I am Jillian Hillcrest — the key fictional character in a mystery called On Message by Joyce T. Strand.(joycestrand.com). I help a San Francisco homicide inspector solve a murder. I understand that Joyce is working on a second book called Open Meetings where I get to help solve some additional crimes, so you will see me again in my crime-solving capacity.
This blog follows my life as the head of corporate communications at a small biotechnology company in Silicon Valley. I focus on issues and activities that are part of my life as a public relations executive.
My 200-person company, Harmonia Therapeutics, develops and manufactures therapies to curtail the harmful attack by the immune system against its own cells, known as autoimmunity. Phil Montgomery, our founder, world renowned for his genomic research, sings tenor for a nationally competitive barbershop quartet. He named the company. He compared balancing the human immune system with singing in harmony. In Greek mythology, Harmonia is the goddess of harmony and concord.
I have worked at Harmonia for more than a year, following almost 10 years at a high tech company where I learned and experienced the science and art of communications. Prior to starting at the high tech company, I graduated from Cal with a degree in political science.
I grew up with my mother in a small town in Pennsylvania, although we moved to California when I was in high school, and my mother now lives in southern California. I never got to know my father; he was killed in the Vietnam War. I got married right after graduation from Cal to Chad Bradbury, who is a marketing executive at a biotech company in Alameda. We got divorced after 10 years of marriage, and, quite frankly, we’re not sure why. We still enjoy getting together. In particular, Chad and I really enjoy going to restaurants and drinking wine. Joyce writes a lot about my favorite starters, entrees, desserts and wines in her books. I have provided a list of some of them on my web site (jillianhillcrest.com).
As the head of corporate communications, I am responsible for updating investors, employees, the media, partners, and the community about Harmonia and its products. I have a staff of two, including a marketing communications manager and an executive assistant. I keep up to date on the latest FDA and SEC regulations so that our press releases, web page and other marketing materials are compliant with them.
I hope you enjoy my blog. I look forward to your comments either here on the blog or at jillianhillcrest.com (Ask Jillian)