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 using a little neuroscience and a lot of story craft.

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

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
  • ERDMAN
  • 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

Government

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

______

Nonprofit

  • A Better Chicago
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • 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

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

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

Beth is co-founder of Story Mode, a unique 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 became lead business-writing instructor for StoryStudio Chicago.

Beth serves as vice president on the board of directors for Literacy DuPage

Jill Pollack
Chief Story Wrangler

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

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 teaching storytelling for business, for the page, for the screen, and for changing technology. Her credo? Don’t Be Boring.

In addition to teaching and writing, Jill works with organizations to apply novel story techniques to their digital marketing content to better grow audiences, and to keep conversations flowing.

A writer and author, Jill has published three books for young adults: Shirley Chisholm (named a Best Book by Science and Film Magazine), Lesbian and Gay Families: Redefining Parenting in America; and Women on the Hill, a history of women in Congress.

Jill is a co-founder of Content Jam, Chicago’s largest content marketing conference. She co-founded the Chicago Literary Alliance and is a member of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. She is the founder and  Board President of the Stories Matter Foundation.

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.