Second generation entrepreneur revitalizes small businesses

Chelsea Stalling-Whittington

By Dezimon Alicea, Gary Crusader

Public Relations expert Chelsea Stalling-Whittington is committed to strengthening small businesses in Gary.

In 1992, social media was a thought instead of a notion. In order to get out information about an event or a major announcement, one had to utilize the telephone, fax, or good old fashion snail mail.

In 2017 the trend has become to use email, social media blasts and targeted direct mailing. Chelsea Stalling-Whittington has been able to adapt over the years and uses her passion for public relations to help businesses and individuals take the next step towards their professional development and achieve growth.

Some reading this may ask the question, “What exactly does someone in public relations do? What’s their job?” In a quick and simple answer, a person in PR protects, builds and enhances the reputation of their client through media.

Stalling-Whittington has been on her PR grind for a while, 25 years to be exact. And she shows no signs of slowing down. When she made the decision to take her passion and turn it into a business, she was a bit hesitant. She will be the first to tell you, there was a delay to her walking fully into the role of entrepreneur. But the seed was already planted in her when she was a child.

Her father was an established businessman in Gary for many years. At one point, he owned a gas station, a Blimpies Subs, a U Haul and a bank. So at a very young age Stalling-Whittington was exposed to the importance of Black ownership within the community.

This value of Black business ownership underlies her passion and her desire to work so hard in Gary. Her imprint in the PR field can be felt in different cities and states, but the majority of her clientele are from Gary, Indiana.

Not only are the majority of her clients from the Northwest Indiana region, the majority are Black women. According to a recent report by the Huffington Post, 14 percent of all businesses in the U.S. are owned and operated by Black women; when you break it down, that’s 1.3 million businesses.

Stalling-Whittington has chosen a good time to help these business owners because Gary, Indiana is ripe with the potential for any small business owner to start their business. She is not only helping these small businesses thrive, but she is throwing her hat in the race as a contender in the small business sector.

Although she comes from an entrepreneurial family, the reality is that she had to adapt to this role. Her former positions in the workforce saw her in traditional 9-5 roles.

She has been employed by some top organizations locally and abroad. Her resume includes Indiana University Northwest, Valparaiso University, Johnson and Johnson, Gary Community School Corporation, along with the City of Gary. She now works for the Chicago Urban League.

One of the reasons Stalling-Whittington has found success as a business owner is because she’s learned how to adapt and transform in her roles.

As a professor, she taught public relations and in the corporate world, her PR background served those companies well. Now as an entrepreneur she has to wear her PR hat slightly differently. Stalling-Whittington now enjoys the satisfaction of helping her own clientele succeed. Under the umbrella of her company C Whitt PR she has worked with Senator Eddie Melton, Delta Jones-Walker of Atled Financial and Crystal Lynn O’Brien.

It seems that the goal of any budding entrepreneur is to leave the confines of their traditional 9-5, but that’s not on Chelsea’s radar right away. She’s found a healthy balance between teaching and running her business. She says that with the support of her husband and the positioning of God ordering her steps, she believes she is in good hands. What’s next to come for this powerhouse? Five years from now, Chelsea believes that her company C Whitt PR will be a brick and mortar business, leading the cause for public relations for small businesses.

For additional information on C Whitt PR, contact Stalling-Whittington via any of her social media channels; @cwhittpr, or by phone at 219-712-3182.

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