Amy Kelsch Bielski - Ripple Effect

Jan 15, 2019 12:00 PM

Ripple Effects From Frostburg Experience

With an annual revenue of $11.6M and three-year-growth of more than 1000%--yes, 1000--there’s no surprise that Ripple Effect is being ranked time and again as one of the nation’s fastest growing companies.

“How did this happen? I guess you just hire amazing people, support them and get out of their way!” posted founder and co-owner Amy Kelsch Bielski ’97 on the company’s social media account.

Ripple Effect, a woman-owned small business based in Rockville, Md., was ranked #467 in Inc. magazine’s annual rankings of the fastest growing private companies in the nation and #15 in Maryland. Washington Business Journal ranked it at #41 in its 75 Fastest Growing Companies list.

With 150 employees, the company provides services for private, government and non-profit entities in the areas of Research and Evaluation, Policy and Project Management and Communications and Outreach. Many of these employees are Ph.D. scientists who chose to leave the research field in favor of affecting programs and policies.

Bielski worked for various consulting firms prior to starting Ripple Effect.

“I saw that how the business was run really impacted the staff’s ability to perform their jobs at the highest level,” said Bielski of her employment with other consulting firms. “Everything from hiring and training to simple office space influenced how the staff performed, so I decided I could offer something better to both staff and clients.”

Bielski credits her time at Frostburg State for helping build a foundation for success. As a student, Bielski was a business administration major and noted that her academics laid a groundwork of knowledge. Professors such as Dr. Ahmad Tootoonchi and other faculty and staff provided thoughtful guidance to her throughout her FSU years.

Outside of class, Bielski said her involvement in numerous student organizations added to her classroom instruction, especially the GOLD Program which encouraged students to attend weekly leadership training, participate in hall council, work on committees and other activities.

“I wish I could do this as a job; I’d be awesome at it,” Bielski recalled thinking about her leadership roles in student organizations.

As a parent of college age children, Bielski knows exactly what advice to give to current Frostburg State students: seek out experiences.

“Experiences teach us who we are and what our place is in this world,” said Bielski. “We spend a lot of time in our careers—too long for it to be the wrong career, so get out there and experience as much as possible to see what’s the right fit.”

Bielski is married to FSU alum, James Bielski ‘97. They reside in Mt. Airy, Md. with their two daughters.