Let’s talk: Black History Month


When I stepped into the role of CEO and owner at talkStrategy, I knew that I had the huge responsibility to foster a brave space coupled with an inclusive agency culture open to all perspectives. I don’t take this responsibility lightly. I am proud of the team we have built, each person bringing their own perspectives to the work, to the enrichment of the agency and to each other as individuals. Beginning this month, we will embark on a year-long journey to learn more about each other, explore new perspectives, and have candid conversations. As communications professionals, our role is to help brands navigate the modern channel ecosystem. We hope this endeavor will introduce new thinking, making us better communicators, better stewards of the ecosystem, and frankly better humans. To ensure we have diverse perspectives, the exploration will be spearheaded by rotating members of our team of talkStrategists. I hope you join us over the next weeks and months, as well as join in the dialogue.

Let's talk: Gina Stikes

During this Black History Month we are taking the time to acknowledge and honor Black professionals who have made contributions to the Marketing and Communications industry as a whole, as well as recognizing those who are history in the making. Next, we’re highlighting the highly decorated Gina Stikes, currently the Chief Communications Officer at Eventbrite. 

Gina Stikes, Chief Communications Officer, Eventbrite

Gina Stikes attended Ravenna High School in Ravenna, Ohio where early on she began bridging her career in PR. In her early school years she was the winner of the Katherine M. Francis Womanhood Award, treasurer of the National Honor Society, and President of her Freshman class. She earned her B.S. in Journalism from Kent State University, where she was a journalist for the Daily Kent State and President of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Stikes was also the first public relations student at KSU to receive a scholarship from the National Public Relations Society of America. And she did all this while maintaining Dean’s list status, to boot.

From there, Gina went on to start a successful PR career in New York City, securing 50 million media impressions for key consumer markets while supervising four district reports and a $2 million budget. She received her M.S. in Strategic Communications from Columbia University. Her decades-long leadership career in the media, entertainment and technology industries includes strategy development for renowned companies and consumer brands like Edelman, HP, Timberland, YouTube and Microsoft. 

Gina was Director of Public Relations and Marketing at NBC, working on top programs like TODAY and NBC Nightly News. After her time with NBC, she joined BET Networks as Senior Director of Corporate Communications. She was also Head of Public Relations & Corporate Communications at Quibi. Most recently, Stikes became a Trustee on the Board of The National Urban League where she was recognized as the Collin Award Trustee of the Year and she also serves as a board member of the Smithsonian Institution’s Anacostia Community Museum.

Stikes is married to David Shoehalter, varsity track and field coach at Yale University. Today, she is Eventbrite’s first-ever Chief Communications Officer, where she leads the communication team’s internal and external strategy. Her goal of “building culture and community” is supported by the self-service ticketing platform’s commitment to identifying the unique needs of customers and entrepreneurial creators around the globe.


Gina was captain of her high school’s basketball team leading them through a winning season as leading scorer, leading rebounder and MVP on the team.

Thank you for taking to the time to learn more with us about the impact of Black professionals in the field. Stay tuned throughout the coming months for more moments of reflection and homage. Follow for more talkStrategy storytelling at @wetalkstrategy.

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