Next week, a University of West Georgia alumna and entrepreneur will leave her post in the North Pole and return to campus.
Christa Pitts, who graduated from UWG with a degree in mass communications in 1997, will be the featured speaker during the next installment of the BB&T Lectures in Free Enterprise series, hosted by the Richards College of Business.
Pitts serves as the co-CEO of Creatively Classic Activities and Books LLC (CCA and B), the family-owned publishing company that created the Christmas classic “The Elf on the Shelf.” As a co-founder of CCA and B, Pitts provided the business plans that took “The Elf” from an unknown self-published title to the top of notable best-seller lists year after year.
The lecture will be held in the Townsend Center for the Performing Arts on UWG’s campus on Monday, April 22, at 6 p.m. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Tickets are available at the Townsend Center box office.
“We are incredibly excited to welcome Christa back to UWG’s campus to share her journey and expertise with our community,” said Dr. Faye McIntyre, dean of the Richards College of Business and Sewell Chair of Private Enterprise. “I know our students will find great value in hearing her story and how she leveraged her UWG education to become a successful businesswoman in a competitive, multi-faceted industry.”
Under Pitts’ leadership, CCA and B has grown tremendously from a fledgling publishing start-up to an internationally recognized resource for children’s holiday toys, traditions and entertainment. The company now boasts over 150 individual products under its parent company banner.
Prior to creating a successful career in the publishing world, Pitts was a host on QVC, where her warmth and enthusiasm made her a household name as she honed her business and sales skills. She put her abilities to the test at CCA and B, building the marketing and sales departments from the ground up. Today, Pitts guides the company’s strategic business vision by overseeing the operational side of the company, which includes sourcing, production and sales strategy.
Under Pitts, “The Elf on the Shelf” has experienced exponential sales growth, rapidly increasing its footprint with retailers in North America, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Japan and Australia, collectively selling more than 10 million copies of “The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition.”
Pitts has been included in Georgia Trend Magazine’s “40 Under 40” list and named a Georgia Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. With her twin sister and fellow co-CEO, Chanda Bell (also a UWG graduate), she has helped CCA and B find its place on Inc. Magazine’s list of the country’s fastest-growing private companies.
Pitts’ lecture for the event is titled “Luck+ … when great ideas, timing, focus and hard work meet.” Students, faculty, staff and community members are welcome to attend installments in the BB&T Lectures in Free Enterprise series. Past speakers have included Stu Thorn, David Daniels and Dr. Jennifer Kahnweiler.
For more information on Pitts, visit www.ccaandb.com.
*Article Contribution to Colton Campbell