Gretchen Martens is an improv performer at the Dallas Comedy House. Irreverence and laughter are keys to Gretchen’s leadership and management style. She has been a key leader in four startups and three nonprofits, helping them raise over $13 million. Gretchen lead a sales team from the least performing team in the United States to the highest performing team in the world in six months, starting with a red feather boa and ending with sexy shoe night and the Geronimo Challenge. She invented “The Pink Elephant Hunter,” part Indiana Jones and part Crocodile Hunter, who has helped teams slay the pink elephants that hold them back. Many years ago, when her daughter was young, she ran “Summer at Hogwarts,” one of the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital’s most popular camps ever; demand was so high she was able to double the size of the camp at no additional expense to the Girl Scouts.
Gretchen is a professionally trained organizational/executive coach and challenge course facilitator. Before returning to coaching, training, and teambuilding, with an improv twist, Gretchen did very serious work with military in transition. Twist continues this work as part of its corporate social philanthropy.
Gretchen holds a B.A. from Cornell University and a M.A. from the University of Michigan (anthropology). She has completed her coursework for a Ph.D in higher and adult continuing education with a focus on adult learning styles and curriculum design. She has numerous publications and is a popular repeat guest on talk radio.
When Gretchen is not preoccupied with inviting adults to achieve goals through comedy and irreverence, she enjoys watching her two children zoom into adulthood. She has a passion for abstract painting and has recently begun exhibiting in art shows. Gretchen is an avid reader, cook, blues enthusiast, photographer, and hiker. She writes poetry and fiction, which she may be brave enough to try to publish some day. She is exceedingly mediocre at salsa dancing, kickboxing, yoga, tai chi, zumba, and meditation. The list of things she is utterly terrible at is extensive, including brain surgery, running for public office, golf, mixing martinis, writing code or developing apps, making the perfect risotto, and countless other things too tiresome to mention.
Past clients include AFCEA International, American Legion, Association of Small Business Development Centers, Boeing, CACI, Carfax, CBS News, Central Intelligence Agency, City of Alexandria (VA), City of Tyler (TX), Clear Channel, District of Columbia Government, Fox News, Environmental Defense Fund, Foreign Service Institute, Georgetown Law School, International City-County Managers Association, National Guard Bureau, National League of Cities, Northrup Grumman, Sunrise Assisted Living, The University of Michigan, and Verizon.