Renne Fraser, a noted social psychologist, and entrepreneur, strongly believes not only in the power of women to inspire other women but also in their leadership to drive change and improve people’s lives.
After all, driving change is what she’s been doing for over two decades when she founded the largest woman-owned and woman-led advertising agency in Southern California, Fraser Communications.
“When I started the firm, my goal was to change the world in positive ways with communication, and we call it doing well by doing good,” she said.
Her full-service, $30 million advertising agency handles brands across the United States, including the Department of Public Health, Lexus, Toyota, Hyundai, and many others. The agency even does pro bono work, including the California Earned Income Tax Credit campaign, which disbursed over a billion dollars to low-income families.
“The organization is focused on health and equity. We do a lot of pro bono work for non-profits. And our group feels like we’re making an impact every day in people’s lives, and that’s very important,” she said.
To this day, she is proud to be the only psychologist running an advertising agency in the country and putting her expertise in service of other women with her talk show at KABC radio Why Women, which focuses on the challenges women face today in work and life.
Fraser reflects that her mother was her first and greatest inspiration to become who she is today.
“She was a stay-at-home mom, and she was in a neighborhood where there were lots of activities, but she chose to use her time driving people to the hospital, working at the library, working with the Red Cross at blood donations,” she recalls. “I was so impressed with the fact that she cared enough for other people that she spent her time when she wasn’t caring for us, with others.”
Fraser first collaborated with the United Way of Greater LA over a decade ago when she ran a communication campaign for the Tale of Two Cities report. Impressed by its mission to end homelessness and close disparity gaps across underserved communities in Los Angeles, she joined UWGLA’s Board. Since then, she has committed to making change happen.
One of the UWGLA programs Fraser holds near and dear to her heart is the Young Civic Leaders Program because most of the students who are part of it are girls.
“I’m a big advocate for women and girls. I was very pleased to see them, training them on how to be activists, how to be advocates, and how to up their leadership skills. I learned so much about how these girls are achieving great things in their lives despite a lot of obstacles,” she recalls. “They gave me so much a sense of pride and a sense of enthusiasm for the future.”
Fraser also noted her admiration for Elise Buik, United Way L.A. President and CEO, whom she met when she became CEO and recalls taking over while pregnant. “It’s good to see people like her. She stepped up to the big challenge because she wants to have an impact, but she can also articulate the emotional side of it. I love following leaders like her.”
Fraser continues to feel excited about celebrating the richness of our community and how it’s moved us into these 100 years as an organization serving millions of Angelenos.
“One of the most important parts of Los Angeles and Southern California is our ability to accept people as they grow and change. In other parts of the country, you’re defined by your background, by your past,” she noted. “But I think in Los Angeles, we’re open for people to be redefined, repositioned… I love that freedom of being. I’d like to see more of that happen in our region and for us to be a welcoming place for everyone.”
We are proud to have Renee Fraser as a Board member and partner, leading our work toward building prosperity for every woman and every person in Los Angeles!
–Esmeralda Fabian, United Way of Greater L.A.