Our Team


Nella Barkley is a cofounder and Chairman of BestWork, Inc.

Nella Barkley, President of Crystal-Barkley Corporation, brings over 30 years of individual mentoring and organizational management to her role as Chairman and cofounder of BestWork, Inc.

More than a career coach or an advisor, she’s transformed the lives of thousands of individuals and helped hundreds of organizations through the Life\Work Design™ process and other tools she’s refined and developed. Nella is an alumna of Harvard University’s School of Business Administration Advanced Management Program, and has been honored with numerous state and national awards.

In addition to authoring How to Help Your Child Land the Right Job (without being a pain in the neck) and The Crystal-Barkley Guide to Taking Charge of Your Career, she has been a frequent guest and has written numerous articles for major media outlets including CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, Forbes, Newsweek, American Bar Association Journal, National Public Radio, New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

When it comes to exploring your second career, or the looming options for a new career on the horizon, Nella has proved to be a North Start of guidance. She’s available for coaching on an as-needed basis, and continues to lead the Life\Work Design™ process.


Spencer Deering is the cofounder and President of BestWork, Inc.

As President of BestWork Inc., Spencer Deering is dedicated to revolutionizing leadership development, with a specific focus on helping senior executives and the next generation of high potential, emerging Millennial leaders.

Starting his career as a high school teacher, Spencer has been a five-star coach: basketball, lacrosse, soccer, and baseball. The specific class or sport at hand was secondary: he focused on leading people to their strengths and encouraging them to double down on them.

Spencer has advised many organizations, guided countless young professionals, mentored executives in the Inc. 500, and consulted for National Championship coaches.

He has been featured in numerous media outlets including Bloomberg BusinessWeek, The Baltimore Sun, Charleston City Paper, Charleston Magazine, The Messenger and others. He’s also written across many genres, publishing a novel, penning an award-winning play and placing helpful articles in major national magazines such as Esquire, Forbes, Self, Cosmopolitan, Golf Digest, and Family Circle.

His latest book is How To Be A Millennial Whisperer: Understand Your Millennial Employees and Improve Engagement. It’s aimed at business leaders struggling to enhance the productivity of young workers.

For Millennials and high-potential emerging leaders, Spencer provides fundamental career coaching, executive mentoring and advisory that drives success from the ground up. Taking a holistic approach which incorporates compassion and sound decision-making with an overwhelming focus on results, Spencer elevates individuals and organizations to do their BestWork.


David Shriner-Cahn is the President of TEND Strategies and BestWork Champion

David Shriner-Cahn, is Co-Founder of the BestNetwork for Solopreneurs and host of the business podcast, Smashing the Plateau. David provides entrepreneurs with individual and team mentorship, peer support and curated educational content to build recurring revenue.

David has served as a CEO, COO and CFO in the not-for-profit sector as well as a project manager in the private sector. A graduate of Columbia University Graduate School of Business’s Institute for Not-for-Profit Management, David received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Lafayette College, M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University, and attended Technion Israel Institute of Technology as a Fulbright scholar.

David is available for coaching, with a particular focus on entrepreneurs, and leads Life\Work Design™ courses in New York City with Nella.


Donna Fullerton provides coaching at BestWork, Inc.

Donna Fullerton’s roots are in the world of advertising where she developed a passion for inspiring companies to effectively leverage their strengths, identify unique selling propositions and optimize business decision-making.

By applying her extensive toolkit of skills including diverse category experience, creative ideation and problem-solving, leadership development and coaching – Donna is able to guide clients in their marketing and business development.

She holds Advanced Degrees in Business Management and Certifications in Strategic Marketing Management, Creative Problem-Solving and Mindset Coaching. Donna is a co-author of The Freedom Zone: Your Gateway to Love, Liberty and Happiness.

At BestWork, Inc. Donna provides coaching with David Shriner-Cahn as part of the BestNetwork.


