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Amy S. Hilliard

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Information about Amy S. Hilliard

Profile image of Amy S. Hilliard

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Corporate Chief Executive
Marketing Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Lime Green
Favorite Food:
Watermelon
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
Seek Progress, Not Perfection.

Birthplace

Born:
8/16/1952
Birth Location:
Detroit, Michigan

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Corporate Chief Executive
Marketing Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Lime Green
Favorite Food:
Watermelon
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
Seek Progress, Not Perfection.

Birthplace

Born:
8/16/1952
Birth Location:
Detroit
See how Amy S. Hilliard is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Comfort Cake founder and CEO Amy Sharmane Hilliard was born Audrey Sharmane Amy Hilliard on August 16, 1952 in Detroit, Michigan. Hilliard received her B.S. degree (with honors) from Howard University in 1974 and her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1978.

After school, Hilliard went to work for Bloomingdale’s as a member of their buying team in New York. In 1981, Hilliard joined the Gillette Company in the Personal Care Division working in Product Management. She led the team that successfully created and launched White Rain Shampoo in six months. In addition, Hilliard managed the development and execution of the multiple brand Miss America promotion during this period. By 1985, Hilliard was promoted to Senior Product Manager for Gillette at Division Headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. She was responsible for the general management of Gillette’s largest personal care business, the $100 million White Rain hair care products franchise. In 1987, Hilliard became the Director of Marketing for the Lustrasilk Corporation (a Gillette subsidiary) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In Minneapolis, Hilliard left Gillette in 1990 to work for The Pillsbury Company where, as the Director of Market Development, Baked Goods Division, she helped create some of the first Pillsbury Doughboy advertisements that were targeted to people of color. In 1992, Hilliard began working for the Burrell Communications Group in Chicago, Illinois as Senior Vice President and Director of Integrated Marketing Services. Burrell Communications Group specializes in developing advertising and marketing campaigns targeting African American consumers and the urban market. Hilliard then founded The Hilliard Group, Inc. in 1995 and served as its President and CEO. The Hilliard Group specialized in developing multi-cultural marketing and sales strategies for Fortune 500 corporations. In 1999, Hilliard became Senior Vice President of Marketing for Soft Sheen Products, a Division of L’Oreal U.S.A. While still working at L’Oreal, Hilliard made the decision to go into business for herself. Hilliard founded The Comfort Cake Company on February 15, 2001 and serves as its president and CEO. By 2002, The Comfort Cake Company had expanded into the Chicago Public School system cafeterias, and by 2003, Comfort Cakes were being sold on Amazon.com and in 7-Eleven stores.

Formerly an adjunct professor at DePaul University’s business school, Hilliard has lectured at leading universities including Harvard, The University of Chicago, Northwestern, Duke and UCLA. She has consulted internationally in London and in South Africa, where she presented business development opportunities to President Nelson Mandela’s cabinet. Her work has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal, Ad Age, Business Week, Working Woman, Entrepreneur Magazine, Essence, Black Enterprise, and Ebony among others. In 2005, Hilliard published a book entitled, Tap Into Your Juice: Find Your Gifts, Lose Your Fears, Build Your Dreams.

Hilliard is the proud mother of two active teenagers, Angelica and Nicholas.

Hilliard was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 14, 2008.

See how Amy S. Hilliard is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Amy S. Hilliard's interview, session 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Amy S. Hilliard lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her mother's upbringing during the Great Depression
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her maternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her mother's education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her likeness to her mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers her maternal great-grandmother and great-aunts
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her maternal aunts
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her great-aunts' catering business
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about the death of her mother's oldest sister
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her likeness to her father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her paternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her paternal great-grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her family's racial ancestry
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Amy S. Hilliard lists her parents' siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her earliest memory of school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about the origin of her name
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls her influential teachers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her extracurricular activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her early personality
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers her childhood friends
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers her neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Amy S. Hilliard describes the black business district in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Amy S. Hilliard lists her siblings
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers the holidays
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her father's occupation
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers the Grace Episcopal Church in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers integrating Eugenia Mettetal Junior High School in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her social life at Eugenia Mettetal Junior High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her experiences of integration busing
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her extracurricular activities
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her early interest in literature
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls her graduation from Eugenia Mettetal Junior High School in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Amy S. Hilliard describes the riots of 1967 in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Amy S. Hilliard describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her early aspirations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers her college applications
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls joining the cheerleading squad at Cass Technical High School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls her transition to Howard University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Amy S. Hilliard describes the civil rights activities at Howard University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her mentors at Howard University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers a friend who was murdered by her fiance
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls her start as a fashion buyer
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her career as a fashion buyer
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about the African American fashion buyers at Bloomingdale's
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls her work at the May Merchandising Corporation
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her transition to the Harvard Business School
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls the start of her interest in advertising
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls the start of her interest in advertising
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Amy S. Hilliard's interview, session 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls her decision to study at the Harvard Business School
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about H. Naylor Fitzhugh
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls her mentors at the Harvard Business School
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers becoming Bloomingdale's fashion buyer
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls joining The Gillette Company
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls the Miss America pageant of 1984
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers The Gillette Company's interest in the black hair care market
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers the black hair industry's resistance to majority corporations
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls The Gillette Company's acquisition of the Lustrasilk Corporation
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls joining the Pillsbury Company, LLC
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her multicultural education initiative at the Pillsbury Company, LLC
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls the Pillsbury Company's first advertisement featuring people of color
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers her first day at the Pillsbury Company, LLC
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls hiring African Americans to work at the Pillsbury Company, LLC
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her move to Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her role at the Burrell Communications Group
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about the advertising industry in South Africa
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers founding the Hilliard Jones Marketing Group
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls managing Soft Sheen for L'Oreal S.A.
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about the changes in the black hair care industry
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Amy S. Hilliard describes the founding of the Comfort Cake Company, LLC, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Amy S. Hilliard describes the founding of the Comfort Cake Company, LLC, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers the support of her children
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about the operations of the Comfort Cake Company, LLC
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers the first customer of the Comfort Cake Company, LLC
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her search for a production bakery
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls the bankruptcy of her production bakery
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her children's roles at the Comfort Cake Company, LLC
  • Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about the staff of the Comfort Cake Company, LLC
  • Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her book, 'Tap Into Your Juice'
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Amy S. Hilliard reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Amy S. Hilliard reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her plans for the future of Comfort Cake Co LLC
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about the impact of the financial crisis of 2008
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her family
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about the importance of community service
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Amy S. Hilliard describes how she would like to be remembered