Power Women 2020: Karen Crane

Photo by Tessa Marie Images

President and CEO of Crane Communications.

Karen Crane was a TV junkie growing up. “I was inspired by Mary Tyler Moore and the whole way she kind of cut through the world,” she says.

A product of the glitzy era of advertising, Crane spent years in the business before opening her Bala Cynwyd-based firm, a full-service agency made up of women representing local and national organizations. For over 25 years, she’s created a culture of collaboration. “I really think that relationship comes from truly partnering,” she says.

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Crane intentionally kept her agency small to foster those relationships. “My dream was never to have a huge hundred-person agency. I like the culture we created, and I think that when you get too big, it’s hard to maintain that,” Crane says. “I like the intimacy and the personal touch.”

Outside the office, Crane is board chair of Mother of Mercy House in Philadelphia’s beleaguered Kensington neighborhood. The “storefront church” strives to meet the needs of the community without some of the usual trappings. “It’s such a no-judgment zone,” she says.

Mother of Mercy offers a community food pantry and many other programs. It’s also working on a preschool. “We can help these families, try to raise them out of poverty, and set the children on a different path,” Crane says. “Everybody has to have a stake in it—it’s a community.”

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