The Short Story
The Long Story
The Early Years
Jill was born in Pittsburgh to an art teacher and construction worker, where she learned how to teach and how to work. In high school, Jill was captain of the cross-country team, lead of the musical, and valedictorian of Highlands High School. Jill attended the Pennsylvania State University where she graduated with degrees in nutrition and theater. She developed a reputation as the singing nutrition major by creating and performing original musicals and producing rock & roll versions of the Penn State fight songs that appeared on ESPN.
Just before graduation, Jill landed a job as the writer and host of a nationally-syndicated children’s nutrition program on PBS. Realizing that she could apply her interests in media to address the growing childhood obesity epidemic, Jill moved to the children’s entertainment capital of the world, New York City. While pursuing her registered dietitian (RD) credential and MS in Nutrition Education at Teachers College Columbia University, Jill worked as a public school teacher and racked up stage credits as an off-Broadway actress, Radio Disney DJ, model, and puppeteer.
Development of Jump with Jill
Started in 2006, Jump with Jill debuted as a free street show in New York City’s Central Park as part of Jill’s master’s thesis about how mass media strategies so pervasive in advertising could be employed in Ivory Tower nutrition education practice. At this same time, Jill was signed to a development deal with her band. The label passed on song after song until they heard what Jill had been singing about in her new nutrition project. A&R worked on the debut album for Jump with Jill, released in 2008, which was followed by an intense national tour. By 2011, the first dopplegangers for Jill and DJ were cast so that Jill could pursue developing the toolkit to support following the show up in the classroom while her brother Mark developed the corporate underpinnings to turn Jump with Jill from a show into a brand. By 2012, the show had completed it’s first international tour and had been invited to meet the first lady as part of the Let’s Move Campaign. By 2014, the show had three full-time touring casts and grew from schools as clients to health-focused organizations that could bring the show to schools at no cost on a huge scale. In this important year, Jump with Jill became the face of a Midwest grocery store campaign, the nutrition education outreach arm for a state Department of Agriculture, and the campaign activation for the Dairy Council’s Fuel Up to Play 60 Program. There were Emmy nominations for the classroom support tools and Grammy nomination considerations for the music. In 2016, the research started to head to publication that Jump with Jill was effective. In 2018, Jump with Jill launched their first fitness based product for physical education teachers called the Action Pack. The entire graphic portfolio and set was redesigned to reflect the slick yet fun brand that the no longer scrappy kids’ band had become.
Jill’s big idea ―to use entertainment to address childhood obesity ― is now a company with ten employees emanating from a 9,000 square foot production studio in Pittsburgh, PA. Jump with Jill in-houses all music, video, and product development with their award-winning creative team. From an employment standpoint, Jump with Jill is a trendsetting place to work despite its size with parental leave, healthcare, and company match. Jump with Jill attracts certified teachers looking to use their degree outside of a traditional classroom and performers with a children’s or social cause repertoire. We are dedicated to using our talents to create moving experiences around the very important topic of nutrition. Our work is not only the gold standard in nutrition education; it is recognized for excellence in entertainment.