Carrie Fox

Carrie Fox

Capitol Communicator is running a series featuring profiles of communicators in the mid-Atlantic.  In this “Up Close and Personal” post, we feature Carrie Fox, founder and president of C.Fox Communications in Bethesda, MD. 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.

Carrie, please provide us a short bio.

I’m founder and president of C.Fox Communications, celebrating 10 years in business this year. I began my career with Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr., and his now nationally-recognized youth baseball initiative, Ripken Baseball. I also spent time with Prism Public Affairs before starting my own agency at 25. At C.Fox, we deploy strategic communications for social good, with clients ranging from international trade organizations to local D.C. nonprofits. I was a 2013 winner of PRWeek’s ’40 under 40′, a 2010 winner of the Washington Women in Public Relations Emerging Leader of the Year Award, and a graduate of Loyola University Maryland.

Are you involved in any other organizations?

Yes, I am active in the Community Foundation of Montgomery County, where I serve on the Board. I am also active in the Corporate Volunteer Council and Community Profits, an initiative I co-founded with Steve Hull, editor and publisher of Bethesda Magazine. And, I’m a member of PRSA and WWPR, as well as the American News Women’s Association.

What are the things you are most proud of?

I’m very proud of the company we’ve built – and equally proud of the company we keep. Together, along with some of the most passionate communicators I know, we’ve built a business centered on smart communications and a personal commitment to the issues we take on.

Who were your personal role models?

I’ve had dozens of people who have personally guided me to become the person I am today, and I know how rare it is to be able to say that. Bill Ripken was an early role model who showed me the importance of loyalty, family and finding good in everyone. Terry Sawyer at Loyola University taught me how to listen— really listen—and the power of sincerity in business. Amanda Deaver at Prism taught me so much about holding true to your convictions in this industry, and the power of connections. But, no one has been more influential in my life and my career than Don Foley, my first boss when I moved to D.C., and now a senior counselor on our staff. I credit him with teaching me everything good about this industry, about always turning around your very best work, about the importance of relationships, about trust and commitment. I owe so much of my professional success and personal work ethic to him. 

Did your role models offer professional advice that helped you in your career?

Don once said: “Don’t ever apologize for your family.” We all work hard, but this industry is not our life. There will be times when you need to balance a lot, when you need to break away for a child’s doctor visit or field trip. Don’t discount the importance of those moments. Rather, find a way to build balance into your work life. It’ll ensure that you never tire of your day job. As I sit here now with a four- year-old and nearly one-year-old, he couldn’t have been more true with those words.

What professional advice do you have for others?

Find what drives you and stick to it. It’s easy for business to take a toll on our work-life balance. I’ve tried as hard as I can to break that mold, and to live my life in a way that allows me to have both. I admit, it’s not easy, and it didn’t happen overnight, but I wouldn’t work as hard as I do if I didn’t love my work so much.

What advice do you have on appropriate attire for your organization?

Wear what makes you feel your best and most confident. That being said, you’ll never go wrong with a tailored look. Jeans might be right in your company, but never wrinkled jeans. Speaking from a personal level, I’ve always looked young compared to others in my role, so I’d much rather be dressed up than down.

Where do you buy most of the clothes you wear to the office?

Ann Taylor is my go-to, but I love when I find a good deal at Nordstrom Rack – the closest replacement to my life-long love affair with Loehmann’s.

Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?

Just that I love the concept for this series, and I’m so humbled to be included. The D.C. region is full of innovative, smart and creative people; and so many of them take personal time to serve as mentors and role models. We all bring something different, but our commitment to supporting the future of our profession is clear.

(Stay current with items of interest to communicators at Capitol Communicator, www.capitolcommunicator.com.)

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