Born in Beijing, Ivy Chang came to the United States with her family, by way of Taiwan where she attended private school in Taipei, in 1955. Entering the public school system in Minnesota, she had to learn English on her own while attending school as there were no English as a second language programs at the time. Repeating first grade in order to gain a better grasp on the language, she excelled in her studies and, following her graduation from high school, she joined the University of Minnesota to pursue a postsecondary education. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism in 1970 and began her career as an editorial assistant at Burlington Northern Inc., now the BNSF Railway Company, from 1970 to 1978.
Cultivating significant expertise in public relations and editing, Ms. Chang went on to serve as an editor and senior writer for 3M from 1978 to 1979 and as a communications specialist for the Saint Paul Public Schools from 1980 to 1991. In 1992, she decided that it was time to strike out on her own and she founded PR International, where she served as president until 2006. From 2006 to 2012, she additionally served as the managing editor for SGC Horizon. Ms. Chang concluded her career in the position of founder with PR International from 2012 until her retirement in 2021.
With PR International, Ms. Chang’s responsibilities were primarily providing written material for her clients’ public relations needs, though she also did work with event organizing. She was perpetually motivated throughout her career by her desire to discover the world and to continue learning about everything that life has to offer. Although she is now retired, she intends to remain active by involving herself with a foam recycling machine company run by a friend of hers. With the machine parts being produced in California and then shipped to Shanghai for assembly, her friend asked if Ms. Chang would be interested in helping him to sell and market the machines in the United States.
In order to keep abreast of developments in her field, Ms. Chang maintains affiliation with a number of professional organizations, including the National School Public Relations Association and the Association for Women in Communications. She has also been very involved in her community and spent time as a board member for the Minnesota Museum of American Art and the Barbara Schneider Foundation, as well as on the boards of a variety of nonprofit organizations that focus on helping women. In addition, she is a member of the Harriet Tubman Women’s Shelter. Reflecting back on the difficulties she had as she started school in the United States, Ms. Chang has future plans to help grade-school age immigrant children with the adjustment process of living and learning in a new country, through general aid and curriculum development.
Attributing much of her success to hard work, determination and patience, Ms. Chang has been the recipient of a number of honors and accolades. Her work in construction saw her achieve an award for her weekly writings on the 35W bridge collapse that she continued until the bridge was rebuilt and an Award for Cover Shot from the Construction Bulletin, where she served as an editor. She was also presented with a School Bell Award from Education Minnesota. Above these accolades, however, Ms. Chang considers the highlights of her career to be working for three large companies and a school district, as all of those position helped her to broaden her knowledge and expertise in public relations.
Placing a great emphasis on family, Ms. Chang keeps in close contact with her family members in the United States and Asia. Her family became established in the United States following her father obtaining his PhD at the University of Minnesota, because of a law Congress passed during the Korean War, which prevented residents of Asian birth from leaving the country. With his degrees in biochemistry, her father worked for General Mills and 3M Company until his retirement. Ms. Chang’s family also includes a Minnesota-born sister.”