THE REINVENTION SPECIALIST
A proven thought leader and author on the platforms of entrepreneurship, marketing and empowerment, Amy S. Hilliard is the owner of three businesses: consulting, speaking and product development. As principal of The Hilliard Group, a strategic marketing consulting firm that has represented Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurial businesses for over twenty years, she’s worked with clients including Nielsen, IBM, BET Networks, American Express, HBO, the Art Institute of Chicago, Ford Motor Company, PepsiCo, The Limited and others. A multi-million dollar brand builder, Ms. Hilliard founded Chicago's ComfortCake Company®, makers of “Pound Cake so Good it feels like a Hug®“. The Company commercialized Ms. Hilliard's own recipes for a variety of pound cakes, and now produces a gourmet pound cake mix and Sugarless Sweetness®, a patent-pending proprietary sugar substitute. Launched in 2001, the company gained national distribution and customers have included United Airlines, the Chicago Public Schools, Walmart, Jewel, Safeway, 7-Eleven and Home Shopping Network among others. The ComfortCake Company now licenses its proprietary pound cake recipes, trademarks and a new company offers the Sugarless Sweetness ingredient to manufacturers and commercial customers.
With a unique background of senior corporate experience and established entrepreneurship, Ms. Hilliard was recently President of Fashion Fair Cosmetics, the largest cosmetics company focused on women of color in the world. She was instrumental in strengthening the brand’s equity in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. Additionally, she built new marketing, sales and training teams, upgraded advertising, digital and in-store imagery, enhanced customer relationships, created strategic partnerships and promotions with Cinderella on Broadway and the Lifetime Whitney Houston biopic and focused the e-commerce efforts of the business to deliver the highest annual sales revenues ever for that channel. During Ms. Hilliard’s tenure, Essence Magazine named her as one of the nation’s key beauty industry influencers.
An avid health enthusiast and community volunteer, Ms. Hilliard was selected for the Urban League's nextONE Program and The Clinton Foundation's Entrepreneurship Mentor Program. Her prior board memberships include PepsiCo’s Multicultural Advisory Board, the Women's Business Development Center and Ford Motor Company's Diversity Board. Ms. Hilliard was the first African-American elected to the board of the National Association of the Specialty Food Trade, she was appointed by the governor to the Illinois Women’s Advisory Board, served two terms on the Board of Trustees of Howard University and currently serves on the LeanIn.org advisory Board with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.
A native Detroiter, she is an honors graduate of both Howard University and the Harvard Business School (HBS). Amy Hilliard and her sister, Gloria Mayfield Banks are the only two African-American sisters to have graduated from HBS in its entire history. Her other two sisters Pamela Hilliard Owens and Wendy Hilliard are global entrepreneurs as well, and together they comprise a dynamic “Entrepreneurial Sister Act”.
A former senior marketing executive with Fortune 500 corporations, including Gillette, Pillsbury and L'Oreal, Amy Hilliard successfully raised two young adults through college as a single mother and is author of “TAP INTO YOUR JUICE -- Find Your Gifts, Lose Your Fears and Build Your Dreams” – a motivational guidebook endorsed by First Lady Michelle Obama, and “Mother Wit” for NY Times bestseller, Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul.
Find out more!
Visit Amy's blog pages Entrepreneurville and Sizzling After 60 to learn more about her life and experience.