Season three episode 1 of the BSuite Podcast with Founder and Host Anne Richardson.

Episode 1: The Story Behind the BSuite with Host Anne Richardson

You’ve landed at Season Three of The BSuite podcast! We’re kicking off our new season with a solo episode featuring our host, Anne Richardson who’ll offer some context behind the origins of our agency as well as the name behind The BSuite podcast

I look back and think that doing this podcast and meeting all the wonderful guests we’ve had over the years has really been a bright star in an otherwise difficult time.

Key Takeaways

The BSuite is Back for Season 3!

We’re so happy to be back at the BSuite for our third season! If you’ve ever created a podcast, you know it’s a true labor of love, but it’s also incredibly satisfying to put together audio content that keeps us connected to you, our friends and colleagues, all of whom play a huge part in the success of this podcast. For this first episode, we’re going to veer a little off course and give the mic to our host, Anne Richardson, owner and media director here at Richardson Media Group. She’ll share the story of how Richardson Media Group came to be and also explain the origins of the name of our podcast, the BSuite. It’s a special story and one that’s close to Anne’s heart.

A Short History of Richardson Media Group

In 2014 I was working as the Media Director at an agency in Newburyport, Massachusetts. I had spent the past couple of decades in the paid media world working in the media departments of a variety of full-service ad agencies around New England. I have always loved paid media and working at advertising agencies. That year in particular, I was celebrating my 50th birthday and I knew it was time to do something really big. I wanted to step out on the ledge into entrepreneurship. I had a feeling that running a business would be a good fit for me so I handed in my resignation and the next day I started Richardson Media Group at my dining room table.

I know I’m not alone in experiencing a leap of faith moment. For me, running my own business was and continues to be exactly where I belong. From Day One I started networking and quickly made some great connections with other businesses and agency owners and it just took off from there.

For the past eight years RMG has managed media campaigns and SEO strategies for a wide range of clients. We focus on technology and secondary and higher education for the most part, but we also do a lot of work for professional services companies and nonprofits.

Becoming a B Corp

One of our biggest achievements in that span of time has been earning our B Corporation certification. It took us almost two years for our application to be completed and accepted by B Lab (the body that distributes the B Corp certifications). We found out in January 2022 that we had earned our certification and we have been over the moon excited ever since. B Corp certification added some fuel to an already hot fire here Richardson Media Group. The people we’ve met in the B Corp community since earning our certification have been amazing, and we are grateful to all who have welcomed us.

Over the course of Season 3, I’m excited to share more B Corp stories and hopefully have a few of my new “B” friends as guests on the podcast too. Being a B Corp fits into everything we do here at Richardson Media Group. It touches every aspect of the business. It also reflects who I am as a person, so I’ve had this great honor of earning a certification for my company that reflects my own personal values, standards, and ethics and I think that’s what makes it feel even more important to me. The idea of being able to reflect my own values in the business is exactly where I hoped to be when I started the company. I am incredibly proud of my team who worked so hard to help us earn our certification. The BSuite will be one of our primary vehicles to educate people and spread the word.

Putting the Bee in BSuite

The BSuite podcast’s name was inspired by a dear friend of mine. In order to tell the story, I’m going to go all the way back to freshman year of high school in Framingham, Massachusetts to the first day on the varsity soccer field. There I was in my soccer gear, ready to go when I saw this beautiful young woman I had never noticed before because she had just moved into town. She asked me if I felt like kicking the ball around with her so we did, and just like that, we became best friends. Even though we headed off to different colleges, she went to the Midwest, while I stayed in New England, we remained close. Over time we celebrated one another’s weddings and babies, and every summer our families vacationed together on Cape Cod. It was a really happy time.

About seven years ago, my friend was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. She gave it a valiant fight and went through many different treatments. There were ups and downs, and we thought for a while she might beat it, but in the end, it wasn’t to be. It was heartbreaking for everyone. Right before she died, I had the most extraordinary opportunity to visit with her as she was hospicing at home. During that time she was busy making a lot of preparations. Through all of her fear and uncertainty, she was making plans that she hoped would make things a little easier for the people she loved. One day, she asked me, “What if I asked you to pick an animal that every time you saw it after I’m gone, it would make you think of me?” At first I didn’t know what to say! I wondered, “What is the right answer and how am I going to actually find something to say to my amazing friend that would give her comfort and peace?” And then I thought back to when we were teenagers, and how we always had this joke that we had taught each other about the birds and the bees. We used to sign our letters, “Love, B & B, My Sis” which meant ‘birds and bees,’ so I thought to myself, “It has to be a bee! That will be her spirit animal.” Thankfully, she absolutely loved the idea and we agreed on it. Soon after my visit, she passed away, and life has never been the same.

I wanted to do something really special and important for the bees in honor of my friend, and that is where the BSuite came to be. The “B” in BSuite stands for business, bees (of course), and it has evolved into standing for benefit which is part of being a B Corporation. I feel like the BSuite has grown and evolved in the same ways my business has. It brings me comfort as I miss my friend, and also allows for this platform to introduce the voice of Richardson Media Group exploring the lives of other business leaders who’ve taken a purposeful path for their companies. Hosting the BSuite has been really exciting and gratifying, and I am honored to be able to share this wonderful program.

I hope you found a little something to relate to in my story. They may be about loss, but at the same time, they are about hope and challenges and growth, all the things that the BSuite and my friend represents.

Links/Resources Mentioned

Important Update:

Since the recording of this episode, we’ve moved away from using the language “BIA” to refer to the B Impact Assessment out of respect to the indigenous community. We will be referring to the set of qualifications developed by the B Lab for business certification as B Impact Assessment or Assessment going forward.