Capitol Communicator is running a series featuring profiles of communicators in the mid-Atlantic. In this “Up Close and Personal” profile, we feature Beth Johnson, president and CEO of RP3 Agency in Bethesda. Photography for this series is by Cade Martin; wardrobe styling by Pascale Lemaire for THE Artist Agency; and hair and makeup by Patti D Nelson and Janice Kinigopoulos for THE Artist Agency.
Beth, please provide us a short bio.
I’m president and CEO of RP3 Agency and our client roster includes brands such as Norfolk Southern, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Wolf Trap Foundation and Long & Foster. I started my advertising agency career at The Dan Rosenthal Co. in 1994, and came up through the ranks of account management as a marketing strategist. During my 15-year tenure there, the agency grew from a three-person creative boutique to a full-service agency with more than $53 million in billings. When Dan Rosenthal retired in 2009, I founded RP3 Agency.
Are you involved in any other organizations?
I’m deeply committed to improving the community in the D.C. metro area and am actively involved on the boards of the Washington Area Women’s Foundation and the Greater Washington Board of Trade. I also write a column, Business of Branding, in the Washington Business Journal; and, in 2012, was named by WBJ as one of the area’s Women Who Mean Business. And, I’m on the board of 4As Mid-Atlantic and I joined Leadership Greater Washington Class of 2015 – a 10-month program in which we engage in intensive and in-depth discussions of regional issues with regional peers.
What are the things you are most proud of?
I’m most proud of my daughters, ages 12 and 14, who inspire me every day to be the kind of mom who will make them proud. I’m also proud of the incredible team we’ve built at RP3 – I truly work with the most talented people!
Who were your personal role models?
I was raised by a single mother who is an amazing role model. She is a strong, independent woman who achieved remarkable success by working hard and inspiring others. Dan Rosenthal was also an important role model to me for much of my career. In challenging situations, I still ask myself “How would Dan handle this?” And I know the answer is the right thing to do.
Did your role models offer professional advice that helped you in your career?
The most important piece of advice I received was “don’t present problems without solutions.”
What professional advice do you have for others?
Be curious and open to learning new things and you’ll never stop growing professionally.
What advice do you have on what’s appropriate attire for your organization?
Ironically, the only attire that seems inappropriate around here is the “traditional” suit and tie. We tend to be an informal group. But we do require shirts and shoes. Well, at least shirts.
Where do you buy most of the clothes you wear to the office?
My favorite place is Nordstrom.
Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?
I’m a huge D.C. sports fan! I own a jersey for every D.C. professional sports team – but I rarely wear them to work!