Led by founder and CEO David Grossman, The Grossman Group is a team of experienced thoughtpartners™ who work closely with companies of all sizes around the globe to engage employees and help leaders lead with heart.
Founder & CEO
David GrossmanRead Bio
Founder & CEO
David Grossman helps leaders drive productivity and get the results they want through authentic and courageous leadership and communication and is a sought-after speaker and advisor to Fortune 500 leaders.
Leveraging his background in organizational development and psychology, David is known for his thoughtful, personal, and pragmatic approach, and coaches leaders at all levels to utilize communications as a strategic business tool. By acting as an advocate for employees and as a thoughtpartner™ to senior management, David and his team help organizations unleash the power of communication to engage employees and drive performance.
David is Founder and CEO of The Grossman Group, whose client roster represents a wide range of industries and includes some of the world’s leading companies such as Abbott Laboratories, Amazon, Hillrom (now a part of Baxter), Lockheed Martin, McDonald’s, Microsoft, and SC Johnson, among others.
A four-time award-winning author, David’s latest book, Heart First: Lasting Leader Lessons from a Year that Changed Everything is applauded by leaders at all levels for its practical approaches and rich stories of heart first leadership, told by senior leaders around the globe. His leadercommunicator™ blog has been ranked the number one blog on communication by Feedspot six years in a row.
David is quoted in media, providing expert commentary and analysis on employee and leadership issues, including flexible working, email overload in the workplace, why employees don’t get strategy, and more. He’s been featured on “NBC Nightly News,” CBS MoneyWatch, in the Chicago Tribune, Forbes, LA Times, and the World Economic Forum.
David is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society and the Forbes Communication Council. He’s also a designated Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) through the National Speakers Association, an MBTI® Certified Practitioner, a Prosci Certified Change Practitioner, and taught graduate-level internal communications at Columbia University.
Prior to founding The Grossman Group in 2000, David was director of communications for McDonald’s. David graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with an honors degree in Journalism and holds a master’s in Corporate Public Relations from Northwestern University.
David and his husband Steve have two girls, Avi and Noa. On the weekends they sometimes enjoy getting out of the city and heading to Wisconsin to swim and boat, or taking the girls to an Anime convention or to buy manga. David is also a big fan of musical theater. His favorite Broadway shows include The Color Purple, Next to Normal, Little Shop of Horrors, and Wicked.
Kate BushnellRead Bio
Kate is President of The Grossman Group and works closely with the team to deliver innovative and strategic communication solutions for clients that address their everyday and defining business challenges. She has worked with leaders across a variety of functions and industries to connect employees to strategy, improve the employee experience, and drive change.
Over the years, Kate has worked with companies such as Astellas, Johnson & Johnson, Lockheed Martin, Molex, NiSource, SC Johnson, Tenneco, The Hartford, and Wyndham, among others.
Having served on the corporate and agency side, Kate applies her breadth of experience in corporate communications – which includes employee communications, leadership communications, public relations, issues communications, and research – to offer clients trusted, proven counsel and shape and implement strategic solutions that accelerate results.
Kate counsels leaders in Communications, HR, Learning and Development, Supply Chain, Commercial Operations, DE&I, Ethics and Compliance, and more to help them tackle pressing challenges affecting their teams and organization.
Kate’s work has been recognized by clients and the communication industry. Her contributions helped The Grossman Group win the prestigious PRWeek Boutique Agency of the Year and Product of the Year by SABRE for the firm’s messagemap™ methodology. She has helped companies like McDonald’s, Motel 6, Tenneco, Lockheed Martin, Gerber, and Pillsbury win prominent awards for their communications programs.
Kate holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication/Journalism with honors from Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, CA., and a Master’s in Science degree in Communications from Northwestern University’s School of Communication/Management Program. She is a member of Page Up for senior communications leaders, a group within the Arthur W. Page Society.
When not helping clients tackle their everyday and defining moments, Kate enjoys spending the everyday and defining moments with her husband and two children and volunteering in their school.
Executive Vice President
Linda KingmanRead Bio
Executive Vice President
Linda is an award-winning leadership, communication, and employee engagement expert. She’s served in executive communications roles on both the corporate and agency sides for more than three decades. During her career, Linda has worked with a wide range of clients including American Airlines, Abbott, DHL Supply Chain, Dow Chemical Company, Hyatt Hotels, Kaiser Permanente, Sage Therapeutics, and more.
At The Grossman Group, Linda works with and advises leaders across functions and industries to help them improve their communication capability to drive meaningful change and achieve business results. She develops innovative strategies and helps leaders hone clear, concise messages to communicate corporate initiatives in a way that internal stakeholders can relate to and act upon. Linda also specializes in guiding internal communications during high- and low-profile mergers and acquisitions in a way that keeps employees engaged and focused.
