Blog  /  03.08.2021

International Women’s Day

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we asked a few people around the office for their personal opinions on gender equality and more, including our own founder and CEO, Laura Van Eperen.

  1. Tell us about your journey of starting and sustaining a business.
    I started Van Eperen (now FOVNDRY) 16 years ago because I knew I could deliver better PR and marketing agency services to clients than what was being offered by many agencies. Frankly, I was shocked by the quality of the services when I moved into the metro Washington, D.C. market 20 years ago. Clients deserved better and I knew I could deliver on it.
  2. What are the benefits/challenges of being a woman-owned agency?
    Being a designated woman-owned small business helps us compete in a smaller pool of qualified firms for public and private-sector contracts. The designation is ‘a license to hunt’, as I like to say.  However, we still have to win the work and sustain the highest quality work output. I have always enjoyed having the ability to hire top professionals and to inspire the next generation of leaders, including women. I’m grateful for those who trailblazed before me and broke down many of the stereotypes. We’re still working through some of those old-school issues, but we are quite fortunate to be living in the 21st century. I believe my CEO role allows me to set an example for others and help them become their best professional selves.

“Life will throw you a lot of curveballs; we often have to shift focus or multitask.  I find a great deal of comfort working alongside a strong female leader who understands the balancing act while having achieved a level of success that I aspire to.”

Joanna Yu, Director of Finance & Human Resources

“Leading Ladies aren’t just in the movies. In my 25+ years in the ad industry, 21 of those years were working for successful women-owned agencies. When I tell my daughter that she can go out and do anything, I actually have living proof.”

Gerald G. Mitchell, Chief Creative Officer

“Learn, listen, speak up, and act – #ChooseToChallenge on International Women’s Day and every day.”

Hillarie Turner, Account Director

“International Women’s Day is a celebration of the strength and perseverance of all women, past and present, who fought/fight for our futures—and a reminder of my power as a woman, leader, and mother to advance that progress.”

Megan Neapolitan, Director of Operations & Client Services

more insights


FOVNDRY (formerly Van Eperen) is an award-winning, fully integrated communications agency that has made its mark in the public and private sectors, plus a variety of membership-based associations since 2004. We craft custom solutions for multiple industries, including: Health & Science, Transportation, Real Estate, Education, Consumer Packaged Goods, and more. With offices in Rockville and Baltimore, our Maryland-based PR and marketing firm also fulfills the creative and branding needs of businesses and organizations in the DMV and beyond.

We’re a certified minority business enterprise (MBE)/disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Delaware, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. As well, FOVNDRY is a woman-owned small business (WOSB) that’s on the federal GSA AIMS schedule (GS07F0312T), and on a mission to help DoD and HHS agencies. Get to know us better in person, and connect with us daily via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

// Sharp Spring Script