As we all know, hindsight is 20/20. And yet, even though Jill Miller Zimon’s early decisions may have felt random or rebellious to her at the time, looking back at her trajectory, there is an inherent cohesiveness to her actions. In fact, an early shift in her major at Georgetown from Chinese to a double major in government and sociology signaled a transition which reflected her abiding love of policy and people.
Further cementing her shift in focus were Jill’s two Spring Breaks spent in Appalachia and a year abroad in a development town in Israel after she graduated from Georgetown. Ultimately Jill pursued a joint law and social work degree at CWRU while enjoying a field placement in the Diagnostic Clinic at the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Center, and later serving as an ombudsman and eventually Director of Risk Management at Bellefaire JCB for a total of eight years. But it was the time spent blogging that allowed her to explore issues involving women in leadership, gender equity, parenting, education, and religion, and to examine the overlay of these issues and politics. In fact, Jill has been a political commentator in a variety of venues from CNN, C-SPAN and the BBC to more local spots on WCPN’s “The Sound of Ideas” and Feagler & Friends. And today Jill works at The Civic Commons as its Director of Partnerships concentrating both on the EfficientGovNetwork project and on development matters. The balance of her time is spent at home with her husband and her three children, and on the Pepper Pike City Council.
In spite of (or perhaps because of) her remarkable ability to juggle many balls, and her devotion to detail and process, Jill actually enjoys going to movies, eating out, and even traveling by herself – a fact few people know about her. What is more obvious is her compassionate, collaborative spirit and her commitment to civic engagement. Reflecting on her life, Jill has never felt “more productive than right now.” She combines her commitment to community and her comfort with technology as she explores issues using a balanced, thoughtful approach. Jill “loves the idea of leading by example, of going beyond evangelizing about how things should be or what we should be doing.”
Jill is a problem-solver at her core who hits the mark again and again no matter where she applies her talents. Little wonder that one of her first jobs was to serve as an archery instructor during high school. We at SVP certainly believe we have hit a bull’s-eye in having Jill join our ranks!