Minnetonka, MN — Ivy Chang is being recognized by Continental Who’s Who as a Distinguished Business Professional for her achievements in Public Relations and in acknowledgment of her outstanding work with PR International.
Born in Beijing, China, to a political family in the Nationalist party, she and her father’s family fled China in 1949 to follow Chiang Kai-shek to Taiwan. Her grandfather served in political positions under Chiang Kai-shek. Ms. Chang and her mother remained in Taiwan with her father’s extended family. They could not enter the U.S. because the U.S. Congress did not allow families of students to enter the U.S. Her father was studying at the University of Minnesota and received a Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Biochemistry. After being separated from her father for seven years, Ms. Chang and her mother moved to the United States in 1955 to reunite with her father in Minnesota. When she began school in the U.S., she couldn’t speak English; in the 1950s, schools did not offer English-as-a-Second-Language programs. With determination, she learned the language of her new country and went on to excel in school.
Ms. Chang obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Minnesota in 1970. She began her career as an Editorial Assistant with Burlington Northern Inc. (now known as BNSF Railway Company.) In 1978, she accepted a position as Editor and Senior Writer for 3M Company. She produced a monthly newsletter and participated in numerous public relations events for the St. Paul-based company. In 1979, she accepted a job as Manager, Employee Communications, at International Multifoods, Minneapolis. From 1980 to 1991, Ms. Chang served as a Communications Specialist with the St. Paul Public Schools. She handled media relations, internal and external communications, and public affairs for the school district.
After two decades of work in the public relations industry, Ms. Chang decided to begin her public relations firm. She founded PR International in 1992 and began managing public relations and communications projects for small businesses. She started small and gradually increased the number of clients. In addition to providing written materials, Ms. Chang also managed events for her PR clients. She downsized her PR company when she was offered a position as Managing Editor of the Reed Business Information’s Construction Bulletin weekly magazine, covering commercial construction projects across Minnesota and the Dakotas. Her in-depth coverage of the I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis and its rebuilding resulted in an honorable mention award from the Construction Writers of America.
Ms. Chang served on non-profit boards to help members receive needed basic services, such as temporary housing, health counseling, understanding of law in BIPOC communities, and resolving issues for Asian university students. She is retired from public relations work and will begin working with a business in California to sell recycling machines for foam.