Company: CJP Communications, NY, NY, USA
Company Description: CJP is a mid-sized, independent communications consultancy. We employ over 50 people in NYC, CT and London. CJP ,has won numerous awards for our PR campaigns, graphic design concepts, webs series and corporate culture. We are an Army of Entrepreneurs!
Nomination Category: Individual Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best Entrepreneur – Service Businesses - Up to 100 Employees
Nomination Title: Jen Prosek, CEO
Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated entrepreneur during the eligibility period (up to 500 words):
For Jennifer Prosek, CEO of CJP Communications, building a successful PR agency from the ground up wasn’t enough. Her goal was to not just be a successful entrepreneur herself but to create an entire workforce made up of entrepreneurs. An “Army of Entrepreneurs” would help the agency grow, engage employees and help them reach their professional goals, and provide the freshest ideas and best service to clients.
Every employee would develop an “owner’s mindset” and treat the company as if it was his or her own. The model was so successful, Jen wrote a book about it! Army of Entrepreneurs™: Create an Engaged and Empowered Workforce for Exceptional Business Growth, was published in 2011 by AMACOM, the publishing arm of the American Management Association.
The success of the “Army of Entrepreneurs” model is evident in CJP’s growth. In just the past year, CJP has achieved:
• Revenue growth of close to 25 percent
• Staff growth of close to 20 percent
• The creation of a dedicated London office
• The addition of 36 blue chip clients including Capital One, Dow Jones, E*TRADE, ING, and OppenheimerFunds
• Growth and prominence of Branded Entertainment Division, which creates custom videos – typically scripted comedies and dramas – for clients.
CJP’s business model is distinctly different from the majority of communications agencies. CJP fosters a highly entrepreneurial culture that rewards people for their understanding of and contributions to our business.
The model is so distinct that business schools (Yale, Syracuse and Columbia) and entrepreneur organizations (USASBE and the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization) around the country have been booking Jen for speaking engagements to discuss the AOE model and its implementation process so other companies can benefit from her experiences.
The genesis of the Army model and the book began more than a decade ago. After joining a tiny Connecticut PR agency, Jen devoted herself to building the business into an international agency with Blue Chip clients and a reputation for creativity. But something she had learned years ago while earning her MBA at Columbia University was nagging at her: The real test of a company is whether it survives when its founder exits.
Jen and CJP’s first real test came when she went on maternity leave. As it happens, Jen and CJP not only did fine, the agency continued its double-digit growth. The second test the company faced was the prolonged recession, in which her Army approach led to modest growth in 2009, while 65 percent of public relations agency nationwide reported revenue decline and 45 percent reported decrease in profitability. Jen believes the timing for this strategy is critical and can attest to the fact that this model did not just help her grow her company . . . it saved it.
Jen’s above achievements and the true measure of CJP’s continued success is that her “Army of Entrepreneurs” have kept the agency moving forward, giving her the time and freedom she needed to take on the new role of author and public speaker.
List the URLs (web addresses) of any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that you would like the judges to see that support your nomination. IMPORTANT: List each URL on a separate line, begin each URL with http://, and enclose each URL in square brackets. For example, [http://www.yourcompany.com/pressrelease.html]:
Sampling of Media and Speaking Activity for Army of Entrepreneurs
Provide a brief biography of the nominated entrepreneur (up to 100 words):
Jennifer Prosek is the founder and CEO of CJP Communications. Under her leadership, the firm has become a leading international public relations/financial communications consultancy with offices in New York, Connecticut and London.
The secret to CJP's success has been Prosek's ability to develop, motivate and deploy employees to be more entrepreneurial within their own positions. This strategy is the premise of her book, Army of Entrepreneurs: Create an Engaged and Empowered Workforce for Exceptional Business Growth (AMACOM).
Prosek/CJP have won numerous awards from PR Week, The Holmes Report and NY Enterprise Report for client campaigns and corporate culture.
Prosek received her MBA from Columbia University and is a frequent lecturer at leading business schools and entrepreneurial/business groups.