! Quite possibly the most perfect Mother's Day gift. An informative, fun and engaging read!"
-- Author Derek Kent
"The book is terrific. Informative, funny, clever, supportive, loving... all the things a sweaty, bloated, edgy middle-aged woman needs!"
"I want to thank you for offering such inspiration and sharing your knowledge and experiences with others. I know that you'll continue to motivate other women, as I have been, to live truly fulfilled lives. I consider your book a gift and will definitely recommend it to my circle of friends and beyond."
"I especially enjoyed the part about interviewing doctors because I actually did that. I asked if I could have a consultation and I went through three before finding someone that knew more about a women's body than delivering babies. I love my gyno... she is about 45 and very hip... like talking to a friend and it is so comforting to be able to speak to someone who cares and understands."