In June, the WBENC network will come together in Baltimore, Maryland for three days of rich programming, networking, and celebration at the 2019 National Conference & Business Fair. We are thrilled to have an amazing group of co-chairs who have collectively made this event a reality, including Capital One, EY, Pfizer Inc, Ampcus, APCO Worldwide, and Omega World Travel, Inc.
We invite you to learn more about each of co-chairs and their dedication to supporting women-owned businesses. Today, we’re proud to introduce Margery Kraus, Founder and Executive Chairman of APCO Worldwide, an advisory and advocacy communications consultancy helping public and private sector organizations act with agility to succeed.
Founder & Executive Chairman of APCO Worldwide
What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?
I often tell young women to “never underestimate the value of being underestimated.” The system is often rigged, but with a bit of thick skin, optimism, and a commitment to standing your ground, you can achieve anything. Every time you enter a room, you need to have the courage and go in with an attitude that proves you have something to offer and always speak your mind.
What three traits define you?
I’m a risk-taker, determined, and passionate. Without these traits, I would never have started my business and taken the risks that helped both me and company grow.
How has being a WBENC-Certified WBE helped your business?
Being a WBENC-Certified WBE has raised our profile as a women-owned business. Our visibility with clients has improved, and WBENC helps companies we work with fulfill their diversity requirements, while positioning us in the field as a role model for other upcoming businesses.
What do you see as the coolest or most important trend in your industry?
The most exciting thing to me is that companies are starting to look at the communications and public affairs industry as a vital strategic partner more than ever, allowing firms like ours to expand our role in promoting innovative global change. In addition, when I first started my business there were very few women in positions of power and prominence in the industry. I am glad to see that is changing as more female leaders are rising in the field.
As a business owner, what keeps you up at night?
It’s a balance act to ensure the firm is gaining the investment it needs to keep growing and taking care of the needs of our employees. Nourishment is important for both. Outside of the firm, there’s a lot we can’t control, such as the economy’s impact on our industry and company, and that’s something to always be wary of as well.
What’s your favorite career moment?
A special moment for me was leading the management buyout of my firm in 2004, making APCO one of the largest privately-owned communication and public affairs firms in the world.
If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
What do you like about your workspace?
I really like how open, light and inviting our space is, which makes it an accurate representation of our flat structure in the company.
Fill in the Blank
When I face a challenge, I…like to make myself the client and view things from their perspective.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself… don’t spend any time worrying about what others will think.
The one thing I couldn’t live without is… my family.
By this time next year, I will be … running a bigger business.
The best thing that happened to me recently was … when I was named one of PRWeek’s Top 20 Most Influential Communicators of the past two decades.
To get my creative juices flowing, I … spend some time in solitude.
About the Company:
APCO Worldwide is a global communication consultancy. We help the most innovative organizations adapt and thrive in this fast-moving, interconnected and complex world, enabling them to reach their business and societal goals. We bring our clients' work to life creatively and digitally through diverse thinking and a campaign mentality that is not limited by any particular service or discipline, but embraces a variety of integrated tactics to achieve success. APCO is a majority employee- and women-owned business.
Learn more at apcoworldwide.com