SpeakerBox Communications

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Company:SpeakerBox Communications, McLean, VA, USA
Company Description:SpeakerBox is the high-tech sector’s dedicated public relations firm, built specifically to meet the rigors of tech-based business communications: crystallizing complex ideas, targeting sophisticated buyers, and moving at the speed of technology.
Nomination Category:Company/Organization Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category:Women-Run Workplace of the Year - More Than 10 Employees

Nomination Title: SpeakerBox Communications

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated organization since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):

SpeakerBox Communications proves you don’t have to be big to have a big impact.

SpeakerBox is a 100% women-owned and managed small business. Located, in McLean, VA, the firm specializes in communications and marketing for technology-focused businesses of all sizes, from start-up to publicly traded.

In the tech communications space, although women comprise a large percentage of the workforce, agency management remains overwhelmingly male.

Elizabeth Shea, SpeakerBox Communications CEO, started SpeakerBox in 1997 with the goal of providing the best communications and marketing counsel to technology companies. But along the way, if she could help shatter the glass ceiling for women in technology communications, well, all the better.

And that’s just what she did.

She worked hard to engage and grow the local tech community, founding The Marketing Alliance, a close-knit group of senior tech executives and invited many women executives. She joined the boards of MindShare, an invite-only professional business mentoring group for CEOs and was named Vice Chair of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), a global network of 8,000 business owners who help one another grow professionally.

Every step of the way, Elizabeth and SpeakerBox have championed helping women achieve professional success. As one example, when she joined EO, women comprised approximately 10% of the membership. Today that number is up to 30%. The SpeakerBox executive team also gives back to the community through their leadership in the non-profit group Women in Technology and other organizations.

This focus on nurturing a tech ecosystem along with a focus on doing exceptional work for clients has led to enormous success for SpeakerBox.

In the past year, SpeakerBox has seen 20% growth in revenue. The firm achieved this impressive growth by making key investments in infrastructure, personnel, and business development, doubling down on these investments when the economy wasn’t as strong. Now, those investments are paying off.

The firm maintained and grew existing business while adding a number of important new clients. It substantially grew its Business to Government (B2G) offerings by targeting blue-chip technology companies. Today the firm counts Red Hat, Symantec, Juniper, Intel, Motorola Solutions and Aquia as clients and its growing headcount has necessitated new office space.

In addition, the firm executed an entirely new messaging platform and rebrand to reflect the evolving communications landscape and the nature of its changing work, launching a new website at www.speakerboxpr.com and associated marketing material.

The firm also made an effort to expand its commitment to providing a strong work-life balance. This year, employees enjoyed a flexible schedule, remote work plans, and even a sabbatical program that allows those who have worked 5 years at the firm to take 4 weeks of PTO. 30% of the firm has already earned their first or second sabbatical, a testament to the longevity of its employees in an industry that usually sees much higher turnover. In addition, the firm is planning to take a fully-paid trip to Mexico together in January as an incentive for meeting revenue targets.

In the past year, SpeakerBox Communications proved that investing in equality, community, and culture while doing great work and having fun, isn’t just the right thing to do, but great business too.

Provide a brief biography of the person or persons who lead the nominated company (up to 125 words):

Elizabeth Shea is president and CEO of SpeakerBox Communications, the firm she cofounded in 1997. Elizabeth spent the first part of her career in Silicon Valley, working for Apple Computer and other technology companies. She then relocated to the east coast to work for top-tier government integrators.

Elizabeth prides herself on being active in the community. She serves as chair of the board for the Technology Marketing Alliance, a group she co-founded with other industry partners. She also serves on the board of the Entrepreneur Organization, a global organization of CEOs.

Elizabeth has received industry accolades, including the SmartCEO Brava Award and the Women Who Mean Business Award.

Elizabeth is a graduate of Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business with a degree in Marketing.

Choose one (even if both apply):

The CEO (or other principal manager) of this company is a woman, and at least 40% of the management team is comprised of women.