7 Questions with Angela Capeles
Name: Angela Capeles
Current title: Founder & CEO
Current organisation: Capeles Agency
Ángela is a founder, educator, strategist, champagne-lover, and soon-to-be doctor in philosophy. She possesses over eight years of international experience in strategy, marketing, and public relations. Through her journey, she has developed digital strategy, cross-channel content marketing, multimedia campaigns, voter registration programs, and events in multiple industries ranging from tourism, sports, shopping malls, and luxury brands, to nonprofits and government agencies. Her diverse background and expertise in strategic media relations, social media, branding, and crisis management, makes her an asset to your project.
Her passion for asking questions led her to pursue a graduate education from The Pennsylvania State University, where she also teaches in the School of Humanities. Most of her research and teaching opportunities focus on social equity through media, gender, race, and ethnicity studies.
Ángela currently serves as the Diversity & Inclusion Chair for the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Central PA Chapter, which allows her to help PR professionals across the state understand the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion practices.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
Saying 'no' to some opportunities that may not be a great fit for where you want to be could be challenging.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Well, I guess you could say I was a bit disappointed with the media industry. I decided I wanted to be my own boss; I wanted to create a space where I could provide meaningful experiences to client partners. I had a dream and ran with it. Since then, I've been able to work with many industries ranging from tourism, sports, shopping malls, and luxury brands, to nonprofits and government agencies.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
While every day is different, I try to have a routine. First, I work out early in the morning and get ready for my day to start. Then, I dive into what's happening in the world and the latest trends in the communications industry while having a cup of tea and breakfast. I work on my to-do list for the day, which could include working on client projects, having 1:1 coaching calls, and answering relevant emails.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
To not think of people as "users" or "target audience" but as human beings. To remember that everyone's experiences and points of view are valid and meaningful.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
Throughout my academic life (I'm a soon-to-be doctor in Philosophy) there have been many books that have helped me personally and professionally. One book that I think is powerful and necessary to use as a guideline today is: So you want to talk about race? from Ijeoma Oluo. As leaders in today's world, we have a responsibility toward fostering more diverse, equitable, and inclusive businesses. Ijeoma talks about deconstructing what we know about race and gives us tools and actionable best practices. A must-read for leaders, I'd say!
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
Easy... Hire qualified people. Empower people. Mentor and provide opportunities to grow.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
I will never forget when one of my former students reached out to me looking for an opportunity to work with me. She expressed there was a lack of diversity in our community and that she wanted to have a mentor that could provide insight into similar professional experiences. And I have to say, that was eye-opening. It reminded me of the responsibility we have to educate and empower others. It also made me think of how hard our industry is for women of color in the United States. This provided me with an opportunity to rethink what I do and to also provide additional services within our community.