NORFOLK, Va. — Ashley Knepper, co-owner and president of Reed & Associates Marketing (R&A), a Norfolk-based marketing, advertising and public relations agency, was recognized as an Inside Business 2016 Top 40 Under 40 Awards recipient last night at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott. The Hampton Roads business publication evaluated and selected honorees based on their vision and leadership, innovation and achievements, strategies for success, and community service.
At the age of 24, Knepper and her business partner, Dave Reed, launched R&A in early 2008. While the cornerstone of the organization is media planning and buying, its evolution to becoming a multifaceted agency was based on the desire to be a true partner in the complete marketing process. As a young, female entrepreneur, Knepper led the company through eight consecutive years of growth, namely through a national recession, when advertisers were slashing marking departments and cutting advertising budgets. Her controlled business growth approach, only pursuing clients who have marketing needs that align with the agencies core competencies, has led to R&A fostering lasting client relationships and impressive client retention. The company has worked with 90% of their client base for four or more years.
“It has been our experience that a simple, ethical and client-centric approach to doing business is the best way to develop lasting relationships with our clients,” stated Knepper. “I’m confident in our agency’s long-term sustainability with this approach, as we continue to be a worthy contender in the world of institutional ad houses.”
This is not the first time Knepper was recognized for her business acumen. In 2014, she received the Inside Business Entrepreneurial Excellence Award for her achievements in business, effective leadership style, ability to turn risk into success and her contributions to the Hampton Roads community. Her business approach combined with her passion for giving back has allowed Knepper to build a company that truly stands out.
“I believe social responsibility is more than donating money, but also time and resources, as well as inspiring others to get involved,” added Knepper. “I’ve made it a priority to demonstrate that belief whenever possible, identifying myself as a philanthropist as much as I do a businesswoman.” This is evident by the company’s recognition as the top corporate fundraiser for the 2016 Hampton Roads St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer, as well as being a 2014 Corporate VOLUNTEER Excellence Awards honoree.
Next year, R&A will celebrate the start of its tenth year in business. The company is excited to commemorate this milestone but is already looking to the future. “I have goals for the next five and ten years,” said Knepper. “The possibilities with this team are endless.” To learn more about R&A, visit www.ReedandAssociatesMarketing.com.