Reflecting on Janet Casey’s 2021 Adweek Women Trailblazers Win
“Only 2% of Women-Owned Businesses Break the $1M Mark.” This Forbes headline lives behind our President and Founder’s desk.
If I remember right, a friend gave it to Janet Casey after Marketing Doctor officially reached 7-figures in annual revenue. Janet clipped it from the page and tacked it to the very top of the corkboard.
Under Janet’s leadership, that headline is a reminder of success against all odds. A reminder of how many others did not get the opportunity. A reminder of how much work has been done and how much work is left to do. Ultimately a reminder to be proud, stay humble, and do good.
As a company, we celebrate with pride, and flair! We pump up the music. We throw parties every holiday — and then some. But we do not take that success for granted and, most importantly, we do not let that success end with ourselves.
A few years ago, Janet walked into our weekly all-hands meeting with a copy of the latest Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing Private Companies in America. She said: “A friend from WPO (Women Presidents’ Organization) crunched the numbers and we would have made this list. We’re going to enter next year!”
And we did. We made the list. We ranked even better than we could have dreamed at the time: #2702 on a list of 5000 highly successful companies. This is a prominent, national award, and it was our first one.
We went on to win it again, ranking even higher, the following year: #1452 out of 5000. And we’re on track to do it again this year.
“Ambitiousness” is one of our core values. It’s no surprise it comes from the top down in an organization like ours. As a leader, your dreams, actions, and bandwidth affect your whole team. With Janet, that bandwidth feels limitless most days. As our company grows, the broader dreams come into focus, more achievable each year. And still, with each win, a sense of almost disbelief — are we really here?
In 2019, I walked into the office with a copy of Adweek’s Inaugural Fastest Growing Agencies List. Kicking myself for not seeing the entry window in a prior issue, I handed it to my new colleague, Brandon. In that moment, I determined: “We should be on this! Let’s win it next year!”
And we did. #29 out of 50. In the world.
Now, Brandon oversees our award entries, with the same determinations of “Next Year!” and “This Year!” The same ambitious path started by Janet, carried on by the team, full of guts, pride, and optimism for what we’re building together, each and every day.
Last year, Adweek announced their very first Women Trailblazers issue and Brandon and I declared it a “Next Year!” goal.
In the right place at the right time, I happened to see the 2021 Adweek LinkedIn post asking for nominations. I jumped on the opportunity (#firstcomment). They were seeking Women Trailblazers of 2021 who “muscled through a challenging year to change media, marketing and tech.”
Without a doubt or hesitation, I knew this was the year Janet Casey was meant to win this award:
- a full-time small business owner (the active kind of owner that’s in the trenches with you, every hour of the day)
- a Mother of four kids who were suddenly remote schooling in separate corners of the house
- a boss/mentor to 25+ employees each dealing with their own pandemic struggles at home
- and still, an active member of her community and a number of professional organizations, largely centered on supporting other women.
Janet, a woman who, in her twenties, bravely started “her own thing” because the old boys’ club was an unfriendly and unwelcoming place for mothers to build a career. She had a vision for something better. So, she built it.
- Lately, we continue to achieve more than $2M a month in revenue.
- Our internal “Mom Squad” meets regularly to ensure they have unlimited flexibility and enough tangible support throughout this time and beyond.
- There’s always a focus on being proactive about personal mental health.
- Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team is new and thriving and reading “So You Want to Talk About Race” as a book club.
- Our Marketing team hosted a contest for a local, diverse business enterprise to win a $30k advertising campaign.
- Our pro bono efforts are ongoing even as our New Business contract minimums rise each quarter.
We do not take a single piece of our success for granted, especially after muscling our way through 2020 and 2021.
Adweek honors Janet as one of 35 Women Trailblazers. She is next to some of the most prominent women of our time: Vice President Kamala Harris, MSNBC President Rashida Jones, Company Accessibility Leader of Procter & Gamble, Sumaira Latif, Reuters Executive Editor Gina Chua, Initiative Global CEO Amy Armstrong, and actor, author, and CEO of Pattern, Tracee Ellis Ross.
Janet insists this award is because of the team. And we, the team, insist back that if it’s because of the team, it’s because of her leadership. This is especially true during a year that could have crushed us all in more ways than one. It’s because of how she brings us along with her as she blazes paths forward, passing torches down the line, showing us how to do the same and not letting anything get in our way.
-Kate, Director of Sales