About R Hill


Back Story

Hi. I’m R Hill and here’s a little bit about how I got to be who I am today, where I am today.

I was born in Oklahoma, raised on Guam and have lived in Korea, Japan & India.

I now reside in the Pacific NW where a lot of my childhood friends have also relocated to.

Growing up on Guam I was known as Rusty but when I entered into the tourism business in my twenties, I used my first name, Jon, because Rusty sounds like “Lusty” in Japanese-English.

The name Jon also has its challenges too. The way Jon is spoken in English with the “ah” sound, it spells out to be “Jan” in Japanese phonetics.

On the flip side, when Jon is spoken as it is spelled using Japanese phonetics, it sounds more like “Joan” in English.

So as Jon, I had to get used to being called “Joan” when most Japanese read my business card.

Then I went through a self-discovery phase in 1993 and transformed into Russ and set upon a new path.

In 1998, I left everything I had behind on Guam and set out to travel across the States with my mother, Judi.

We drove from Washington to Oklahoma where we ended up staying for several years until we eventually made our trip back.

In 2003, I got into the Washington real estate market and introduced myself as Russell for legal marketing purposes, plus it sounded a bit more professional.

And now I’ve got:
friends who know me as Rusty;
Japanese tourists and businessmen who think I’m Joan;
family members who call me Russ;
business associates that met me as Russell;
and everyone in between calling me all sorts of names.

I’ve been called Rooster, Red, Jonny Red, JR, Henna Gaijin (Japanese for funny stranger) and Hey You.

But the one nickname that really stuck around was: T’naki (on Guam that means something that is rusted out).

I have learned to embrace all my names but not to get too attached to them.

Often I face a dilemma it comes time to introduce myself as sometimes I don’t know what to call myself.

So for now, let’s keep things simple and just call me R. It’s easy to spell and even easier to pronounce.

If you like, you may keep calling me Russ, Rusty or Russell – whatever you feel comfortable with – just don’t call me Joan.


Facts about R

R has been writing short stories since he was 16.

R got heavy into photography in his early twenties and has been lugging around a camera ever since.

R’s first business venture was a tourism-based photography business when he was 22 which eventually led to creating and managing more startups over the years.

In 2009, R self-published his first book, Real Life Interviews – Ordinary People Being Extraordinary; it is a compilation of interviews from inspirational members of our community.

In 2010, R delved into video editing when he began creating highlight videos for the annual Guam fiesta in Camas, WA.

In 2011, R began writing screenplays and took some film classes to improve his knowledge base, techniques and skills in video production.

In 2013, R put his two favorite past-times together (writing and photography) and created a production company to produce short stories and document community events.

In 2015, R created and produced The Launch Pad radio show and podcast; plus generated all of its web content.

In a nutshell:

R has gone from being a staple in the tourism industry on Guam;
to creating a men’s recovery house in Oklahoma;
to being a coach at a call center in Mumbai;
to running a real estate office in Bellevue;
to being an author and screenwriter;
to producing and editing videos;
to creating radio shows, podcasts and websites;
to living a life of passionate endeavors;
to who knows what’s next…

R’s Personal Philosophies:

  1. There is nothing more productive than the last minute, so live as if it is.    
  2. Stay in the now by cherishing this moment and making it count.
  3. Be who you are. You are already uniquely qualified for this.



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