Human Resources and Small Business & Startups

Q&A: Jennifer Maxson

September 19, 2017
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Jennifer Maxson
Jennifer Maxson. Courtesy Jennifer Maxson & Associates

Editor’s note: Each Q&A in the Influential Women enewsletter will feature a woman from the region who’s influential, a rising face in her industry or doing interesting work. Submit tips on potential Q&A subjects to tgortsema at grbj dot com.

Jennifer Maxson is passionate about leadership development and public speaking.

Her career started with Nancy Skinner & Associates in 1996. Then the business transitioned to Varnum Consulting, where she served as the practice group leader for more than 11 years.

Maxson recently started her own organization, Jennifer Maxson & Associates, which provides leadership development, executive coaching and presentation skills coaching to clients throughout the United States and abroad.

Biggest career break?

Joining Nancy Skinner & Associates in 1996 as communications manager. This role allowed me to work side by side with Nancy and learn every aspect of our business. Nancy is an incredible coach, leader and mentor.

Proudest moment?

September 1, 2017, I officially launched Jennifer Maxson & Associates Inc. The positive feedback from our clients, my team and family has been incredible. I am thankful to my network of supporters that encouraged me to take the next step in my career.

Best advice you’ve ever received?

If someone opens a door, walk through the door with confidence, passion and purpose. Throughout my work with our clients and community organizations, I have been presented with new ideas and opportunities. What I have learned is that others open doors when they are confident that you will be successful.

How did you make your first dollar?

TCBY, serving frozen yogurt. I impress my kids with the perfect swirl when we go out for frozen yogurt.

Most-treasured possession?

The notes, cards and pictures from my kids. They remind me every day of what is most important in life.

Dream job?

I am living it. Starting Jennifer Maxson & Associates has allowed me to live the dream of positively impacting my team, clients and family. Every day is a new adventure and I am enjoying every minute of working with my team.

If you were president for a day, you would…?

Say thank you to our military and military families for their willingness and sacrifices to defend our country.

Last book you read?

I am currently reading two books, “Talk Like Ted,” by Carmine Gallo, and “The Leadership Challenge, Sixth Edition,” by Kouzes and Posner. It is important to bring current best practices and leadership research to our clients.

Last search term you Googled?

Easy chicken recipes, trying to find those quick and healthy dinner options for my family.

Your worst habit?

Multi-tasking. Sometimes I need to slow down and accomplish one thing at a time.

To unwind, you like to…?

Walk our dog, Burton, with my kids, Madison, Gage and Kendall. This time allows us to reconnect as a family.

Dream vacation?

A fishing trip with my family. I enjoy the peacefulness of being out on the water and observing nature. There is something about seeing a fish hit your lure and the tug of fish on your line that creates excitement for everyone on the boat. Of course, there would be a group photo at the end of the day to capture the memories!

Favorite food?

Pasta. Need I say more? You can add your own toppings and sauce to customize it to the seasons.

Person you most admire?

Individuals that continue to inspire others to be the best version of themselves. We all need inspiration and motivation to be at our best every day.

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