Jerry McCarthy is a LifeWork Design coach at BestWork, Inc.

Jerry began his association with BestWork, Inc. and Crystal-Barkley Corporation more than four decades ago as a client of John Crystal.

During that time he has served in numerous executive and board member positions in state, regional, and national agencies charged with environmental protection, conservation, and philanthropy.

His undergraduate and graduate education encompasses electrical and nuclear engineering, as well as public administration.

Currently, Jerry co-leads 3-day Life\Work Design™ workshops.


Marlène Langbroek is a BestWork Champion in Europe and the UK who runs Life\Work Design Netherlands

Since 2002, Marlène Langbroek, Principal and Licensee of Life\Work Design Netherlands, has coached thousands of accomplished professionals in the Netherlands and throughout the EU in the Life\Work Design™ process.

For many years, Marlène was a professor who taught and coached career professionals at Fontys University in Tilburg and at Saxion University in Deventer. She performed numerous research, training and advisory assignments commissioned by the career expertise center of Saxion University.

It was through her work at the University that she met Nella Barkley. Marlène and Nella collaborated on the Dutch version of Nella’s book How to Help Your Child Land the Right Job, which deepened Marlène’s involvement and enthusiasm about Life\Work Design™.

Marlène is available for BestWork, Inc. clients in Europe and the UK who are seeking an authentic in-person Life\Work Design™ experience, and are unable to attend a course in the US.


Jerry Lepore is a Revenue Growth Expert at BestWork, Inc. providing mentoring for executives to achieve greater profitability.

With an exceptional ability to introduce and expand new product and service lines, Jerry Lepore is responsible for the Revenue Growth service at BestWork, Inc. He is a 35-year executive and veteran serving HealthCare, Education, Financial Services, and Construction industries. He has worked with a number of top-tier companies as well as startups in a variety of executive level technology and operational positions. Jerry has also raised over $750M in capital to fund new companies and ventures.

Jerry has co-founded and held executive, board and equity positions in a number of companies. He served as the Chief Technology Officer at Cigna Corporation and the Managing Director of Microsoft’s Consulting Services, and was also the Vice President of Enterprise Technology at Aetna.

During his career, he has had several publications, some appearing in Harvard Business Review, and Sloan Management Review. His work has also been the subject of casework for the University of Manchester, UK, and Jerry has also been a key speaker at a number of industry conferences including Electronic Commerce World, CSC Index Executive Summit, CASE World, EnterpriseWorld, Information Systems Executive Conference, Microsoft’s Worldwide Solution Provider Summit, and the American Insurance Association Automation Symposium. He has volunteered for and assisted in fundraising for Women’s Cancer Care Foundation, Camp Shriver, WINGS for Kids, and MUSC Children’s Cancer Care.

Since 2002, Jerry has operated as an executive consultant. He provides solutions for mid-sized businesses and enterprise corporations, with a focus on strategic direction, customer acquisition, organizational effectiveness, operational excellence and profitability. Additionally, he has coached, mentored, and in many cases placed executives in over 20 different firms.


Dougie Scudder is a BestWork Champion who facilitates Life\Work Design for women in finance with Nella.

Dougie Scudder brings unique experience in the financial services industry to Life\Work Design™ and BestWork, Inc. Her career in banking ranges from bank/asset liability management, underwriting and marketing short term bank debt to being a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor specializing in estate planning. She later joined a large regional brokerage firm as Head of Institutional Bond Trader, one of the first women in Virginia to hold such a post.

Dougie has always been determined the break through the glass ceiling while being a mentor and advocate for women in business. She is known for leading women’s groups to be able to recognize and overcome obstacles in their workplaces, teaching them to “lift others up while climbing up.” She truly believes “that the skills and traits usually associated with women are powerful tools that can enhance any industry.”

Dougie facilitates Life\Work Design™ with Nella, and has a particular passion for coaching and helping women in finance, real estate and banking industries.