Enrichment dinner speaker announced

First Posted: 1/27/2014

LIMA — A woman who gave up a successful career to start her own business that became very successful will be the keynote speaker at the annual Community Enrichment Dinner.

Amy Hilliard, founder and CEO of The ComfortCake Co. and author of “Tap Into Your Juice,” will be the speaker at the dinner held at 5:30 p.m. April 10 at the Veterans Memorial Civic Center.

Tickets for the dinner are $60 each and may be purchased by calling Jessie Pope or Teri Slone at the chamber of commerce at 419-222-6045.

Proceeds from the dinner benefit the Walter C. Potts Entrepreneur Center. The center provides leadership guidance for new entrepreneurs, and small and minority businesses in the Lima area.

Hillard is a graduate of Howard University and Harvard Business School. She served as a senior marketing executive at several major corporations such as Gillette, Pillsbury and Burrell Communications Group.

She had great success when she managed and launched brands, such as the $100 million White Rain brand for Gillette.

In 1995, she founded her own multicultural marketing consultancy, The Hillard Group, with clients including American Express, Chase Bank, HBO, IBM, Texaco and The Gap. In 1999, she was hired as senior vice president of marketing for a division of L’Oreal, where she was part of a team that launched multimillion-dollar brands.

In 2001, Hillard left corporate American again and sold her home to pursue a dream of building The ComfortCake Co., using a family recipe. Her first customer was United Airlines, which purchased half a million slices.

Today, ComfortCake products are sold through various food suppliers including retail and the Internet. Some well-known customers include Wal-Mart and, after a 10-year effort, McDonald’s became a customer.

Hillard has been featured in Fortune Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Business, The Wall Street Journal, Black Enterprise, Ebony, Business Week and Essence.

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