The best speakers have an intriguing story to tell. The best career coaches have experienced many of the dilemmas and uncertainties their clients face. Jerilyn has both a story and a vast landscape of career and coaching experience to share. She often says she is living proof that the path to success is more like monkey bars than a ladder!

With over twenty-five years of experience helping clients bring their best to the workplace, Jerilyn brings a rich mix of business sense, reality and optimism to her career strategies coaching relationships. Personal experience with career change, transition, company acquisition and lay-off, as well as the challenges of starting a small business, allow Jerilyn to relate. She’s been in the midst of it, not simply a witness on the sidelines.

Jerilyn turned her passion for working with groups and teams into a viable speaking career. She has engaged audiences at conferences, association meetings, and public events. Her programs are lively, insightful and interactive whether she is speaking to a dozen people or hundreds.

Transitioning from a career as a psychotherapist, Jerilyn worked as an internal consultant for more than ten years before following the call of her entrepreneurial spirit and launching JWillin Consulting, Intl., her speaking/coaching/consulting practice in 1996. She has partnered with a variety of organizations, from not-for-profit agencies to Fortune 50 companies. Her clients include individuals and organizations in the industries of banking, retail sales manufacturing, healthcare, quick service restaurants, and nuclear power. Her work has taken her all over the United States as well as to Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.

In 2009 she became a published author (with Wendy M. Warden) upon the release of “Deep, Deeper, Deeper Still”, a guided journey for people that journal (and those who wish they did). Her first novel, “Unless A Love Be Free”, was released in 2012.

Jerilyn holds Master of Science degrees in Counseling Psychology (George Williams College) and in Human Resources/Industrial Relations (Loyola University of Chicago). A life-long learner, she stays current through involvement with professional associations, certifications and professional development work.




Meeting planners enjoy working with Jerilyn because she shares her expertise with an energy and enthusiasm that is contagious. Audiences are drawn in with her engaging stories and practical ready-to-use tips and techniques. Get ready to laugh while you learn!


Most careers are a work in progress. Are you bringing your best to your work ? Are you even sure what your “best” is ?
Do you feel it is time for a change or has a change been thrust upon you? The rollercoaster of career/job change can be an exhilarating yet scary ride. Let’s ride it together and ensure you end up where you really want to be.




Despite all our technology, some employee development work is still most effectively conducted face-to-face. Having a facilitator that accomplishes your objectives in a way that engages the learner is as important as having a well designed program. Jerilyn listens, asks questions, and helps learners connect what they already know to the new material at hand.


Jerilyn’s blog provides insights into what it takes to navigate today’s workplace, be it Fortune 500 or
your own start-up. Her books offer readers both a journey into themselves (Deep, Deeper, Deeper Still) and a journey into the world of fiction (Unless A Love Be Free) where the only question to be answered is, “Why can’t I put this book down?”


Speaking Programs

Presenting to an audience is one of my passions. Recently, I have had the privilege to speak to the following organizations:

  • Bridgeview Library – (public program) – December 12, 2018
  • Recent Engagements
  • Alsip-Merrionette Library – (public program) October 4, 2018
  • Grundy County Chamber of Commerce – (public program) – August 9, 2018

Is your organization or association or looking for a paid speaker ?
All programs offered below can be customized to your audience and your timeframe from as quick as 30 minutes to as extensive as a full day program.
Please send an email or call Jerilyn at 630-924-8362.
Click here to see what people are saying about Jerilyn as a speaker.

Keynotes and Programs that Motivate, Educate and Entertain


Eyes on the Prize:

Five Steps to Get Where You Want to Be

Setting goals is easy. Achieving them is another matter. Goals need tending, and that’s where many fall short. Learn five easy steps to tend your goals: make it real, make it SMART, pay attention every day, take small steps, and know it when you see it. Participants will:

  • Explore their own unique vision of success
  • Shape that vision into an achievable goal
  • Identify obstacles (i.e. are you getting in your own way?) and solutions
  • Create a path of small steps to achievement

How to Make a Presentation Without Passing Out

Speaking before an audience is the #1 fear of adults, yet we are asked to do it all the time: proposals to clients, reports to committees, readings, toasts, and formal presentations. Does it ever get easier? Yes it can!

