Penelope D. Hillemann

Vice President & Senior Communications Counselor

Connect with Penny

Penny joined Neuger Communications Group in 2004 and advises a wide variety of organizations, from healthcare and higher education to nonprofits and consumer cooperatives. She especially enjoys exploring the essence of a client’s business or area of advocacy to guide development of a new name, brand, graphic identity, website or communications campaign. She also serves as a lead writer for the firm. An avid birder, she has been known to exclaim in mid-meeting about an eagle or heron she has spotted flying by.

A former lawyer, Penny brings more than 25 years of communications and related experience to the firm. She previously served as web manager and communications associate at Classical 89.3 WCAL, the highly regarded listener-supported radio station that formerly served the Twin Cities and southern Minnesota. Earlier in her career she practiced law in Milwaukee and served for two years as a law clerk with the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.

Penny holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brown University, in Providence, Rhode Island, and a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School. She’s always loved working with words and will happily discuss English grammar and usage – coming down always on the side of clarity and common sense.

A certified Minnesota Master Naturalist Volunteer, she blogs about birds, nature and related topics at She serves on the boards of River Bend Nature Center and Just Food Co-op.

Penny lives in Northfield and shares her life with her husband Dave, her teenage son, two adult daughters, three cats and the many birds who visit her feeders. Now a longtime Midwesterner, she was born in Kenya and grew up in San Francisco – though she does not really remember the Summer of Love, having been in elementary school at the time.

In my spare time, I like to: Walk with camera and binoculars in the Carleton Arboretum or at River Bend Nature Center, work up a good blog post, and read. Dana Stabenow’s Alaska-based mysteries and Julie Zickefoose’s The Bluebird Effect have been recent favorites.

Favorite office tradition: I love our December Winter Walk event, where we have a great time with clients, vendors and friends at a festive open house during downtown Northfield’s picturesque Winter Walk celebration.

Favorite project I’ve ever worked on: I think my favorite project was the market research we did and the integrated brochure, website and video we created about senior cooperative housing for the Senior Cooperative Foundation. I learned a lot, I worked with wonderful people, the topic was fascinating, and the materials looked great and were really well received.

See What Our Values Mean to Penny+


For me, integrity means being real with my clients and colleagues – candidly sharing my analysis of a situation, listening to their views and ideas with attention and respect, and not being afraid to say “I don’t know.”


I want to get it right for my clients. I want it – whether “it” is a brochure, a logo, a website or a new name – to shine. I want it to reflect who they are and to reflect well upon them. And I want it to get to them on time, grammatically correct and spelled right!


I feel successful when we make our clients’ jobs easier and take some worry off their plate. I know we’ve succeeded when our clients feel better positioned for success … and when they see that success coming through the door.

Commentaries From Penny

Being There

February 5, 2015

The Neuger team has been getting together with the team at Carlson Capital Management, a well-regarded wealth management firm, for occasional “Tandem TED Talk” lunches. Read More »

Dead as a Dodo? Maybe Not.

April 15, 2013

I’ve read a couple of articles recently about cloning technology that may allow scientists to restore extinct species by using the DNA of well-preserved specimens – not Jurassic dinosaurs, but perhaps the passenger pigeon and other species that expired relatively recently. Read More »