Location: Bethesda, MD
Industry: Professional services
“I co-founded the agency after spending years in traditional ad agencies, trying to reinvent approach and process to meet the ever-changing needs of marketers,” says Beth Johnson, CEO of RP3 Agency. “It was like pushing a boulder up a mountain. But an opportunity came when my agency’s owner abruptly closed the company where I had been employed for 15 years. I knew it was time to build something new.”
Fun Fact: RP3 offers employees time off for so-called “Karma Days” to encourage volunteering in the community.
At the time she started RP3, Johnson had two daughters, ages 7 and 9. “Nothing is more important to me than being present for my family, and the demands of starting and running a business have forced me to define my priorities and make difficult choices,” she says. “By surrounding myself with a strong team — at home and at work — I’ve found a way to juggle the demands of my various roles. Have I made every soccer game? No. But I’ve made the most important ones, and I firmly believe my kids have benefited from this journey as much as I have.”
Trying to strike this balance has also influenced Johnson’s leadership style, and the culture she has created at RP3. “It’s not only OK for an employee to leave work to see a child’s dance recital, it’s expected,” she says. At the same time, “I strive to inspire our team to achieve more than they ever thought possible.”