WPO Guest Blog – Footprint Women: Interview with Renee Fraser

By Gunvor Engström


Renee Fraser; PhD, CEO

Position – PhD, CEO
Company – Fraser Communications
Founded – 1998
Number of employees – 20
Revenue – USD 30 million
Successes – Awards


How did you get to this position?

Always curious about what makes people ”tick”, I studied psychology and philosophy in college with no expectation to go into advertising. Conducting research to gain insights into human behavior was my passion and it lead me to complete my PhD at the university of Southern California. My focus was social psychology – the study of persuasion, attribution and motivation. Like Malcolm Gladwell, I am fascinated by why people behave as they do.

With a father from the Mad Men era of advertising, it is no surprise that, working as a researcher, I might find my way to advertising. Helping guide creative strategies, understanding how people consume media, determining what will engage them and how stories will connect with consumers, all of these are part of my passion for marketing and advertising.

After 15 years in the corporate world of advertising, four of those years running the Pacific region of a multi-national ad agency, Bozell, I decided to take control of my life and start my own firm. 1998 I started my own business, Fraser White Inc. I added White, my maiden name, in tribute to my parents. Operating as Fraser Communications we are one of the most successful women-lead and women owned ad agencies in the US. Fraser is focused on ”doing well by doing good” and we design and implement campaigns that make the world a better place – using communications for good causes as well as social marketing.

Click here to read more.

PwC – Next Generation Survey 2016: The Female Perspective

Views of Female NextGen Family Business Leaders

In our survey, we dug deeper to look at the perspective from female NextGens—many of whom plan to take over the business one day.

The gender gap issue in businesses continues to make headlines and we wanted to understand how do the female NextGen in family businesses feel about the prospect of leadership? The good news here is that 30% of the women we interviewed have a seat on the board, which is noticeably higher than the global average for public companies. Likewise, over half the women we spoke to disagreed that their gender would be a barrier to them running the family business, and nearly the same number said that their firm recognizes the value of having women in key positions.

While female NextGens are optimistic the gender gap is closing in their businesses, there is clearly work that needs to be done. One striking example is the noted difference in the leadership roles males and females are undertaking in their firm. Male NextGens tend to be involved in professionalising the firm whereas their female counterparts are more focused on professionalising the family in areas of corporate governance.

Click here to read the chapter from Pwc’s Global NextGen Survey.


*WPO would like to thank PwC for providing this week’s sponsor blog content.

WPO Guest Blog: Government Contracting – Starting, Sustaining, and Scaling

By Sonja N. Hines–President, H&S Resources Corporation and Member of the Women Presidents’ Organization.

The federal government purchases products and services from just about every industry. Key points to consider when doing business with the government are starting, sustaining and scaling. Many rules and administrative regulations require implementation before business can be done.


  • In order to do business with the government, you must first register your company in the System for Award Management Database (SAMS). SAM registration incorporates all government contractor information into one system. Contractors and vendors can register, file representations and certifications, and then search for contracting opportunities. A contractor enters information once, which reduces the risk of duplicating or entering conflicting information.
  • Determine your North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes. These ID codes which identify business establishments by category are to government contractors what Social Security numbers are to individuals.
  • Establish an account with the Federal Business Opportunity Database (FEDBIZOPPS) website, an internet data source about contracting opportunities & purchases the US government needs to make. It is one of some sources that post the government contracts.
  • Meet with the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) representatives at Federal Agencies to introduce your company and learn how the agency procurement cycle works.


Click here to read more.

Entrepreneur:The Perks of Being an Outlier CEO


By: Caren Maio

In school, the unpopular kids sit alone at lunch. Some of them just don’t fit in. In business, it’s much the same way. Fitting in is just as important. It’s the fast track to networking, perks and promotions. But what if you’re not part of the club?

I’m a female CEO of a New York real estate technology startup — an outsider to my industry in more ways than one. New York is 2,563 miles from Silicon Valley, the epicenter of new tech ventures. Real estate and technology companies are predominantly captained by men. Investors and customers alike can be sternly skeptical when a younger woman from the advertising world comes to transform how they do business in their fields.

Being an outsider comes with plenty of challenges. But this article isn’t about that. I’m here to say, without reservation, that these same differences can be an advantage — and have been for me. As an outsider, you’re freer to innovate and can see solutions others miss. Being different means you stand out from the competition, which can be an asset. And it’s far from a lonely struggle. Underdogs often build close-knit networks to help each other find their way. It hasn’t been an easy path, but here’s how being an outlier has given me an unexpected edge.

Click here to read more.

AVIS: Commit to Eliminating Distractions


Don’t become a statistic. Take ownership for your actions behind the wheel. Be at your best!

Whether driving to a meeting or after business hours, it requires your full attention. Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. This is the equivalent, at 55 mph, of driving the length of an entire football field, blindfolded!

Like any complex task, safe driving requires you to be at the top of your game. Focused attention, quick reaction time and smart decision making are needed every time you take the wheel.

Maintain a safe driving distance. On clear, dry roads, maintain 3-4 second spacing from the vehicle in front of you. Triple this when road conditions are poor.

Frequently scan your mirrors.

Drive safe! Obey laws and speed limits, use turn signals and don’t tailgate.

Visit avis.com/wpo to save up to 25% off your next rental.


*WPO would like to thank Avis for providing this week’s sponsor blog content.

WPO Guest Blog- Brand Reputation: From Foundation to Flourish

By: Rose McKinney, APR, CEO, PineappleRM


When your business opened, whether that was recently or many years ago, it started with a purpose. The company name and logo helped customers know what your business did; these also set expectations of what it would be like to do business with your company.

In essence, you created a brand. And, in time, your business went from making a brand promise to earning a reputation.

You might wonder once you have a brand, does it ever need a refresh? If there have been changes within the organization – new leadership, new product or service categories, new innovations, etc., this is a good time to determine the current relevance of message and imagery. It’s also a good idea to monitor the competition and make sure your brand – and its reputation – remains distinct and compelling.


*Rose McKinney is founder of PineappleRM, a Minneapolis-based communications firm focused on reputation management. She’s been an active member of WPO Minneapolis Chapter 1 since 2006.


Forbes: Why Stella & Dot CEO Jessica Herrin Stopped Trying To Do It All

By: Katia Savchuk


The way Jessica Herrin puts it, she nearly “died alone on I-Can-Do-It-All-Island.” When she started Stella & Dot, a direct-sales accessories company, 13 years ago, it was a side business while she worked full-time as a marketing manager at Dell and was pregnant with her first child.

Herrin already had one company under belt. At age 24, she had dropped out of Stanford Business School to cofound a wedding-gift registry site, which later merged with WeddingChannel.com. Five years after Herrin left the company, it sold to The Knot in a deal worth $78 million.

Today, as CEO of the Brisbane, Calif.-based Stella & Dot, Herrin, 43, has grown the company to a profitable enterprise with $300 million in revenues. It has paid some $300 million in commissions to more than 50,000 stylists, who keep up to 35% of the value of sales they make.

Last year the company expanded beyond trendy accessories to two new brands: KEEP Collective, a line of keepsake jewelry, and EVER Skincare. Herrin has an estimated net worth of $135 million, making her one of FORBES’ self-made women to watch in 2016 and well on her way to joining the rankings of America’s Richest Self-Made Women.

Click here to read full article.