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Trish Cheatham, CEO, Think Tank PR, Marketing and Design

By KATE GENO
    Think Tank PR, Marketing and Design is a firm based in Southwestern Illinois that is growing steadily by developing innovative campaigns for local and national clients. CEO Trish Cheatham said she has built the company based on integrity, with the goal to pay it forward at work and in the community.
P12 cheathamCheatham    Think Tank is a full-service marketing and advertising agency that offers in-house marketing campaigns, website design, social media management, branding and commercial production. It is one of only a few such companies that manage all its services in-house. This strategy allows the company to control the quality of the work and guide the entire creative process from start to finish.
    Its clients vary from mid-sized businesses and family-owned companies to large national corporations. When Cheatham started Think Tank in 2006, she catered to small to mid-sized businesses that needed assistance the most. Her client list has gradually grown to include large national corporations.
    As CEO, Cheatham drives new business, manages employees, conducts strategic planning for many clients and oversees accounting and bookkeeping. Her offices are located in Glen Carbon. She takes pride in running a successful business and counsels her clients to help them achieve the same success.
    “While I work crazy long hours and am often coined the ‘energizer bunny’ by my friends and colleagues, I love going into a client’s business and helping them solve a problem,” she said. “I enjoy helping clients grow, succeed, evolve and change.”
    Cheatham’s career began in the real estate industry and progressed to helping non-profit organizations in the St. Louis area with their marketing efforts. She helped start the Edwardsville/Glen Carbon chapter of Habitat for Humanity and was its president for several years. When her clients quickly grew despite a tough economy, companies started seeking her out to run their marketing campaigns. That set her on the path to starting her own company and promoting her talent for PR and marketing.
    Think Tank has also allowed Cheatham to realize her goal to be an inspiration to others, she said. She offers internships to college students so they can learn the business and delivers messages of empowerment to local universities and particularly to women.
    “I love the opportunity to speak to women who are starting out in business,” says Cheatham. “One of my biggest challenges has been starting a woman-owned business in a male-dominated industry. I kept my head down and worked hard. I chose to never speak negatively about my competition or steal clients from competitors. Once I proved the quality of my work and my personal work ethic, things changed. My best advice to women is to work hard, produce killer work and treat people as you want to be treated and you will inevitably succeed.”