Audiences laugh and learn:

  • Physical and mental techniques to turn nerves into positive energy.
  • How to keep audiences engaged.
  • Tools to help you think on your feet and confidently handle audience questions.

Navigate Life’s Curves and Corners: Managing Change at Work, at Home and In-Between

Change comes at us in every stage of life: school, career, marriage/divorce, dealing with elderly parents, and health. Coping with life transition can be draining– even when the change is happily anticipated. Help yourself and others through the rough patches at work, at home, in life.


  • What happens after a change takes place
  • How change be less painful, less confusing
  • Techniques to deal more effectively with change and its effects.

Critical Conversations:

From a Pounding Heart to an Open Mind*

We all have them; we all dread them; conversations that make your mouth dry and your hands sweaty. Whether with our boss, partners, teenagers or aging parents, these conversations deal with critical life issues. Make these “must have” conversations easier, more effective and less stressful.

Your audience will learn:

  • How to avoid the two biggest traps in critical conversations.
  • Discover what happens “behind the scenes” during these conversations.
  • Be more effective managing these conversations with new tools and techniques.

Break Free: Build a Post-Career Life of Purpose and Passion

Today’s retirees are the healthiest, most active, and in some cases, the youngest in retirement history. Some will be retired longer than they worked! Instead of the end of an active life, retirement can be the start of a whole new journey.


  • The next 25 years of your life in a whole new way
  • Who you are apart from your work
  • What a significant life post-career will look like for you

Surrounded By Santa: Take Back the Holidays and Create Less Stressful, More Meaningful Celebrations

(offered from Nov.1 - Dec 19)

“Holiday creep” happens earlier and earlier each year. With it comes the pressure to create a Normal Rockwell meets Martha Stuart holiday. This non-religious program helps participants recognize “tradition traps” and reclaim their holidays from the media and retail frenzy.

Participants will:

  • Explore what is meaningful in their celebrations vs. the expectations of advertisers and merchants.
  • Examine and dismiss “shoulds” that may be self-imposed and stressful.
  • Develop strategies to bring more meaning to the holidays by creating new traditions

Career Strategies Coaching

“My career development work with Jerilyn has been incredible! Not only does she provide great feedback and advice but also got me thinking like a career coach so I can continue to help myself. Extremely valuable experience.” — Shawn Emory, McDonald’s

Today, many high potential employees and others who seek increased satisfaction from their professional life work with a coach.

As your career strategies coach, Jerilyn will be a resource you can trust to give honest, in-the-moment feedback. She’ll be your sounding board for new ideas and a partner that provides nonjudgmental support for your success.

Outcomes of working with Jerilyn include:

  • Increased awareness of strengths
  • New skills and action steps to address development needs
  • A better understanding of how you are perceived by others
  • Recognition of choices and opportunities available to you

Coaching can help you rediscover the power of your potential, explore the possibilities, and gain the courage to act.

Inspired Retirement Coaching

Take a moment to contemplate the following questions.

  • How much does your work define you? Introduce yourself without mentioning the work you do.
  • Other than financial security, what do you consider the essential components of a successful retirement?
  • What is your life purpose is right now? How do you see it 10 years from now?
  • How in sync is your spouse/partner’s vision of retirement with yours?
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If you are a Baby Boomer you’ve probably thought about retirement. Perhaps you’ve already taken the plunge. The average age of first retirement is around 58. Leading edge Baby Boomers hit that birthday back in 2004!

What do you see when you visualize your life after you step away from your career? Chances are there’s not a rocking chair in sight. In fact, it’s called “first retirement” because many retirees :

  • Go back to work
  • Go back to school
  • Start their own business venture
  • Revisit/revive a long set aside dream

With planning and focus you can make your post-career life a time of inspiration, exploration, and meaning. What thought have you given to success factors other than finances? Factors such as life purpose, identity apart from work, socialization, time management, adaptability, and goals are critical to a successful retirement.

