Clovis News

Buchanan High grad stars in 'Spin Crowd'

Nineteen-year-old Summer Hill is putting her nearly overwhelming concern for detail and her compulsion to make lists to good use at Command PR. The Fresno native, who is the youngest member at the Los Angeles public relations firm, works on everything from guiding clients through the controlled chaos of red carpet events to helping plan complicated star-studded parties.

You won't last long in the public relations world if you don't pay attention to details. Something as small as an out-of-place string on a client's expensive dress or a late caterer is all it takes to turn a dream PR moment into a nightmare.

How the Buchanan High School graduate uses her skills at handling minutia can be seen Sunday when the firm is featured on the new E! Entertainment Channel reality series "The Spin Crowd."

"I've always had an interest in public relations and knew my senior year that's what I wanted to do. So when I was in school, I was vice president of the school council, did the prom and put on fashion shows," Hill says during a telephone interview -- which had been carefully scheduled into her day planner -- from her Los Angeles apartment.

Hill's mother, Joni Hill, is an old hand at dealing with her daughter's obsessions. She's seen it for years -- as far back as when she drove her daughter to Garfield Elementary School.

"She would check her backpack every morning before we left, but I could not drive off until she checked it again at school," Joni Hill says. "This is a kid who's always had a planner and always written everything down."

The Fresno teen moved to Southern California in May 2009 to attend California State University at Los Angeles and quickly landed the job at Command PR. All eight episodes of the first season of "The Spin Crowd" have been filmed, but Hill is continuing to juggle the job and school. She eventually wants to transfer to USC to get her master's degree in public relations.

Getting hired to work at Command PR -- even before the firm became the focus of a reality show -- has been more of a hands-on learning experience than she imagined. It was a learning experience for her and her employers Simon Huck and Jonathan Cheban.

"At the start, I worked alongside the others in the office at red carpet events. I get high anxiety if everything doesn't go perfectly, and I think they were afraid I would freak out," Hill says.

She did have to deal with a slight case of being starstruck when she landed the job. The biggest celebrities she saw in Fresno were then Mayor Alan Autry or members of the Fresno State football team. Command PR's client list includes Mario Lopez, Kelly Osbourne, Carmen Electra, Stephanie Pratt and Kim Kardasian.

She's past that now.

"I think my friends are more excited about my job than I am," Hill says. That's because she knows much work it takes to do her job: lengthy research about the client, knowing how to look fashionable but not enough to overshadow a client and being on call around the clock.

Along with a passion and proclivity for the job, Hill brings one other important item.

"I always have hand sanitizer, a lot of hand sanitizer," she says. Hill is a fanatic about cleanliness, which makes sense, considering all the hugging, kissing and hand-shaking that's necessary in public relations.

The job may be making Hill a little less obsessed. She's allowed her mother to plan a "The Spin Crowd" premiere party at 9:30 p.m. Sunday at Twist, 7835 N. Palm Ave. Suite 106. The event's open to the public.

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