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Meet Jenny Mitchell

Chavender CEO & Founder, executive coach, podcast host, published author and leader.

Hi, I'm Jenny! Here's a little bit about me.

Jenny Mitchell is an executive coach, a podcaster, and a published author who is on a mission to help people have more meaningful conversations. She is a lifelong learner who holds an executive coaching degree for Royal Roads University, a CFRE fundraising designation, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from SUNY Stony Brook in piano performance. 


She spent 10 years as a professional fundraiser helping charities and non-profit organizations raise millions of dollars to make the world a better place. But it wasn’t raising the money that was her passion. It was the people.


As Jenny’s coaching experiences grew, and as she worked with executives in the C-suite, Jenny identified a striking pattern: talented women would miss opportunities to move up the corporate ladder because they could not shift from supporting others, to supporting themselves. And that’s when the Underdog Leadership Podcast was born, with the goal of helping #2’s become #1’s in life and work. Jenny’s podcast episodes reflect her passion for women’s leadership and helps aspiring leaders step into their confidence and lead their own way.  This vision is reflected in her recent book entitled Embracing Ambition: empowering women to step out, be seen and lead. It is available from Amazon or wherever you get your favourite non-fiction books. In the book, Jenny weaves the research on women leaders with the first person stories of 12 women CEOs from across North America.


Jenny’s company, Chavender, has evolved to become a sought after partner for companies in Canada and the U.S. in the areas of executive coaching, mentorship, talent development, succession planning and group coaching. Jenny’s engaging style makes her a sought after keynote speaker, having presented at major Fundraising Leadership Conferences (AFP, CAGP, AHP, Planet Philanthropy, bbcon) across North America as well as for the Government of Canada and corporate America. She fulfills her mission to help #2’s become #1’s in work and life through both one-on-one and group coaching experiences for women leaders.


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“ Embracing Ambition is the guidebook every woman working as a leader – or who aspires to lead – has been waiting for; assembling the inspiring real-life journeys of a dozen leaders into a single volume that we can turn to for advice, guidance and motivation.”

... That's the Official Bio

Now for a little more about me, and how I see the world…

When I was a kid, I remember sitting in the back of my parent’s car watching the traffic out the window thinking two thoughts: “Wow! The world is a big place” and “Wow. Will I have enough time on the planet to meet them all?”


I was a hurdle jumper: you put it in front of me, I would jump it!  I saw the world as a place to be explored. But somewhere along the way, I realized that being curious wasn’t always appreciated by others. I learned that girls were not supposed to state their ambitions out loud. I learned that girls didn’t get rewarded when they were competitive, or focused on winning.


I learned how to conform and fit in. I played small for many years to ensure that I was safe, keenly aware (in hindsight) that my people pleaser tendencies were tied to an oversized and empathetic heart. I identified with the underdog: the person who had overcome hardships and learned from their experiences to ultimately become a better version of themselves.  


Everyone is struggling with something. The stories we hide from others only grow scarier in the darkness. There is so much vulnerability in putting your hand up and saying “I had that experience too…” 


I say to clients that my mission in life is to be just a little bit better, a little bit smarter, and a little bit stronger than I was yesterday. Clients tell me that I am relatable, and they appreciate the fact that I am on this journey alongside them. 

Understanding myself, and what I like to do with my spare time has become clearer over the years. Call it the gift of wisdom, or hindsight, but I am now stepping out, being seen and leading. And I am hell-bent on bringing other women along on their own leadership journeys. 

Because what women bring to the table is equal parts ambition and compassion. And that benefits all of us.


Other fun facts about me:

  • I’m a Mom of two teenage girls, a dog and a cat and I live in a century home in Ottawa, Ontario.
  • I am an avid tennis player and volunteer at my local tennis club.
  • My birthday is International Women’s Day (how fun is that?) Which makes me a Pisces.
  • The key to quick happiness during the work day? A Vanilla Latte from Happy Goat Coffee.
  • My Guilty Pleasure is Murdoch Mysteries – it’s the only show the whole family watches together.
  • I do my best work with a sharp pencil and blank piece of paper.
  • I am building a cottage with my husband which is a lifelong dream of mine.
  • If I could have a cocktail with ANYONE, alive or not, I would choose Malcolm Gladwell. He’s kind of my super hero. My cocktail would be gin-based and the conversation would be quirky.