FrazierHeiby is one of the top 10 companies by votes in the 2020 Best of Business readers' poll.

Lauren Parker believes in taking calculated risks.

Not only does the 34-year-old president and CEO of FrazierHeiby give her 5-year-old twins free reign over crafting pies for her family’s Sunday pizza night, but she encourages her staff to try edgy new things. “From a total slam dunk to a miss, I love the experience of watching my team practice curiosity,” she says.

Along with senior partners Ann Mulvany and Whitney Somerville, and a total of 15 full-time team members, Parker, now in her first year as CEO, is poised to reinvent the 40-year-old agency for the digital age. “It’s an iterative and collaborative process, but we do take calculated risks based on research insights.”

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FrazierHeiby provides creative strategic communications solutions for industries ranging from healthcare and agriculture to higher education and manufacturing.

With deep experience at top Manhattan agencies, Parker came to the CEO position through a succession plan in 2018, eventually replacing then-CEO Bryan Haviland. “I didn’t set out to be entrepreneurial,” Parker says, “but I was so drawn to the foundation at our agency.”

That steady foundation is key during hard times. “I expected that this would be an incredibly difficult year,” Parker says, given the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic. But the agency didn’t lose a single client. “Especially in these tumultuous times,” she says, “to be able to communicate well is an asset.”

 Virginia Brown is a freelance writer.