Who's in Story Mode?

We are. And we want you in the mix, too.

Story Mode is a co-production of Spencer Grace and StoryStudio Chicago.

Founders Beth and Jill (some clients call us “Bill”) are long-time friends and collaborators whose creative chemistry just, well … works. We’re having the time of our lives—combining our strengths and passions, experimenting with ideas and processes, and sharing the art and science of story with everyone we meet. Come on! Get in Story Mode with us!

Beth Nyland
Corporate Poet & Cutter of C.R.A.P.

Beth refuses bland and boring. Her experience is proof that you can get amazing results by being creative and having fun. She shows her clients how to make things happen through storytelling, innovation, problem-solving, experimentation, and hefty helpings of poetic license.

She’s changing the world by showing individuals, teams, and enterprises how to string words and images into stories that motivate people to think, believe, and take action. That’s how business gets done.

Beth is a communicator, leader, advisor, teacher, illustrator, and founder of Spencer Grace. She’s also a daily practice junkie who takes on insane creative challenges, like writing a poem or drawing a picture every day for a year.

Jill Pollack
Chief Story Wrangler

Jill’s life’s work has been giving voice to as many stories as possible. Impact stories. Business stories. Marketing stories. Personal stories. Success stories. Failure stories. They all count.

As Chief Story Wrangler, she helps people find and sculpt their stories, and build their creative confidence and skills as storytellers.

A theatre arts-trained refugee from the corporate world, Jill created StoryStudio Chicago—a creative writing school—in 2003, and began developing new approaches to teach storytelling for business, for the page, for the screen, and for changing technology. Her credo? Don’t Be Boring.

Jill is an idea machine. Her love of art in all forms leads her to play with those ideas to find the right story for the moment.

Our clients are the real superheroes.

All these organizations—and then some—have stepped into Story Mode.

Global Industry & Consulting

  • Accenture
  • AHW LLC
  • Aon
  • Clerestory
  • CNH Industrial
  • John Deere
  • John Deere User Group (JDUG)
  • Kibble Equipment
  • Mattress Firm
  • PepsiCo, Inc.
  • RGAX
  • SC Johnson
  • Stepan
  • Unilever
  • U.S. Cellular
______

Financial, Legal & Medical

  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Baker Tilly
  • Bank of America
  • BCU
  • BC Pension
  • Health Care Services Corporation (Blue Cross/Blue Shield)
  • Jump Trading
  • Kirkland & Ellis
  • McDermott Will & Emery
  • Medline Industries
  • Mesirow Financial
  • Modern Woodmen
  • Northwestern Mutual
  • Schellman and Company

______

Government

  • Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
  • Illinois Department of Natural Resources
  • Nebraska Department of Economic Health
  • Regional Transportation Authority (RTA)

Tech, Engineering & Research

  • 1871
  • Cars.com
  • CME Group (Chicago Mercantile Exchange)
  • Euromonitor
  • Fieldwork, Inc.
  • Ingram Micro
  • Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)
  • L.E.K. Consulting
  • LexisNexis
  • Lyons CG, Capgemini Group
  • Panasonic Avionics
  • Yelp.com

______

Real Estate, Architecture & Construction

  • Aldridge Group
  • Baxter & Woodman
  • Collins Engineers, Inc.
  • DLR Group
  • ERDMAN
  • FH Paschen
  • Gensler Architects
  • JLL
  • Teska Associates
  • Walsh Construction Group

______

Higher Education

  • College of DuPage
  • Georgia State University
  • Midwestern University
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Nebraska
  • University of Virginia

Creative Agencies

  • 20 West Productions/Intersport
  • Beam Suntory/Proof Global
  • Cardenas Marketing Network
  • FCBChicago
  • Inspira Marketing
  • Leo Burnett
  • The Marketing Store
  • Propllr
  • Tier One
  • Undertone
______

Nonprofit

  • A Better Chicago
  • American Marketing Association
  • Association of Fundraising Professionals
  • Association for Accounting Marketing
  • Catholic Extension
  • Chicago Community Trust
  • Chicago Ideas Week
  • Chicago Public Education Fund
  • Forefront
  • Girls Who Code
  • Goodwill Industries
  • IES Internships
  • Jewish United Fund
  • Lions Clubs International Foundation
  • Literacy DuPage
  • MacArthur Foundation
  • Museum of Science & Industry
  • Society of Actuaries
  • Society of Marketing Professional Services
  • Young Nebraskans

Story Mode Founders

Separately we are Beth Nyland of Spencer Grace and Jill Pollack of StoryStudio Chicago.
Together, we are Story Mode.

Beth Nyland
Corporate Poet & Cutter of C.R.A.P.

Beth is co-founder of Story Mode, an imaginative program that guides, coaches, and advises business people to use the power of storytelling and apply creativity to get things done at work.

Beth is a creative communicator, leader, advisor, and teacher. She has extensive experience in writing and editing; marketing and internal communications; branding and business development; and consulting, teaching, coaching, and mentoring. She achieves business results through creative approaches and counsels clients to raise the quality of their messages by applying innovative problem-solving skills to make change for individuals and organizations of all sizes.

Beth’s career includes both corporate and agency experience. Right out of journalism school, she worked as a professional writer for Andersen Consulting (Accenture), then spent several years leading marketing and sales communications for an HR consulting and outsourcing firm. Next, she helped Sears leadership reach its 300,000 employees. 

In 1998 she founded  Spencer Grace to serve a variety of organizations and individuals. In 2006, she returned to corporate life with Unilever, focusing on change initiatives in the Americas. In 2012, she re-opened Spencer Grace and began collaborating with her longtime friend and creative co-conspirator, Jill Pollack.

Beth is a self-taught illustrator, video producer, and daily practice junkie who makes something every day as an exercise in creativity and sanity. She shares her experiments on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.

Jill Pollack
Chief Story Wrangler

Jill is co-founder of Story Mode, an imaginative program that guides, coaches, and advises business people to use the power of storytelling and apply creativity to get things done at work.

 Her credo? Don’t Be Boring.

Jill’s life’s work has been giving voice to as many stories as possible. Impact stories. Business stories. Marketing stories. Personal stories. Success stories. Failure stories. They all count. 

As Chief Story Wrangler, Jill helps people find and sculpt their stories, and build their creative confidence and skills as storytellers.

A theatre-trained refugee from the corporate world, Jill created StoryStudio Chicago—a creative writing school—in 2003. As the school grew, she continued to expand StoryStudio’s reach, community, and offerings until 2019 when the school joined the nonprofit Stories Matter Foundation, a philanthropic entity Jill created to reach even more storytellers.

A writer and author, Jill has published three books for young adults, has been published in too many magazines and online outlets to count, and is in the NEWCITYLIT Hall of Fame.

Jill co-founded the Chicago Literary Alliance, as well as Content Jam, Chicago’s largest content marketing conference.

She is a frequent speaker on the power of stories in our personal and professional lives. When she hoards time for herself, Jill works on her own stories.