Inspired Retirement Coaching offers you the opportunity to investigate and plan for living the next 20+ years of your life with passion and purpose.

Inspired Retirement Coaching with Jerilyn provides:

  • Recognition of choices and opportunities available to you
  • Time to build a framework for what you would like this next phase of life to be
  • Focus, so when opportunities arise you can evaluate them according to your values and priorities
  • A chance for dialogue with your partner. Do you share your retirement vision?

Coaching can help you rediscover the power of your potential, explore the possibilities, and gain the courage to act.

Call or e-mail Jerilyn for a more information on Inspired Retirement Coaching. Programs and packages are available for individuals, couples and groups.

Workshop / Meeting Facilitation

Jerilyn has facilitated meetings and leadership development workshops all over the United States as well as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico and Brazil. Her experience with participants spans all the generations now in the workplace.

Meeting Facilitation Style

Jerilyn knows facilitators must “stay out” of the content of the meeting and manage the process. She makes sure everyone is heard, information is recorded, and that decisions are made.

Workshop Delivery Style

Adults learn best through active participation, practicing the skills they are expected to transfer to the workplace. Jerilyn asks questions, gets people up and out of their seats, and involves even the most hesitant participants.

Workshop Options

Depending on your needs, Jerilyn will:

  • Work with your materials
  • Design a new program
  • Customize one of her own programs

Jerilyn’s programs include:

  • Behavior-based interviewing for Interviewers
  • Communicating for Results
  • Coaching for Improved Performance
  • Presentation Skills

Team Development / Effectiveness

“Jerilyn was able to engage and elicit participation from even the most skeptical folks on the team to ensure that the team session was a success. She helped us pull everything into action items that we could use to hold each other accountable.”

– “Cindy Akins”, VP Human Resources

Jerilyn helps:

  • New teams determine their identity, goals, skills they possess, and process.
  • On-going cross-functional project teams or intact work teams who may have lost focus. She raises awareness of impeding dynamics, helping the team create solutions to prevent such roadblocks in the future and regain lost momentum and commitment.

Your team will:

  • Create a common understanding of the goal
  • Clarify roles, responsibilities, and agreements on how they will work together
  • Learn to self-manage
  • Hold each other accountable for achieving results

Team interventions include:

  • A custom design for your situation, need and resources
  • Meetings with stake-holders pre-intervention
  • A written report of results and outcomes
  • “60-day follow-up”

Why work with Jerilyn

In speaking, coaching or workshop facilitation an active partnership is essential to success. When we collaborate we blend our expertise and bring the best solutions to the surface.
Jerilyn understands your audience or your situation is unique. She listens—to your concerns, your needs, and your expectations. The services she offers are designed to address your circumstances and your business need
Choices made each day move us toward either excellence or stagnation. Jerilyn helps you create useable strategies that motivate growth and stay within time and budget constraints.

Some organizations with which Jerilyn Willin has partnered:

  • Walgreen Co.
  • Kraft Foods
  • ComEd
  • Ameritech
  • McDonald’s Corp
  • 1st Presbyterian Church/Itasca
  • American Medical Association
  • New Lenox Library
  • Pepsicola General Bottlers
  • University of Chicago Hospitals
  • Emergency Nurse’s Association
  • Communispond

Contact Us

Meeting Planners

Meeting planners enjoy working with Jerilyn. She is easy to work with, easy to reach and reliable.

Speaker One-Sheet

If you are responsible for booking a dynamic speaker for an up-coming event, conference, or meeting, either contact Jerilyn directly at (630) 924-8362 or complete and submit the form below. She will contact you within one business day of receiving your request.

