APCO founder and executive chairman Margery Kraus joins Page Center advisory board

May 23, 2024 • Jonathan McVerry

Margery Kraus

Margery Kraus, who over 40 years transformed APCO from a small Washington, D.C. company into a global advisory and advocacy firm, has joined the Arthur W. Page Center’s advisory board.

Kraus’s expertise in providing strategic counsel in numerous areas of public communication will be an invaluable resource for the Page Center. During her career, Kraus has been recognized as a people-first leader, a quality she credits for her company’s longevity and success.

“I like to think that APCO was built on a set of values, and they have been strongly guiding what we do and what we don't do,” Kraus said. “It’s the way we treat people and the fact that we're a majority employee-owned and women-owned business. We're not beholden to shareholders or other things. So, we have no excuses for not taking responsibility.”

APCO is a respected company that is truly global serving clients in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia. It has also garnered numerous awards and recognitions, including being named by Forbes in 2024 as one of America’s Best Management Consulting Firms, as well as 2024 North American Agency of the Year and Best EMEA Agency to Work For in 2017 and 2019 by PRovoke Media and Best Agency in the Middle East by PRWeek in 2019.

Much of Kraus’s leadership style is showcased in “Roots and Wings,” a book she wrote that chronicles the lessons she learned as a mother that also helped her create and run a company. The title is inspired by a sign she kept on the wall while raising her children. It read, “There are only two lasting things of value you give your children. One is roots and the other is wings.”

“It's a little different take on a business book,” she said. “It’s based on the principle that the more freedom you can give people, the more they will reflect a certain set of values that are important.”

Kraus said that mindset is how APCO runs more than 30 offices around the world while maintaining a shared culture and vision. “We’re not just dots on a map,” she said. “People come to this company and stay here, because they believe in what we’re doing.”

Kraus proudly shares that her leadership team is full of employees with 20+ years of experience at APCO, including CEO Brad Staples, President and Managing Director of Operations Evan Kraus and North America President Kelly Williamson, who started as an intern. Integrity, values and company culture have been the foundation for APCO’s success, and according to Kraus, these qualities are more important than ever in the corporate and public relations worlds.

“We are delighted to have Margery join our board,” said Denise Bortree, Page Center director. “Her focus on values and principles mirrors our mission, and her familiarity with the profession will take us to the next level of promoting ethics in public communication.”

During her career, Kraus has received many prestigious awards, including the 2024 Multicultural Media & Correspondents Association Lifetime Achievement Award, 2021 IWEC Foundation Award, PRWeek U.S. Power List (2023, 2022, 2021, 2020); Women Elevating Women – Communicate Pillar Award (2023); Enterprising Women of the Year Award (2019); PRWeek Top 20 Most Influential Communicator (2018) award, and many more.

Joining in April, Kraus and Patrick Parsons, emeritus professor at the Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State, are the two newest members of the Page Center’s advisory board. Throughout the year, members meet to offer insights and guidance that help the Center advance ethics and responsibility in public communication. The Center’s advisory board consists of 18 members that represent decades of leadership in education, business, journalism, non-profit and public relations.

Since its 2004 founding, the Page Center has become an international leader in research on ethics and integrity in public communication. Over the past 20 years, the Center has funded nearly 300 scholars and awarded more than $1 million in research funding. Other initiatives include an annual integrity awards event, ethics education resources and collaborative research opportunities.