Linda’s work has been recognized by clients and the communication industry. She was awarded Employee Communications Campaign of the Year from PR Week and received a Bronze Anvil from PRSA.
Before joining The Grossman Group, Linda spent 13 years leading corporate and employee communications practices at the global public relations firm Golin. Prior to that, she served seven years as chief communications officer for Kemper Insurance Companies. Linda was also an executive in the Chicago office of Hill and Knowlton, an international public relations firm. She started her career in government and was a key advisor and chief of staff to the president of the Illinois Senate.
Linda is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and the Arthur W. Page Society. She is a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow and a past president of Kenilworth Union Church and of Illinois Women in Government. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Political Science, with an English Literature minor, from Illinois State University.
Linda and her husband, Jim, enjoy sailing their boat on Lake Michigan, spending time with their son, Spencer, and traveling the world.
Senior Vice President & Head of Client Service
Jason GreenspanRead Bio
Senior Vice President & Head of Client Service
Jason combines an extensive communication background with strategy expertise to drive large-scale transformation in big organizations. Across various senior communications, strategy, and leadership advisory positions, his expertise is driving change and inspiring growth during business-critical moments. Some of his current and past clients include General Mills, Molson Coors, Navistar, Stanley Black & Decker, Tyson Foods, and United Airlines, among others.
Prior to joining The Grossman Group, Jason spent 20+ years at the McDonald’s Corporation, working with top leaders – including three CEOs and seven Presidents – on business and cultural transformations, implementation of new growth strategies, and the articulation of those strategies in relatable and applicable ways.
Most recently, Jason led the team responsible for advancing McDonald’s core enterprise transformation across all facets of internal, executive, and franchisee/employee communications. His work impacted more than 14,000 restaurants, 3,000 franchisees, and nearly 750,000 employees. In this role, Jason devised the communications and change strategy for the most significant business transformation in company history. Through his work, he was able to grow understanding of strategy, confidence in business direction, and trust in leadership. Jason specializes in counseling C-suite leaders on using communications strategy and orchestration to solve complex business issues and challenges.
Jason is the recipient of McDonald’s Circle of Excellence, awarded to the highest impact global cross-functional teams, and McDonald’s President’s Award, which is given to the top 1% of employees worldwide.
Before his time at McDonald’s, Jason worked at a strategy execution firm focused on turning corporate and operating strategies into reality by aligning an organization’s leaders, culture, strategies, and communications.
Jason has been a featured speaker at the Advanced Learning Institute (ALI) and Poppulo conferences, and a featured thought leader in Harvard Business School publications, SmartBrief on Leadership, PR Week, and the Journal of Integrated Communication. He guest lectures at both Northwestern University’s IMC Program and the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism. Jason also serves as Strategy Advisor for Immerman Angels, a one-on-one cancer support community.
Jason holds a Master of Science degree in Marketing Communications from Northwestern University.
What he holds most dear is that he’s a husband, dad of two high school girls, stepdad of two younger kids, and a dog dad to two Golden Doodles. He’s also a photographer, runner, beer aficionado, and collector of old Superman artifacts.
Vice President, Business Development & Marketing
Kayla EllsworthRead Bio
Vice President, Business Development & Marketing
Kayla brings more than a decade of strategic communications experience to clients, with expertise in internal and digital communications, executive visibility, leadership development, executive team building, and research.
She has partnered with clients in a wide range of industries, including Astellas, DuPont Pioneer, Erickson Living, Health Quest, Hillrom (now part of Baxter), International Aerospace Environmental Group (IAEG), SC Johnson, and Tyco, among others.
She works with clients to develop and execute plans to elevate leaders’ visibility with both internal and external audiences, facilitate 180° leadership assessments, lead the strategic development of experience components for senior leadership retreats, develop communication toolkits and digital guidebooks, and more.
In addition to supporting clients at The Grossman Group, Kayla leads marketing for the firm. This work includes coordination of the agency's thought leadership program, featuring content from the team, speaking engagements, and published books by David Grossman, as well as industry partnership activities. The goal of this work is to provide leaders and communicators with timely and practical resources that can help them be more effective and make an impact in the workplace.
Kayla’s work has been recognized with industry awards, including the American Business Award’s Gold Stevie, PR Week Awards, PRovoke’s Silver Sabre, IABC’s Gold Quill, Ragan's Video, Visual & Virtual Awards, and PRSA’s Skyline Awards. Her executive visibility work has resulted in media placements in the LA Times, CBS MoneyWatch, Chicago Tribune, WSJ.com, Today.com, and NBC Nightly News, among others.
She holds a B.A. in Public Relations and Marketing Communications from Columbia College Chicago (CCC). She also guest lectures at CCC and has served as Adjunct Faculty at the same institution, teaching Social Media Content.
Kayla and her husband enjoy road trips with their min pin, Percy, and making pizza in their Ooni pizza oven. She’s also a big fan of Lady Gaga, having seen her live a dozen times.
Kyle DierkingRead Bio
Kyle brings more than a decade of corporate communications experience to The Grossman Group, working across a variety of industries and business models. In all his roles, he’s been a change agent, strategic counselor, and dynamic storyteller. Kyle’s current and former client list includes Molex, Stanley Black & Decker, Tyson Foods, General Mills, and NiSource, among other leading organizations.
Throughout his career, Kyle has built and implemented successful internal communications programs both in-house and on the agency side, navigating large, complex organizations and tailoring plans to meet the needs of a variety of internal audiences.
He specializes in rolling out communication strategies and messaging platforms to support digital and business transformations, as well as supporting senior executives and developing their annual and initiative-based plans and messaging. He has led the implementation of EVP rollouts, restructuring, and key business initiatives to employees and frontline workers, navigating and leading internal communications for business and brand crises, and more.
Prior to joining The Grossman Group, Kyle served as Director of US Communications at McDonald’s Corporation. While there, he was responsible for all communications that went out to the entire organization as well as the company’s big moments. He also drove orchestration and alignment on critical business issues and topics and ran the team responsible for the company’s channel strategy and execution. His work reached the company’s franchisees, employees, and restaurant-facing teams.
Before his time at McDonald’s, Kyle held similar roles at Aon and Caterpillar.
Originally from Springfield, Illinois, he graduated from Western Illinois University. When Kyle’s not working, he enjoys spending time with his two kids, bike riding, reading books, and watching sports – especially the Chicago Bulls.
Debbie FieldRead Bio
Debbie delivers strategic communication solutions to a diverse portfolio of clients in sectors including higher education, health care (biotech/pharma and hospital systems), and non-profit. Some of her current and former clients include Boston Children’s Hospital, Southern New Hampshire University, Abbott, Astellas Pharma, Goodwill, Kaiser Permanente, Oracle, Texas A&M Health Science Center, and United States Pharmacopeia, among others.
With nearly 20 years of communications experience, including internal, leader, change, and crisis communications, Debbie has counseled executives with nationally renowned brands, molding employee communications and strategic planning efforts both in-house and in agency roles.
She’s an expert at leading clients through complex periods of change, including reorganizations, mergers, and leadership transitions. She also specializes in developing highly impactful internal communications plans targeting diverse workforces to help organizations achieve their strategic business and organizational outcomes.
Her work has earned Bronze and Silver Quill awards from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), Honorable Mention in Ragan’s 2018 Health Care PR & Marketing Awards for Internal Communications, and a Hermes Creative Award from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).
Debbie obtained a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations from Texas A&M University and a Master of Arts in Mass Communications summa cum laude from Texas State University.
She currently resides in Austin, Texas, with her husband, two children, and three rescue dogs.
In her free time, she enjoys supporting her son and daughter in their extracurricular activities and volunteering with dog rescue groups by helping to place dogs currently in shelters into foster and adoptive homes.
Bekah HaynesRead Bio
Bekah is a Vice President with The Grossman Group where she provides internal, leadership, and change communication solutions that empower clients to take their growth and success to the next level.
With 20 years of strategic communications experience, Bekah has counseled a variety of organizations in the healthcare, pharmaceutical, nonprofit, energy, education, consumer goods, distribution, and manufacturing sectors. Her current and former client list include the American Heart Association, Amsted Rail, Astellas, Boston Children’s Hospital, Form Technologies, Hillrom, Kaiser Permanente, and KeHe, among others.
Throughout her career, Bekah has driven change through leader and employee communications, working with boards of directors and leaders in many functions, including Communications, Human Resources, Sales, Operations, Finance, and more.
She is an expert in developing strategic change management and communications plans to support enterprise, program, and workstream transformation efforts. She empowers leaders with compelling messaging platforms and communications training so they can lead with authenticity and move audiences to action.
Bekah started her career in public relations and has been honored with awards from the American Advertising Federation and the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). She is certified in the ADKAR method of change management from Prosci, an independent research organization whose methodology, approaches, and techniques are used by more than half of Fortune 100 companies. She is also a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).
Bekah holds a bachelor’s degree in speech communication from Trinity University and a master's degree in communication arts from The Pennsylvania State University, where she also shared her love of rhetoric by teaching Fundamentals of Communication.
Bekah’s love for coffee is surpassed only by her love for her dogs (and family). She loves the outdoors and enjoys hiking, kayaking, and traveling to beautiful places.
