Jill was born and raised in Aberdeen, Washington and graduated from Weatherwax High School (the historic building that burned down in 2002). She graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in Economics, and followed up with an MBA from Indiana University. Jill’s professional career began at Bethlehem Steel in Bethlehem, PA as its first outside female sales representative. She relocated to Chicago and Indianapolis as a sales representative. Later she was promoted to various positions at corporate headquarters in Bethlehem, PA with her last position as Manager, Credit at Bethlehem’s Sparrows Point Plant in Baltimore, MD. She returned to the West Coast to help run the family steel business in Aberdeen in 2003, and worked there until that business was sold in 2019.
While living in Chicago, she became fascinated with architectural history and trained as a docent for the Chicago Architecture Foundation, leading walking tours of the Chicago Loop, Frank Lloyd Wright walking tours in Oak Park, and tours of historic homes. When she moved to Pennsylvania, she volunteered as a docent for Foundation for Architecture in Philadelphia, which provided walking tours of various historic neighborhoods.
Since moving back to Washington, she has volunteered to lead tours of public art along Percival Landing for the City Olympia’s Park, Arts and Recreation. She is currently a docent at the Bigelow House and a long-time member of the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum.