31 Days, 31 People

Jillian and Craig. Photo from Jillian’s Facebook profile.

I met Jillian in November of 1996. Ben, my spouse at the time, had responded to an ad he’d found on a job board at school in the broadcast journalism department. The job was along the lines of, “Need Production Assistants for Live Broadcast at COMDEX, $100/day.” He was working at a TV station after school, I was home working on my homework when a call came in regarding that job, it was the Production Manager, Jillian. I let her know he was interested in the job, we talked for probably 10 minutes, at the end of the call she asked if I knew anyone else who may be available. Coyly, I said I was. An extra $100/day would be a huge deal. We got the gig.

The things I remember most about the job, it was one week of crazy long hours, super nice people, I learned a lot, and Jillian was kind and super smart. On the first day, she handed me an envelope of petty cash and asked if I could keep it for the week, just keep track of it. It was full of something crazy like $500 in cash. Her trusting me so immediately with such a big amount surprised me, but I knew I could handle the responsibility.

Jillian and I got along great. And for the next few years, Ben and I ended up working as production assistants on these Satellite Media Tours. Mostly when they came to Las Vegas for COMDEX and CES, but over time we ended up joining them at other locations, like the Detroit and LA Auto Shows. Eventually, Jillian and her partner Craig started their own specialty camera production shop, Picture Factory, in Burlingame, CA. That’s where I’d eventually work my first post-college job, and in my downtime I’d teach myself how to design and code websites by making their first company website.

I still remember Jillian as one of my greatest mentors. I learned so much from working with her. I learned how to be incredibly organized, I learned about production management, working with clients, how to be an awesome boss, and I remember hearing her several times say, “Life is too short to waste any time doing something you don’t love.” I couldn’t be more grateful for what I learned from her. It has been a huge part of the foundation for every job I’ve had since.

Jillian, you’re a brilliant, beautiful human being and I’m honored to have worked alongside you. Thank you for everything you shared. Without you, I’m not sure what path I would have ended up going down. I’m thrilled to report that I’ve been true to a path of following my heart and doing what I love.



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