Hillary Black is principal of Kay & Black, a leading talent management firm that connects advertising clients with top creatives. With 20 years in the advertising industry and a keen understanding of creative talent, organizational culture, and team dynamics, she has a proven track record of finding the perfect fit for both candidates and agencies.
Hillary joined forces with business partner Leslie Kay in 1999, and in 2007 they formed Kay & Black. Through its three core service offerings, the firm offers talent representation and recruitment, talent outplacement, and creative “boot camps” for students and individuals. Based in New York, the boutique firm also has offices in New Jersey, Texas, and California.
Hillary found her way into advertising with a desire to make ads the way Charles Bukowski and ee cumings wrote poems, and while her initial professional goal was to become a copywriter, Hillary soon realized after taking classes at the School of Visual Arts that her real skill—and passion—was helping people identify and showcase their core strengths to find their perfect creative home.
Hillary started her career in 1994 as a creative assistant at Kirshenbaum & Bond, where she managed incoming portfolios and learned how to recognize top creative talent. She joined a boutique creative and production recruitment firm in 1995 and was promoted to recruiter in less than a year. Soon after she met Leslie Kay.
She brings a unique, nurturing style to her talent management practice; whether she is working with a recent graduate or a senior-level executive. She fosters efficiency, integrity, and trust throughout the recruitment/placement process by carefully curating candidates and their portfolios.
Always interested in building new skills, Hillary recently received her Masters in Social Work from Fordham University. This experience, combined with a Bachelors in Psychology, gives her additional insight into human nature, which she channels through career counseling and guidance.
She is deeply committed to mentorship activities and is a speaker at industry events, workshops, and panel discussions. She recently collaborated with the One Club, one of the world’s foremost Advertising organizations devoted to elevating creative work in the industry, to present a panel at the Young Ones Education Festival.
Hillary is involved in Moms In Training (MIT), a fundraising campaign for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) and has volunteered with the Ronald McDonald House New York and God’s Love We Deliver. She was born, raised, and continues to reside in New York City.