Spotlight: Mary Jo Greil, Founder of Carson Greil Group, LLC

Nina Morel1 - Where are you from, and how did you choose to live in Middle Tennessee?

My family of origin is from southern Wisconsin; I moved to Memphis to work on a doctoral program that would allow me to have an internship in business as input for my dissertation. The result was changing a career from education to business. I have lived in Memphis for almost  40 years. My husband and I have five of our eight grandchildren living in the Nashville area and we wanted to be part of their young lives. We moved to Nashville about a year ago.  

2 - What is your professional background, and why did you become a coach?

I have had over twenty years in business management – start-up, mid-cap and Fortune 50 company in the industries of steel, healthcare, forest products & consumer products. I was responsible for large-scale organizational and cultural change with the largest organization being a $7 billion sector of International Paper. Over time, I realized that such change is only sustainable through effective leadership development. Executive coaching readily supports the development of effective leaders.

3 - How did you choose your specialty area?

Basically I enjoy developing people – individuals, groups, and communities.

I launched my coaching and consulting business based on years of professional and personal development that have provided me with many opportunities to learn about adult development, leadership development, facilitating change, and deep transformative work.

However, I did not intentionally choose to become a coach. A friend had wanted to go through the Life Launch weekend sponsored by the Hudson Institute of Coaching. She encouraged me to join her.   Following that weekend, Fredrick Hudson was leading a coaching prototype session and my friend twisted my arm into participating, because I had not planned to be a coach. After the session, Fredrick personally encouraged me to become a coach after the group witnessed my coaching a volunteer who had not realized he was passive aggressive until the “fish bowl” coaching session with me.

After completing the coaching certification with the Hudson Institute, I learned about somatic coaching through the Strozzi Institute. Upon completion of their program, I became a master somatic coach.

4 - What are the greatest challenges and greatest rewards of your career?

Greatest challenges: Being new to Nashville. My business in Memphis was built primarily on referrals and professional reputation. I am in the process of learning ways to re-invent my business presence in Nashville.

Greatest rewards: Witnessing the transformation of various clients.  

Launching a five-year volunteer community initiative called Imagine Memphis. Almost 1,000 adults and high school students participated in intergenerational interviews about what makes Memphis so unique and special. After five years, I gave the initiative to Leadership Memphis to scale it. Now there are other initiatives to increase engagement in the Memphis community. 

Receiving two national awards for my pioneering work.

5 - What is something that most ICFTN members would be surprised to learn about you?

I was raised on a dairy farm in southern Wisconsin.

6 - How do you enjoy spending your free time?

Traveling and having adventures with my husband; spending time with families—including 12 nieces & nephews; spiritual formation workshops & retreats; out-of-doors (exercise and connecting with nature).

If you would like any more info, my website has recently been updated. Feel free to access it at

Take Stock of Your Accomplishments - The Rewards of Membership

Welcome to July and the second half of the year.  Quoting Ferris Bueller: “Life moves pretty fast; if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it!” 

As you take stock of what you have accomplished so far this year, consider the value of your membership in ICF and ICFTN to achieve your goals as a professional coach. 

  • Are you on target to meet your professional development goals this year?

  • Will you meet your CCEU requirements by December 31?

  • Is your goal to attain a credential or move to another level of credential?

  • Do you have a peer coach?

  • Have you taken full advantage of the benefits of your membership?

  • Are you leveraging the ICFTN network?

The answer to these questions and more can be found on the ICF website and by engaging as an ICFTN member. We are delighted to have an exceptional program this month with David Drake who will speak at the membership luncheon as well as during the afternoon workshop. David will share his particular passion for change and transition through narrative coaching. He will offer us an opportunity to separate the signals from the noise and perhaps put your goals for the year in perspective.

Benefits of your membership in ICF:

  1. Business development

    1. Instant credibility

    2. Member pricing from media and business solutions partners

    3. Member toolkits

    4. Credentials coach finder and directory

  1. Lifelong learning and professional development

    1. Communities of practice

    2. Continuing coach education

    3. Reciprocal peer coaching

  1. Global and local connections

    1. Networking and peer engagement

    2. Discounted event registration

    3. Leadership opportunities

  1. Research

    1. Cutting edge industry research

    2. Research portal

ICF is conducting a global survey of coaches and coach clients/stakeholders. The results of the survey will be made available to us and be useful as we look at trends in our profession and how the perception and use of coaching is changing. Take the survey now:

Donna Yurdin, ICFTN President

Donna Yurdin