Before her current incarnation -- and passion -- as a memoir and fiction writer
with new forays into film/TV/web video projects, Ina was a Fortune 500 consultant in marketing, communications and strategic planning. Born and raised on the Right Coast, she and her late brother Conrad spent half their kidhood
on the Left One, in Los Angeles, after their parents’ divorce. Bi-coastal living wasn’t half bad, they decided; Burma Shave signs on Route 66 alone were a treat. At age 21, Ina graduated from the University of Pennsylvania (an anthropology major), and then ran away from both sets of parents to attend graduate school in New Orleans, at Tulane. She married in the French Quarter, and soon moved to Manhattan with husband Barry, a lawyer, and Rapscallion P. Cat. It was at J. Walter Thompson in New York City, upon passing a writing trial by fire, that Ina became a qualitative researcher, doing scads of focus groups and reports, some of which made her boss nervous. But wasn't it OK to relieve the tedium of, "Attached is your copy of the report entitled Blah Blah Blah. Please feel free to call with any questions," with "Attached is your copy of the report entitled Blah Blah Blah. May the bluebird of happiness land on your nose as you read it"?
Later Ina became an independent strategic planning consultant and futurist to companies including CBS, Charles Schwab, Citicorp, Scott Paper, VISA, SEARS, IBM and non-profits such as The Rockefeller Foundation. She created ethnographic study processes to augment one-way mirror information, and had lots of fun working with Weight Watchers and Dunkin' Donuts (same people in front of the mirror).
In the mid-eighties, Ina had several epiphanies. Divorced for several years, she moved with daughter Nicole, two cats and Handsome, The World’s Best Dog, back to California. In Carmel, she turned her attention full time to writing. But writing can be lonely, and she missed working with groups of people. Thus began her UN-Workshops - a series of interactive seminars based on Ina’s work and life experience. Comic Release and
Idea Magic are two of her most popular offerings; they help 2-legged creatures de-stress, and add humor, creativity and harmony to their professional and personal lives. (More about the UN-Workshops coming soon to this site. Meantime, you can use our
contact information if you would like to know more.)
Since returning to the West Coast, Ina has written, edited, published and contributed to a number of books, journals and newsletters, and has performed a variety of roles in creating radio and video/film/TV programs and concepts; for a Jazz special on NPR, the City of New York with the Urban Cultural Foundation, web/PBS; she was script doctor on a televised jazz special starring presenters Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover, and has been featured in the New York Times, the LA Times, Omni and other journals. On camera, she's been a featured guest on many radio and TV news and documentary programs, as well as a number of corporate videos for clients. Her first published book, Pawprints, became an Amazon.com best seller, and led to the creation of a literacy program --
Pawprints Literacy Plus (PLP) -- stemming from its use in an Educators Workshop for the Jane Goodall Institute. PLP's mission is to combine building literacy skills with kindness to animals, for at-risk youth. You can see her speaking about the book at a booksigning on WXEL-PBS. She also can be heard reading from Pawprints in radio interviews, Extending her writing coaching to adults, Ina developed the Footprints Writing Clubs and wrote a book to help teachers and individuals create compelling memoirs: How to Write Your Memoirs...Fun Prompts to Make Writing...and Reading...Your Life Stories a Pleasure. She is working on a sequel, How to Write Your Memoirs, The Toolbox edition, to be published winter 2016. Among other books Ina has written edited and published are Alon Mintz's Wine, Women, Whispers, two books of poems by Chrystine Julian, and Diving Boards: Jump-Starts for Stories – OR – If You See a Man Alone on the Beach, It Means His Wife is Upstairs Throwing up in the Room. Her work with seniors has produced a series of Stories From The Heart books; Vol. 2 was pronounced a best seller by Amazon.com;
a third was published and launched subsequently, and Vol. 4 is due winter,
2017. You can see videos of some of her authors reading from the book at an Ice Cream Social book launch in Stories Vol. 2 videos. The work of her writing classes inspired Ina, in concert with Todd Liebman, to develop full blown TV and film concepts that take the characters on rather far-flung journeys. Other book, film and TV ideas are in progress.
Her latest project is the soon to be released book
You Are Who You Eat, The Revolutionary New
Cannibal Diet. You can pre-order.
Launch date: June 8!
Women of the Year in Who’s Who, Ina is also proud of a recent
accomplishment. As of February, 2016,
You Are Who You Eat,
illustrated by the incomparable Dedini, is in the Billy Ireland Cartoon
Library and Museum at Ohio State University.
This is a real project of the heart. It all began with jokes her father
invented a million years ago. She is sure he is laughing somewhere up there.
Basic Bio Stuff: Ina obtained her
undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored
in Anthropology. She completed two years of graduate studies at Tulane
University, in Anthro and Social Psychology, found herself becoming more
interested in dancing and sailing than academia, and so did not complete the
PhD program in which she was enrolled. Later she did resume student life,
studying Improvisational Acting with Gary Austin. Which was not only a hoot,
but led to a current project. Ina speaks a bit of French, loves to dance, hike, ride horses, sail, laugh, cook and travel. She contributes to many animal rights groups and has served on steering committees and boards of such organizations as the Jane Goodall Institute - Los Angeles.
Currently she is actively involved in advisory activities for writing and
publishing groups IWOSC and PA-LA, and is a member of WNBA-LA. She’s proud of daughter Nicole, who is a talented actress, avid traveler, newly practicing gourmet cook, and a good person.
You can currently find Moms Hillebrandt in Mar Vista, California, with her cats – Pixelle and Fiona – and their friends who drop in for dinner occasionally. She really misses Tamba, Sascha, Silverberry, Rapper, Sammy #1 and
Sammy #2, and Handsome, as you can tell from
eulogies on this site, and in her