Team + Contact

Meet the Team

Making magic happen every day.

Jen SpencerJen Spencer // Founder

Jen is equal parts insightful entrepreneur and nurturing dynamo. She is an enigma: a napper who rarely sleeps and a gluten-averse bread lover. She was born in Texas and made in Alaska. An obsessive planner and a gypsy-at-heart. A Type-A woman forever aspiring to be content with B+.

Like many Boston College grads with sociology degrees, Jen headed west to California for a first career in advertising before moving to Austin in 2005. In 2007, she started Jen Spencer Coaches, her ever-evolving legacy dedicated to coaching and championing some of the world’s best creative executives to leverage human capital so everyone wins. She launched and curated the first years of TEDxAustin as Executive Producer, bringing “ideas worth spreading” to the city she now calls home.

Her proudest production to date: Leo Maxwell Spencer Maki, a chip-off-the-old-block who is currently taking toddlerhood by storm.

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Lauren RussoLauren Russo // Managing Director, Creative Executive Coach

Lauren Dearing Russo, M.A., is a certified coach who loves working with creative professionals, helping them make the most of their time and do what they’ve been putting off. She’s on a mission to empower every creative professional and entrepreneur to step into their visionary role and have a meaningful impact on their world. With expertise in academia, non-profits, and advertising, she has a decade of experience cultivating effective and meaningful change for individuals, organizations, and communities using the power of story, practical strategies, and insight that makes you go hmmm. After living in 5 cities in the last 5 years including, Rome, Eugene, and New York, she’s happy to call Austin her home.

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Beryl Greenberg // Executive & Career Coach

Beryl Greenberg is a certified executive and career coach who can help you peel back the layers of yourself and get to your core. Her coaching philosophy is that one really needs to understand who they are, what is important to them and what they want their life to look like in order to position and brand themselves for the future. She believes that every individual has their own answers and they just might need a little help to find them! Her professional experience as an advertising agency veteran working with blue chip clients is augmented by her life experiences as a professional juggler (a.k.a. working mother!) volunteer, leader and friend. Beryl lives in Oak Park, IL with her husband and three young boys.

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Melinda Rothouse // Creative Executive Coach

Melinda Rothouse is a creativity, leadership, and career coach who is equally comfortable exploring sacred ground in Mexico, China and Iceland as she is helping others to break new ground in their own creativity and confidence. Melinda’s a lifelong lover of learning; she’s certified by the International Coaching Federation, as well as a consultant, educator, and facilitator. She is a PhD candidate in psychology with a specialization in creativity studies, where her research focuses on mindfulness techniques to facilitate organizational creativity and collaboration. It’s no surprise one of her favorite quotes is by Carl Jung:  “There is no way out but through.”  Melinda is also a certified meditation instructor and teacher of contemplative arts and photography with Shambhala International, as well as a musician, songwriter, and performer.

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Kim TidwellKim Tidwell // Content Director

Kim got involved with The Creative Executive after meeting Jen through her involvement with CreativeMornings/Austin. She has a range of experience that spans brand & product development and both outbound and inbound marketing. As a lover of words, her true passion is telling stories. This passion comes in handy as she helps her clients connect to their customers through SEO, social media, blogging and other storytelling mediums.

Grace Hall // Design Director

Grace’s collaborative style and sophisticated, contemporary aesthetic helped birth the visual style of The Creative Executive. Whether she’s working with big corporations or smaller boutique clients, she brings a passion for engaging design to address her clients’ unique challenges in clean, concise, and interesting ways. She’s also been known to dance without warning. Grace is also a partner and principal at McCray & Co, where she and her husband collaborate on multidisciplinary design projects.

Paige Davis

Paige Davis // Mindfulness Consultant

Paige Davis is an entrepreneur, Ozy and Huffington Post Blogger, and certified meditation teacher with the McLean Meditation Institute. She is passionate about inspiring change from a personal place of awareness. Paige leads and facilitates mindfulness programming for The Creative Executive. She works with companies, teams, and executives to integrate meditation and mindfulness into their busy lives  as means to increase focus and productivity, reduce stress, enhance communication and boost creativity.  Paige is also creator of Soul Sparks, a wellness and personal transformation destination, and is co-founder of sustainable lifestyle product company, BlueAvocado.  

Jeff Maki // Editor-in-Residence (Literally)

Jeff Maki is a Group Creative Director at GSD&M by day. And a proofer, editor, writer, and idea sounding board by night. He’s also Jen’s husband, both day and night. He loves words and comedy and storytelling and sneaking in as much playtime as possible with their son, Leo, and dog, Hank.

Creative work by its very nature is usually unorganized, passionate, and messy; navigating the field and managing creative people with professionalism takes thoughtful nurturing not required in other areas of business. The Creative Executive Method understands that and helps you provide structure and leadership without disrupting the flow and dynamism that’s key in a creative environment.


I’ve learned much about myself as a leader, how I lead my team effectively and ineffectively. The team response has been positive to the new conversations we are having.

My brain actually thinks differently since I’ve taken The Creative Executive Method. The way I operate on a day-to-day basis, the way I speak, and the way I listen have changed for the better. I feel I developed a stronger ability to think more critically when in a direct leadership or management situation. As a result, I’m a more effective producer, a more open-minded manager, and a much more intuitive leader.

Often I am moving too fast and don’t take the time to think about my style, my impact, and my team’s impact. I realized that taking the time to be mindful about the challenges we discussed, in particular around teams, is really important for me and for the success of my business.

If you want a course that takes the blurry edges of your career and pulls them into focus, I recommend The Creative Executive Method.

We love working with Lauren. We have used her at our annual retreat for two years now, and each time we have walked away with a clearer, cleaner vision of our firm, ourselves, and where we want to go next. She does a great job setting the tone for the day and keeping everyone on track. Having her facilitate allows the leadership team participate in meaningful discussions alongside everyone else. We couldn’t recommend her more.

I felt really frustrated, having been in advertising for a crazy long time, thinking it was too late to change. But we figured something out. Something great. And now I’m creatively inspired again.

We tasked Jen with helping to coach our Atlanta Sales and Strategy teams on leadership, growth, and representing yourself. She had such amazing energy and kept the team engaged through the new insights and strategies she shared, as well as her interactive approach. The team walked away energized and inspired to take the next steps in driving their careers forward.

The more business we won and the bigger projects we were given, the less control I had of my time. Through working with Jen, I made the time to not only prioritize what I really wanted to accomplish both professionally and personally, but to establish what I expected from my staff. It allowed them to grow and take ownership of tasks and let me get back to working within my skill set. It also let me keep up with some personal goals that had fallen into the background. Jen’s coaching helped Wexley grow by helping me improve my overall productivity.

I found myself thrown into the deep end, having to take charge of a team of 10 overnight. Jen helped me find my footing as a manager and gave me the confidence and skills to grow a successful, motivated team.

Working with Jen has been the best investment of the latter half of my 20-year career. I was stuck in my own narrative, and she helped me see the possibilities in a different, authentic, and valuable way.

I’m infusing more fun, energy, and creativity into team meetings as well as spending more time 1:1 with my team members. We are implementing this change across the company, and I am in the process of working with other executives at the company to do the same with their teams.