The Desiderata Company


About Jen

Hi! Thanks for wanting to learn a little more about me... If you're visiting this website, we've probably met, you've attended one of my workshops, or you've heard about me through a friend, so you probably already know a bit about me since the vast majority of my clients come to me this way and not through blind web searches. I'm a multi-faceted person and those who meet me in one arena are often surprised to find out about all the other things I do. So, maybe you'd like to learn a little bit more...

I'm originally from Chicago, where I worked as a firefighter/paramedic and hazardous materials technician for 11 years on a suburban department. During my time as a firefighter, I started volunteering to provide crisis response services to other first responders suffering after a job-related trauma. Crisis response is all about bringing an individual or an organization back up to their baseline after a traumatic event and emergency responders who deal with crisis everyday are familiar with this need.

But this is also what led me to personal coaching. I found that bringing people back up to their baseline wasn't enough. I wanted to help people live the most amazing lives that they could and so I trained to be a personal coach. I started my company in 2005 and I've been coaching successfully ever since.

In 2008, I left the fire service to move out to Los Angeles to pursue another passion: acting. I had spent years on stage in theater in the Chicagoland area and wanted to try my hand at film and television. Within 6 months, I was a working actor in Los Angeles... But I missed emergency response. I worked in casting and production for a bit, but when the earthquake happened in Haiti in 2010, I knew I had to go. Serving in Haiti reminding me of what my true passion was: serving others. So, I returned to coaching and crisis response full time while earning degrees in psychology and fire administration with minors in criminal justice and public administration from California State University, Los Angeles.  In 2019 I obtained my Masters in Public Administration as well. I now work with entertainment industry professionals on the same issues that emergency responders have with burn-out and work/life balance.

One of the most important perspectives that I bring to my practice is not just my work in crisis response, but my own personal story of trauma and recovery. In 2012, I lost my entire family in a series of traumatic events, including the sudden and unexpected death of my father and then the murder/suicide of my aunt and uncle three months later. Although I stayed in school, I took a leave from coaching and crisis response, and after graduation, decided to travel.

My process of reinvestment and recovery took me to seven continents in one year. Which means, yes, I have traveled around Antarctica, but I've also gone to such far-flung destinations as North Korea. This process has infused my coaching with new perspectives and my clients have found my insights invaluable. I've also turned to philosophy to use fundamental critical thinking skills to help clients see solutions faster than ever before.

I served my community from 2016 till 2018 as Neighborhood Council President and have worked extensively with all levels of government.  If you're interested in navigating trick politics at work, I have the political insight to help you out.

In my "free" time, I can be found cooking, baking, or shaking up an interesting cocktail, sampling a flight of beers, attending a wine tasting, or trying a new restaurant... Or writing about those pursuits. I'm an avid baseball fan and I'm regularly spotted at major or minor league parks around the country. When it's not baseball season, I'm plotting my travels, out on the road, or writing about my adventures. If you follow me on social media, you're familiar with my trusty travel companion, I'veBeenEverywhereBear, or more casually, just Bear. Despite his popularity, he is not available for coaching services.

Feel free to check you my travel, food, and movie blog, Jen Eats World.

Thanks for learning a little more about me and I look forward to hearing from you!