Who is Hill Management Group?
HMG is owned by Andrea Hill. Andrea has over 35 years professional experience as the CEO and president of start-up through mid-sized companies, and she has demonstrated serial success in leading companies through rapid and profitable growth.
She launched Hill Management Group in 2007, which serves the international jewelry and accessory verticals through the brands StrategyWerx, WerxMarketing, and MentorWerx, and in 2018 she also became interim Managing Director of Legor Group, S.p.A., a master alloys and plating solutions supplier based in northern Italy. Additionally, Andrea has played a key role in the development and management of the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference, which has become a gathering of the worldwide community working to create mine-to-market responsible supply chains in metals and gem materials.
Prior to launching HMG in 2007, her experience spanned multiple industries as the CEO of Rio Grande Jewelry Supply, the president of international clothing manufacturer and direct marketer Fulcrum Direct/After the Stork, president of marketing services firm Anthill Marketing, a founding senior executive of Playboy’s direct marketing catalog operations in music and video, and senior executive of Video King, an 18-store video chain ultimately sold to Trans World Music Company.
Andrea’s particular expertise is in preparing companies for growth – whether they seek to improve cash-flow for organic growth, or acquire angel or institutional investors. She uses proprietary processes for strategic planning, branding, digital marketing, and operations and manufacturing improvement and management – all areas which must be perfected in order to improve the bottom line or approach serious investors. She has worked extensively around the world in leadership and leadership development roles.
While she consults across the business spectrum (everything but legal and accounting), Andrea has particularly deep knowledge of marketing in all its forms. Her earliest jobs were with with major national advertising agencies, where she built a foundation of great copy, graphics, and promotion skills. From there, she moved on to direct marketing, where she learned merchandising, list segmentation and database marketing from one of the best in the world – Hank Johnson of Spiegel. An avid programmer since the early 1980s, Andrea was also an early internet adopter, and was busy creating websites and exploring what the web would become before most people discovered AOL. If you ask her what she can help you with, she’ll say business. If you ask her what she thinks she’s best at, she’ll say marketing.
Andrea is also very well known for her ability to explain business concepts in clear, accessible, easy-to-implement terms, and is a much sought-after speaker and teacher.
In 2007 Andrea formed HMG, providing strategy consulting, business education, branding, and marketing services to small and mid-sized businesses. HMG began as StrategyWerx, a strategy consultancy serving the jewelry, arts, craft and lifestyle-brand industries.
However, it quickly became apparent that HMG accounts were unable to act on much of the marketing advice that was given, because they lacked internal marketing staff to do so. When Andrea tried to build a database of marketing companies that were suitable to serve these businesses, she hit a brick wall. She didn’t want to offer a patchwork of freelance graphic designers, copy-writers, and social media marketers to her clients. Even if this type of arrangement had been manageable, Andrea found very few freelancers who understood marketing sufficiently to execute a strategic marketing program. So in 2008, Andrea formed WerxMarketing (originally named SupportWerx) to serve as a specialty marketing agency to small business owners.
In 2013 Andrea formed a third brand, MentorWerx. This fulfilled her long-term goal her of offering business education in affordable increments to creative-based business owners who need to address business knowledge gaps in order to become stronger managers and leaders.
Where Are We Located?
When Hill Management Group opened in 2007, we started with offices downtown Chicago. It was a small but cheerful space centered around a terrific conference area. And then . . . we hardly spent any time there. Consulting is an on-the-road job, and customers rarely come visit. Furthermore, Andrea Hill has strong opinions about balancing work and home life, which includes allowing as much work-at-home as feasible for employees.
The good thing about leasing office space in a major real estate downturn is that you can cut a 12-month lease. In 2008 we dissolved the office space and committed to being a virtual office, paperless company. Our employees are largely centered in the Midwest/Great Lakes area, but we have employees in three of the four corners of the country and two in Canada. Not only does this provide all of us with terrific folks to visit wherever we go, but it means we can cover all the time-zones, bring a national perspective to our work, and find terrific employees wherever they live!