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Meet our team of experienced professionals, working hard to make all your ideas come true.


Jack Skeen

Jack Skeen makes the world less dense by opening the eyes and hearts of smart, talented and successful people to see what they can’t see … the greatness in themselves and the opportunity they are missing in the world around them.

Jack puts his ego and self-interest aside such that he can hear the dreams that fuel passion, commitment, courage and change in the executives and future leaders he works with.
Everyone has the potential to be more and get more out of life.  I make the world less dense by opening the eyes and hearts of smart, talented and successful people to see what they can’t see … the greatness in themselves and the opportunity they are missing in the world around them.

To do this well, I have cultivated two critical skills.  First, I have learned how to put my ego and self-interest aside such that I can hear the dreams that fuel passion, commitment, courage and change.  Second, I have expanded my creativity such that I can align with and support success on many paths and to a variety of ends.

My clients are entrepreneurs, physicists, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, physicians, money managers, missionaries and managers of people.  They are in China, Europe, Canada, South America and the US.  While they do different things and live in different places, they all share a desire to be their best selves, to bring their “A” game to their work.  They all know they have more potential and greater success ahead and have found me to be an extremely valuable guide to getting where they want to go.

I am clear about my goal.  I want to make the world a better place by helping leaders have breakthroughs that change their lives and organizations.  I believe enlightened leaders create workplaces that release the potential of all employees and where people and their families thrive.  My experience has taught me that almost everyone wants to contribute to a cause bigger than themselves.  Almost everyone wants to give themselves to work that is meaningful.

Each of us has a life story that guides our work.  When I was 15 years old, I had an encounter that changed the course of my life.  Maslow would call it a “peak” experience.  The Christian church would call it a “conversion”.  Whatever the label, my eyes were open to life in a new way.  Whatever I had experienced, I wanted more and set my course in that pursuit.

My next transformational event occurred when I was 35 years old.  In pursuit of my “experience,” I graduated from Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia and had started a PCA church in Frederick, MD.  The church went through a terrible split and I fled back to school. While pursuing my Ph.D. in psychology, I had my eyes opened again.  For the first time I discovered I had a special gift.  I understood psychology as if it was my native tongue.  I found my giftedness; that which I would bring to the world.

My life has not been straightforward and easy.  From my successes and failures I have gained tremendous compassion for others, and developed an acute understanding of how to make a positive difference for them.  I know people are becoming less dense because my clients tell me.  They lean on me.  They respect my ability to be useful to them.  It is only in their feedback that my value is decided.

  • 13900 Greencroft Lane Hunt Valley, MD 21030


Executive Strategist

Sam Chapman

Fun and discovery are Sam’s driving values.  He founded Empower Public Relations to create a PR firm unlike any other.  He believes the more you can enjoy your work, the less turnover you will have, the more money you will earn, and the greater difference you will make in the world.

As a little boy, Sam walked around with his father’s briefcase.  His father was a wonderfully able Wall Street executive who went on to build Shearson, head up private banking for American Express and run the Chicago Board of Trade.  He was a great businessman with a great love of people, and Sam aligned himself closely with him.
Like my father and his father, I went to Williams College.  After graduating, I went to work in investment banking, initially for Lehman Brothers – which was run by the man accurately depicted in “Barbarians at the Gate” who would do anything for a fee – and then for Dillon Read & Co, then known as the most ethical place to work on Wall Street.  Through this experience I learned that being successful for the long term has a lot to do with reputation, ethics and all the qualities my dad tried to bring out in me.

I decided I would build companies that did things the right way.  I started my own venture capital firm in May 1992 with full understanding that the career I had chosen was filled with both failure and success.  I had to learn how to hold my head up high either way.  One of my portfolio companies, Parson Group, was named #1 on the “Inc. 500” list in the year 2000, and in 2002, I sold my firm for $55M cash.

I joined the Young Presidents’ Organization and went to work on myself.  This work helped me realize that I loved business but did not like raising money.  I had come to a turning point in my career.

In 2002, I married a sex expert, Dr. Laura Berman, and moved her to Chicago.  I helped her land a column in the Chicago Sun-Times, followed by several appearances on Oprah, two TV shows on the OWN network, countless news and speaking appearances, and seven books.

It was a lot of fun helping my wife get famous, so I started up my own public relations agency with a goal of having even more fun.  Fun and discovery are my driving values.  Like my father, I found the more you can enjoy your work, the less turnover you will have, the more money you will earn, and the greater difference you will make in the world.

My firm Empower Public Relations is unlike other PR agencies.  While the industry standard requires clients to sign annual or semi-annual contracts, we work month-to-month, doing away with a trap for clients who want PR. As karma would dictate, this practice makes a terrific environment for our people, because we only have happy clients.  The world is filled with great clients.

Based on coaching I got from Jack Skeen, I wrote the first business guide to address the leading challenge to workplace productivity and employee retention: gossip.  “The No Gossip Zone” helps organizations eliminate the unprofitable behavior of people talking negatively behind each other’s backs.  It shows how to get your people unstuck, redevelop your culture and provide leadership along the way.

My father inspired me to use my love for people and business to empower others.  The clarity of his example informs the way I help senior executives and organizations get to the next level.  I am passionate about applying what I’ve learned to help people make a big change in their lives and companies.

  • 13900 Greencroft Lane Hunt Valley, MD 21030
Executive Strategist

Rob MacDonald

We are all blind to something in our lives that is important to our happiness and success. Stories help us see. When we see, we thrive, and when we thrive, we help others find what they are looking for, and the world fills with light.

Rob is the president of Thought Leaders Marketing, past president of the American Marketing Association, Baltimore, and an award-winning columnist whose work regularly appears in the Baltimore Business Journal. He live in Baltimore City with his wife, the talented progressive urban education leader Bobbi Macdonald, and three wonderful children. His writing studio overlooks downtown from high atop the historic Bromo Seltzer Tower.
I make the world less dense by helping good companies inspire others with their vision. My goal is to help leaders move their people out of darkness, fear and confusion. With my guidance, business owners, presidents and CEOs learn to use their stories to discover and articulate a vision that is big and bold enough to make people – inside the company or outside –start to change how they are thinking and what they are doing.

Helping people make that change is a calling I found when I was 20. It was the week before summer semester at the University of Illinois, and I’d gone home to celebrate the news with my parents that I had just been offered a job as a columnist with the school newspaper, when I got the worst phone call of my life.
My good buddy growing up, Bob, had killed himself.

Bob was sensitive and humble, a loyal friend who made you laugh when you needed it most. I was devastated. I thought we just didn’t do something like this to each other.

After the funeral, I told Bob’s brother, Josh, that I wanted to give up the chance to write the column, so that I could stay home and be there for his family.

“No, go for it,” Josh said. “Your writing makes people feel good. We need that now.”

It was coming from the heart, so I took his advice. I went back to school, and used my talent to fill people with hope, love and appreciation for being alive. It became my purpose, and it guides me to this day.

As a communications strategist, consultant and writer, I have the same mission. Nothing can be more important than making people less dense about things that are essential to their well being. Whether they are your employees and partners, or prospects and clients, people are looking for clarity. You are their potential go-to source of understanding, information and inspiration. You have the stories they need. My job is to help you share them.

  • 13900 Greencroft Lane Hunt Valley, MD 21030
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