Called “a breath of fresh air” and “the accessible Oprah”, Saya Hillman is an Evanston, IL native, Boston College graduate, and Chicago resident. After four years in the non-profit world, she decided that bosses and commutes weren’t her thing and since 2004 has been blissfully self-employed. Her lifestyle business, Mac & Cheese Productions℠, utilizes play, innovation, and comfortable fear to create communities of everyday superheroes. Mac & Cheese motivates individuals and organizations to stretch themselves and do their best thinking, and supports people in finding fulfillment and groups in creating a positive culture. Positive orientation = positive results. Think summer camp for adults.


What’s your favorite book?

ReWork by Jason Fried

Favorite movie?

Stand By Me


Favorite TV show?

Currently, Insecure

When did you realize you wanted to share your passion/skill?

When I realized that things that others loathe — networking, sales, self-promotion, public speaking — are things at which I excel and am able to teach effectively and inspirationally. Also when I saw how much one can make as a professional speaker! Get paid to travel and share my passion? Um, ok.

Did you go to school for your craft or teach yourself?

Ha, total DIYer. I am trained and certified in nothing!

If you could choose a spirit animal what would it be?

Puppies! (just became a doggie foster parent)

What makes you laugh until you cry?

Improv. But often the tears are because I’m questioning why I forced myself to participate.

How do you like to spend your weekend?

Biking the city with my best friend/husband, working (cause I love what I do), playing board games, firepit action, and reading in coffeehouses.

What’s your favorite city and why?

The city I have yet to visit. My hubs and I love traveling and do it incessantly. I especially love living a Four Seasons lifestyle on a Motel Six budget and think travel hacking is the best.


Where do you find inspiration?

From my Cheese-Its (what I call my customers). I love when they send me notes about quitting their jobs or moving to a new city or signing up for a scary class because of an a-ha moment I provided them. I also love getting peers business, helping friends find love, connecting friends to new friends, and have a pretty kickass referral track record.

Are you in Chicago and want to check out one of Saya’s stimulating and super educating events?! Or do you know someone who might? Sign-up or share her event here.