March 30 was indeed a day of celebration. Surrounded by family, clients, friends and supporters, Chelsea Whittington, founder/CEO of C WHITT PR, celebrated the company’s three-year anniversary and her 50th birthday, hosting an open house at the Hammond Development Corporation (HDC), 5233 Hohman Ave. in Hammond. The C WHITT PR firm is also housed at HDC.
“It seems like it was just yesterday that I announced that I would be operating my public relations firm, C WHITT PR full-time,” said Whittington. “My, how time flies when you’re having fun. Fast forward three years, and we have serviced scores of clients and weathered the impact of a global pandemic.”
Whittington has been in the space since 2020, but COVID prevented her from welcoming guests to the HDC building for a formal event – until now. Open house guests enjoyed music, food, a 360 photobooth, a tour of the firm’s office and an opportunity to network with C WHITT PR clients. Whittington and her team offered words of thanks during the festivities and debuted the company’s first commercial.
The highlight of the evening featured the presentation of two inaugural Public Relations scholarships in the amount of $250 each. The awardees were high school seniors Jo’Sef Barry of West Side Leadership Academy and Brianna Smith of 21st Century Charter School.
The two young entrepreneurs are owners of Lazy Eye Media and produced the C WHITT PR commercial. Once Whittington announced the scholarships, several attendees generously donated, resulting in the final scholarship amount being $625 per student.
“I have always wanted to give back to those who have a love for the field of communications,” said Whittington. “These young people asked to shadow me and had no idea that they would receive these scholarships tonight. The look on their faces was priceless.”
Guests included Whittington’s 91-year-old father Doc Stalling, a renowned business owner in Gary for decades. Also extending well wishes was Whittington’s long-time mentor, Chicago Urban League President and CEO and former Gary Mayor, Karen Freeman-Wilson.
“Chelsea has always gone the extra mile in every endeavor, so when she decided to start her own company, I knew that she would be successful,” said Freeman-Wilson.
The event was broadcast live on Whittington’s personal Facebook and Instagram, and C WHITT PR Facebook pages.
“I wanted my family and friends from near and far to be able to share in this special occasion,” said Whittington. “Whether it was a referral, a word of encouragement, a business relationship or a follow on social media, everyone in this room has contributed to the growth of C WHITT PR, and I will be forever grateful.”