Jenny Maxwell has been cajoling people to perform for audiences and cameras (and putting words in their mouths) for more than 30 years. As a television writer/producer/director, her projects have ranged from producing news coverage of presidential campaigns to writing for The Food Network’s Good Eats. For 14 years, she was marketing director and producer for NBC affiliate WIS-TV. She has directed several Emmy-winning programs for public television and has for the last eight years edited skirt!, a women’s magazine.
Jenny has coached political leaders and top executives from around the world, helping them hone presentation skills and prepare for tough audiences. She frequently travels to companies, working with teams to develop and polish pitches that land multi-million dollar contracts. She teaches writing seminars, writes and edits speeches, and researches and participates in formal debates. She has provided presentation skils training to hundreds of clients, including major global manufacturers, universities, healthcare corporations, political leaders, defense contractors and the U.S. military.
After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Maxwell began her career as a writer/producer with WIS TV, an NBC affiliate in Columbia, SC, rising to executive producer. While at WIS, Maxwell also attended the University of South Carolina, earning a master’s degree in English with a focus on writing. She studied with poet and novelist James Dickey, who urged her to leave her job, “bag groceries and write poetry full-time.” Maxwell elected not to take the great writer’s advice, viewing this as the only career move that could actually pay less than television.
Maxwell was delighted when her work allowed her to learn more about one of her favorite topics—food. In 2001, she helped develop a new series for The Food Network, Cooking Thin, writing 13 episodes. She also wrote episodes of Good Eats, the popular Food Network series hosted by Alton Brown. She has continued to work in the food arena, providing restaurant reviews for newspaper and television, contributing features to a number of magazines, and working with chefs and restaurant owners to improve their on-camera skills.