Typical AV requirements:

  • Projector and screen for PowerPoint
  • Microphone (handheld or lavaliere)
  • Flipchart


Jerilyn has a standard fee for a presentation depending on length, excluding expenses.
Expenses may include:

  • Mileage for events over 80 miles round trip
  • Round-trip non-stop coach airfare
  • Meals
  • Hotel stays


"I would rate the hour and a half I spent with Jerilyn as one of the most helpful in my career with McDonalds. She was insightful and had concrete suggestions for change and improvement. She was very knowledgeable and professional."
Field Service Manager, McDonald's Corp

"Jerilyn—thank you for your presentation to the DuPage Illinois Employment and Training Center Job Club. "Difficult Conversations: Make Them Productive Not Painful" is a topic of great concern to job seekers...your presentation hit home on many great points and affected the job seekers in an extremely positive manner...feedback ...

Jim Fergle Manager, Employment Services DuPage Workforce Development Division

"After speaking to our group of franchise industry professionals about effective ways to cope with change, everyone commented on Jerilyn's dynamic and engaging speaking style. On their evaluation sheets, several attendees said they'd found significant take-away value, and felt they could use the information to improve their franchise ...

Debra Vilchis, Senior Vice President Fishman Public Relations and Co-Chair, Chicago Chapter International Franchise Association's Women's Franchise Committee
"Thank you for sharing your tips and techniques with us last night. You demonstrated them as well as describing them. It is apparent that you bring all of your education and experience into your current profession... you gave me inspiration to work on changing my attitude of negativity and fear under ...
Jill Maher, Plainfield Toastmasters

“I attended your Changes presentation in Mount Prospect last month. Thank you for giving me some good action ideas and some concepts to ponder… Your personable and professional manner made the time pass quickly. Your presentation was "just enough" for the evening, and I do think the interactive ...


"Jerilyn spoke at my Marketing and Sales Professionals Networking Group meeting. Her topic, “How to Make a Presentation Without Passing Out”, was phenomenal. She is a delightful and giving presenter who shares her wisdom with a touch of humor. It’s guaranteed, you’ll be engaged and you will take ...

Lisa Blair

"I have retained Jerilyn Willin as an executive coach, assessment center coach, and career development facilitator in my various HR roles in the transportation, education and energy industries. She exceeded expectations in her ability to relate to employees and obtain their buy-in. Her ability to communicate and suggest ...

Susan Walaszek, HR Compliance Consulting

"Jerilyn uses life stories to capture her audience and hold their attention while enhancing their skills with her effective strategies. She provides a very informative and entertaining presentation."

Marla Breidenbach, American Sokol

Coaching FAQs


As we work together, we will make use of a variety of tools including:

  • Goal setting
  • Discussion
  • Self-observation
  • Accountability “homework” assignments
  • Skill Practice
  • Journaling
  • Myers-Briggs Type Inventory
  • 360 degree feedback (Career Strategies coaching only)

Coaching is not psychotherapy. While family history and background can influence life’s decisions, neither is the focus of either Career Strategies coaching or Inspired Retirement coaching.

Coaching focuses on “now” and the steps to take for increased effectiveness and success moving forward. We talk about where you want to go professionally or in the next phase of your life and the steps needed to get there.

The answer is yes if is an you want to:

  • Align actions with values
  • Clarify professional goals and desired outcomes
  • Become more aware of interpersonal patterns
  • Discover the possibilities and potential within you
  • Pursue a work/retirement life which is more enriched, yet personally balanced
How long we meet depends on you and what you want to achieve. At our very first meeting, we will talk about what your goals are and what success would look like. A typical commitment is around three months. How often we meet depends on our schedules. Most of my clients meet with me every other week.
As a coach, I believe meeting personally is the ideal choice. That said, I have Skyped with clients as well as had phone meetings with them.
Contact me by phone (630-924-8362) or via email (jerilyn@jerilynwillin.com) for an initial conversation. It’s important that we both feel comfortable working with each other. During that conversation, I will ask about your goals for beginning a coaching relationship and what a successful outcome looks like for you. We will also talk about fees and mutual expectations as I know that will be on your mind. If we both agree we’d like to work together, our first appointment will be scheduled.