Jennifer HirschRead Bio
Jennifer brings more than 10 years of strategic communications experience, a problem-solving mindset and zealous quality control to her work at The Grossman Group, where she partners with clients to help them achieve their business and communications goals.
She has collaborated with Fortune 500 clients across the pharmaceutical, hospitality, technology, energy, automotive, manufacturing, and CPG industries to deliver strategic communications solutions and counsel that help companies perform from the inside-out. Jennifer’s current and former client list includes AstraZeneca, Hilton, KeHE Distributors, Microsoft, SC Johnson, Shell, Stanley Black & Decker, Starbucks, and Tecomet, among others.
Jennifer’s an expert at helping organizations navigate complex enterprise-wide change. In addition, she has a strong background in internal communications research, has led numerous comprehensive internal communications audits, and, through those efforts, sets global communications functions up for operational excellence.
Prior to joining The Grossman Group, Jennifer honed her communication and project management skills at Edelman, a leading public relations firm. While based in the Shanghai office, she was a go-to resource for managing cross-functional teams throughout the APAC region. This experience provided Jennifer with invaluable perspective on the nuances of planning and executing global campaigns in local markets, which she brings forward to her client engagements. She is also a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).
Originally from New Jersey, Jennifer graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a dual degree in English Writing (Journalism) and Chinese. She lived in China for five years prior to relocating to Chicago and is proficient in Mandarin.
Outside of work, Jennifer enjoys spending her time volunteering with PAWS Chicago to help homeless pets and searching for the perfect soup dumpling.
Chad WintersRead Bio
Chad realizes in today’s fast-paced, information-overloaded business environment that smart communicators understand telling their story goes beyond simply articulating clear and compelling messages. Visual communications that complement and support written communications are often the difference between messages that get lost and messages that are heard and acted upon. He’s worked with a diverse portfolio of clients including, IAEG, Illinois Tool Works, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly-Clark, Lockheed Martin, McDonald’s, and Navistar, among others.
With a propensity for clean, strategic, and contemporary design, Chad specializes in print and digital publications and brand design for Fortune 500 and other leading organizations. Some of this work includes internal brand and visual assets such as annual reports, CSR reports, internal brands, corporate presentations, corporate history/storytelling books, and strategy artifacts.
Chad’s work is recognized throughout the industry, with just a few key highlights including the design of international nutrition brochures for McDonald’s, visual artifacts that have made their way to the White House, as well as the 100 Year Anniversary logo for Illinois Tool Works that debuted on the New York Stock Exchange.
Chad earned a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communication from The Illinois Institute of Art where he graduated with honors. He and his wife, Kristen, live in Indiana where they enjoy the company of their bulldog, Woodrow.
Lana DewitRead Bio
Lana has over 10 years of marketing and management experience and brings her love of technology, analytics, and detail to the execution of a myriad of thought leadership campaigns for The Grossman Group. She also plays an integral part in the success of communication trainings and leadership team meetings for clients. Lana’s work has touched clients across industries, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Hillrom (now a part of Baxter), MedStar, Republic National Distribution Company, and SC Johnson, among others.
Lana is an excellent analytical thinker, creative eye, and tech savant. She works with the marketing team to bring the company’s content campaigns to life in support of the organization’s goal to help leaders lead with heart and cultivate a more engaging workplace.
Prior to joining The Grossman Group, Lana held management roles at Lincoln Square Animal Hospital and Vistage International. Additionally, she has worked as a marketing consultant in finance, business education, and business consulting industries. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of Michigan-Flint and enjoys exploring Chicago’s arts, culture, and music scene with her husband, Paul, as well as evenings in with their two cats, Zizi and Leeloo.
K. SheltonRead Bio
K. oversees the day-to-day functions necessary to keep the team of thoughtpartners™ performing at their peak and delivers creative solutions at the speed of business. K.’s work supports the breadth of our current and former clients, such as Alkermes, Amsted, InnerWorkings, SC Johnson, and USP, among others.
Having served in administration in advertising, architecture, fine arts, and the pharmaceutical industries, and trained in design and production, K.’s role plays to strengths of pragmatism, attention to detail, and a holistic approach to the ecosystem of a dynamic client-centric firm; from HR to liaising with accounting, IT, procurement, travel arranging, and coordinating administration.
K. holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in theatrical costume design from Southern Oregon University, and a Master of Fine Arts degree from New Jersey City University. K. is a member of the International Facilities Management Association, American Alliance of Museums, and AmeriCorps Alums.
Outside of the office, K. leverages a soft-spoken manner by leading guided meditations, maintaining a healthy fine-arts practice, and interrupting their jogging routine to photograph the streets and flowers of Chicago.