Amy S. Hilliard
Founder, President and CEO
ComfortCake Company, LLC
Amy S. Hilliard, a member since 2010, is the Founder, President and CEO of the ComfortCake Company, LLC (Chicago, Illinois). Launched in January 2001, the ComfortCake® brand is a nationally registered trademark. Manufactured by three volume plants, ComfortCake® pound cakes are one of the first Southern-style, made from scratch pound cakes in mass distribution. After just two years in business, the ComfortCake Company was selected as the Emerging Minority Enterprise of the Year by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
A sought-after speaker worldwide on marketing and entrepreneurship, her first book, TAP INTO YOUR JUICE—Find Your Gifts, Lose Your Fears, and Build Your Dreams, is endorsed by First Lady Michelle Obama. Founded in 1995, The Hilliard Group was her first company. A former senior marketing executive with leading Fortune 500 corporations and entrepreneurial firms including Bloomingdale’s, Gillette, and Pillsbury, she was the senior vice president of integrated marketing at Burrell Communications Group.
As senior vice president of marketing for Soft Sheen Products, a division of L’Oreal USA, she directed the marketing activities of the hair care division, managed all new product development, brand management, marketing/sales strategy, advertising, promotion, and public relations. Under her direction, Soft Sheen launched the innovative Breakthru product line, cited as “one of the most creative and cohesive global launches ever” by the Chairman/CEO of L’Oreal Paris.
She is the first African American elected to the Board of Directors of the National Association of the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT). Currently, she serves on: the Ethnic Advisory Board of PepsiCo; the Clinton Foundation Economic Initiative/Entrepreneurship Mentor Program; Chicago Urban League; Chicago Chamber of Commerce; and Rainbow Push Coalition.
A community activist, volunteer, and former adjunct professor of Marketing at the DePaul University, she was appointed by Mayor Richard M. Daly as a Commissioner on the Chicago 21st Century Planning Commission and the Chicago Business Economic Roundtable. A native of Detroit, she graduated with honors from both Howard University and the Harvard Business School.