Get to Know a Fox: Marlys Fox, Fox Associates Founder And President

Nov 22, 2022

In sales as well as life, relationships mean everything. For sales in particular, if all other things are equal, marketers do business with the people they like. With all that in mind, we think this newsletter is the perfect channel for you to get to know us a little bit better.

So we’re launching “Get to Know a Fox,” which will focus on one Fox Associates team member with each iteration. For our first installment, it’s certainly appropriate to start with our CEO and founder, Marlys Fox, the industry icon and pioneer who launched this company in 1968.

Marlys Fox

Marlys’ career in media is filled with highlights. Indeed, no one has more experience selling consumer, trade and association advertising. She’s a past president and long-time board member of the National Association of Publishers Representatives.

In the spring of 2017, Marlys was named one of Folio:’s Top Women in Media as an Industry Leader for her continuous efforts and outstanding achievements throughout her career.

In 2019, she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the AM&P Network. And the accolades continue for this remarkable leader. Here, we ask Marlys to reflect on her legendary career.

Fox Tales: Marlys, what’s the defining philosophy or principle(s) of your business life?

Marlys Fox: We are a corporation of over 50 years, and we’ve prospered doing what we pledge to do with our publisher clients: Increase their advertising sales dollars. We do it at a reasonable price and save them money in the process. We work as partners, and we eschew the word “vendor.” That works best for all.

Fox Tales: How do those values affect your company?

Fox: Every on-staff salesperson is completely aware that this is not only our goal, it’s our sacred duty to perform as we present ourselves to be when seeking new business opportunities.

Fox Tales: Name three or four career highlights with Fox Associates, and one or two additional. 

Fox: We’ve had wonderfully exciting and long-lasting relationships with some of the country’s most prestigious publishers/associations/groups. We are most proud of our  longevity, both with the company as well as with our partners, because that says it all.

Fox Tales: You’ve been recognized and decorated numerous times. Tell us why that is important in terms of what you deliver to your customers.

Fox: Yes, Folio: and also the Mitch Mohanna Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the AM&P Network. That award is presented by the board of directors to an industry service provider that has performed an outstanding service to AM&P and has a meritorious record of accomplishment spanning a career in association media and publishing. The award was founded in 2016 in honor of the distinguished AM&P member Mitch Mohanna. I’m very proud of these awards because they recognize me and the work I’ve pledged to do, but it also recognizes the company and its many fine members over the years. I’m very proud of the longevity of many “Foxes,” including our colleagues with the most tenure—EVP/COO Steve Schwanz, with 43 years, who’s followed by Bill Bell, our SVP/Director of Sales and New Business Development, who’s been with us 22 years.

Fox Tales: What are your favorite pursuits outside of work?

Fox: My goal in life has always been to see the world. I started at about 16 and have literally been to almost every country in the world! I’m missing a few of the island nations, and I might still catch them on the way to revisiting some favorite places on every continent, including the South Pole. I got close to the North Pole, including Iceland and far north in the Scandinavian countries. I’ve been to Russia several times, but a return trip is not in the plans for now!

Fox Tales: Marlys, congratulations on a stellar career!