At the Helm: Raymond Crosby

By Patricia Olsen

A few minutes with the president and CEO of Crosby Marketing Communicarions, Annapolis, Md.

Generation of family ownership: Second.

Revenue: $27 million.

Number of employees: 80.

Years with the company: 31.

First job at this company: Account executive for local businesses. I managed their advertising and public relations activities.

At what age? A very green 24. I originally worked in radio advertising sales after college. After a while, I wanted to be on the other side of the desk creating ad campaigns, and my father asked me to join his agency.

Most memorable thing I learned from my father: Family always comes first. Also, having integrity and a strong work ethic are critical to success. 

Most memorable thing I learned from my mother: To appreciate everything that you have and care about those who are less fortunate.

Best thing about this job: I still get a kick out of solving marketing challenges for clients, such as our national communications campaign for the Department of Health and Human Services to increase organ donor registrations. Also, I get to work with great people every day. We have a growing, learning organization that keeps me on my toes.

Our greatest success: We’ve been able to grow by working with top national organizations, such as Kaiser Permanente, Energy Star and Disabled American Veterans.

Quote from our company’s mission statement: “Our whole mission is to help our clients ‘Inspire Actions That Matter.’ These actions ultimately improve people’s lives. We serve healthcare organizations, nonprofits, federal agencies and businesses that believe in the power of doing good.”

On my wall: Framed album covers from some of my favorite bands, including The Who, The Clash, Joe Jackson, The Pretenders and U2. They’re great conversation pieces.

One of my greatest accomplishments: In June 2017, the Washington Post named me the top CEO in the region for businesses with under 100 employees. The recognition was based on an anonymous survey of company staff members, so that employee feedback is very rewarding.

Best thing about working in a family business: Working closely with my father for more than three decades to build a thriving company from scratch has been an amazing experience. My brother-in-law is our VP of multimedia production, my two sisters have worked for the firm and most of the kids in our extended family have had internships here. It not only provides a living for us, it’s part of our family.

Advice for other family business leaders: Build a shared vision and make sure you are in the family business for the right reasons. You have to really want to do it, not do it just for convenience. You also have to hold yourself to a higher standard in everything you do each day.

On a day off I like to … ride my bike, watch a lacrosse game or just chill out.

Philanthropic causes our family supports: We support a wide range of non-profits and causes and fund scholarships to the University of Maryland College of Journalism.

Book I think every family business leader should read: The Practice of Management, by Peter Drucker, which has timeless insights.

I realized I had emerged from the previous generation’s shadow when … I started managing some of our firm’s largest accounts on my own.

Future succession plans: I’m in my mid-50s and plan to continue working for quite a while. However, we have an executive team of 10 who are already helping run the company, and we’re working with a consultant to determine what the next phase of leadership might look like.

Words I live by: Keep growing, learning and challenging yourself.

Copyright 2018 by Family Business Magazine. This article may not be posted online or reproduced in any form, including photocopy, without permission from the publisher. For reprint information, contact


Article categories: 
May/June 2018

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