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Jill (VanderZanden) Bilka, Author photo

Life is like an Etch a Sketch. You are in control of the creation, so if you are not happy with it, shake it up and try again.

Jill with a flower

About Jill

Boy Mom | Outdoor Enthusiast | Community Supporter | Business Owner | Mental Health Advocate | Small Town Girl | Craft Beer Lover

No matter what area of life you get to know Jill in, whether professionally or personally, there are some things that remain consistent and shape who she is. Jill thrives on making a difference in her community and the lives of others. She has a degree in psychology, a working background in youth and family services and communication, as well as training in conflict resolution and leadership.


Jill grew up the youngest of three girls in a small rural town in Oregon and is now raising her three boys in the heart of a small town in wine country. She enjoys working to help advance the mission of organizations and causes she is passionate about. Whether it’s helping small businesses grow through effective communication and efficient operations, or working to help advance the mission of organizations and causes, Jill cares deeply about achieving goals and seeing programs, projects, and people succeed.


Jill is a goal-oriented person that looks for success amidst struggles, opportunities despite obstacles, and a brighter purpose even when facing painful experiences. In any situation, she works to connect the dots to help solve problems, find solutions, and provide resources. If Jill is not at home working or managing family life, you will likely find her out hiking or visiting a favorite local brewpub with friends. 


The Day Job

Jill is not just an author, she has a day job as well. Jill runs a boutique consulting practice that pulls her strengths in organization and communication. Unlike large marketing firms, clients get a personal touch and timely response with Bilka Consulting. Jill works best with small businesses, local Ma & Pa shops, non-profits, and other special interest groups. She serves as an extension of the business team.


When clients are busy juggling the day-to-day business, she is the consulting arm they can depend on. Jill works behind the scenes to keep communication flowing and project deadlines met, which helps keep her clients' businesses growing. 

Jill with a flower

Jill With a Flower

As a child, before I could read and identify my own name, at social events my parents would write my name on a cup and put a flower at the end, so I knew it was mine. As I got a bit older and started to write my own name, I would still write it with a flower on occasion.


Although I’m all grown up now and know how to spell my name without a flower, it has stuck with me throughout my life. Some people have spirit animals, but I’ve always been more of a flower kind of girl. I am forever thankful for the roots of my family and larger community which enriched who I have grown to be.


Flowers have continued to be a symbol of growth in my professional endeavors as well as my personal journey to wellness, and now here as my writing blooms.


Unlike the weather, we have our own seasons and time to bloom. Growth is the evidence of life and often the seed is the moment we accept our own weaknesses and choose to do the work to change and reach for a brighter version of life. May we all bloom where we are planted and remember that everything grows with love.


I'm always looking for new and exciting opportunities. Let's connect.

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