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. She guides individuals and organizations to string words 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. With extensive experience in corporate communication and change management, she gets results through creativity, good questions, and active listening.

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

A dramatic 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.

As Chief Story Wrangler at Story Mode, Jill spends her time chasing down the best stories … and making them better.

But telling a great story isn’t enough for Jill; she has to throw some neuroscience into the mix. Art + Science = the answer to just about anything.

Our clients are the real superheroes.

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


Global Industry & Consulting

  • Accenture
  • Aon
  • CNH Industrial
  • John Deere
  • PepsiCo, Inc.
  • SC Johnson
  • Stepan
  • Unilever
  • U.S. Cellular

Financial, Legal & Medical

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


Creative Agencies

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

Tech, Engineering & Research

  • 1871
  • Cars.com
  • CME Group (Chicago Mercantile Exchange)
  • Euromonitor
  • Fieldwork, Inc.
  • L.E.K. Consulting
  • LexisNexis
  • Lyons CG, Capgemini Group
  • Yelp.com


Real Estate, Architecture & Construction

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


Higher Education

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


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



  • 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
  • Lions Clubs International Foundation
  • Literacy DuPage
  • MacArthur Foundation
  • Museum of Science & Industry
  • Society of Actuaries
  • Society of Marketing Professional Services
  • Young Nebraskans