Minnetonka, MN—Prominently featured in The Inner Circle, Ivy Chang is acknowledged as a Life Achiever 2023 for her contributions to the field of Public Relations.
Ms. Chang was born in Beijing, China from where she and her father’s family fled from communism in 1949 to follow Chiang kai-shek, leader of the Nationalist party, to Formosa, now 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 Ms. Chang began school in the U.S., she couldn’t speak English. In the 1950s, schools did not offer English-as-a-Second-Language programs, but she was determined to learn the language of her new country and went on to excel in school.
In 1970, Ms. Chang earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Minnesota began her career as an Editorial Assistant with Burlington Northern Inc. (now known as BNSF Railway Company). She accepted a position as Editor and Senior Writer for 3M Company in 1978 where she produced a monthly newsletter, managed editors in outlying 3M offices, and participated in numerous public relations events for the St. Paul-based company. She accepted a job as Manager of Employee Communications at International Multifoods, Minneapolis, in 1979. Ms. Chang served as a Communications Specialist with St. Paul Public Schools from 1980 to 1991 and handled media relations, internal and external communications, and public affairs for the school district.
Ms. Chang opened her public relations firm after two decades in public relations. She founded PR International in 1992 and began managing public relations and communications projects for small businesses 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 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.
In addition to her work, Ms. Chang served on non-profit organizations that helped women who did not have homes, people with mental disabilities, Asian university students to direct them in the proper academic directions, and publicize an art museum.