Our Coaches

Who We Are

Gary B. Cohen

Managing Partner – CO2 Partners, LLC

Gary is famous for asking; he wrote the book on it. He probes his clients with the only kind of questions that can produce change: unexpected ones. From the client’s answers, this dedicated Minneapolis leadership coach offers not just insights but alternative courses of action.

“There always are several good roads to Rome,” he says. “The key is to identify the one that best fits both your head and heart.” He focuses on the destination–and not the possible curves in the road–for a simple reason: most obstacles are artificial, and the rest are in our heads. “Clear your head,” he believes, “and the obstacles disappear.” This may explain why Gary’s clients call him “eccentric in exactly the right way.” Gary has yet to meet a client who wants to be ordinary, and he helps them enjoy unusual success by employing unusual approaches.

CEO experience: Managing Partner and Co-founder of CO2 Partners, LLC (2004), an Executive Coaching and Leadership Development Firm. Founded ACI in 1989 with $4,000 and two employees, then grew 48 percent compounded annually for 12 years to over 2,200 employees and went public on the NASDAQ. ACI was one of Venture Magazine’s Top 10 Best Performing Businesses and Business Journal’s 25 Fastest Growing Small Public Companies, and Gary was an Entrepreneur of the Year finalist.

Board memberships: All Kinds of Minds, Harvard Alumni Club of Minnesota, IC Systems, Inc., Richfield Bank, ACI, Telecentrics,, Outward Bound National Advisory, HBS Alumni Club of Minnesota (Past President), Minnesota Zoo Foundation among others.
Author: Just Ask Leadership: Why Great Managers Always Ask the Right Questions (McGraw Hill 2009); articles for Business Week, Leader to Leader, and Forbes.

Clients: Unilever, Intel, Genentech, MetLife, Thermo-Fisher, and 100-plus entrepreneur-led businesses.

Education: University of Minnesota (B.A); Harvard Business School; Covey Leadership Center; Disney Leadership Institute; and Aspen Institute Crown Fellow.

Want to know more about Gary’s approach to leadership and life? Read his blog, Elements of Leadership.

Doreen Frankel, Ph. D.

Executive Coach

Doreen Frankel is a certified coach and management consultant in the areas of organization and employee development. She applies her experience and understanding of organizations to leadership and executive coaching, making her an executive coach Minneapolis business leaders can rely on to provide personal solutions. As a consultant, she has developed competency models, strengthened leadership teams, designed work processes and created organization-wide training plans and implementation strategies. She has held a variety of corporate positions including responsibilities in finance, marketing and human resources. As an Adjunct Professor, Dr. Frankel has taught Management in the MBA program at the University of Hartford, School of Business. Doreen has served in leadership positions on several non-profit boards in the Twin Cities.

To maximize your own capabilities and to learn more about executive coaching and business coaching, call 612-928-4747 for a risk-free consultation or Contact Online.

Mark Feil

Executive Coach

Mark has spent his entire career building winning organizations in technology.  His background includes senior leadership positions within F500’s and small private companies; he has also started his own technology solutions practice.  In each of those settings, Mark has exceeded corporate financial goals, grown revenue, and contained expenses.  Whether working for a large technology company, or a small start-up, he has never failed to be recognized as number 1 among his peers.

Mark’s approach is to use a combination of mathematical and statistical analysis, sound business practices, psychology of selling and buying, and creative technology solutions.  By combining these disciplines, new ways of approaching problems create environments that allow for accelerated productivity.  The approach can be summed up this way:  “I change the game, write rules for the new game, then beat the competition at a game they didn’t know they were playing, using rules they didn’t know existed.”

As Vice President of Sales at telecommunications providers Global Crossing and Broadwing, Mark was recognized as the highest producing sales leader in the world, landing numerous multi-million dollar global network contracts.  Clients included Ford Motor Company, 3M, Daimler Chrysler, and ACI Telecentrics.   During his tenure, Mark was awarded Chairman’s Club, President’s Club, and multiple Quarterly Achiever’s Circle awards.

In 2003, Mark co-founded WanConnex LLC, a consulting firm specializing in technology, sales, and marketing.  A self-funded venture, Mark and his partner achieved profitability within the first year; and double digit CAGR revenue growth for 5 subsequent years.  Upon selling WanConnex in 2009, Mark became General Manager at XO.  Within 15 months, he turned a flat revenue market into the highest growth market for 2 years, running 19% and 22% sequential revenue expansion.   He then led the Data Center and Cloud Technology business, a $100M revenue stream, once again creating a team that over-achieved and finished 2014 at 135% to plan.

Mark joined CO2 in January of 2015 and brings a unique approach to sales, marketing, and technology.  As someone that has actually been in the trenches, lying awake thinking about hitting quota, he brings a very pragmatic, focused approach based on real life, real world experience.  Whether it’s using funnel management tools, sales training, or performance improvement plans, or creating winning sales teams, Mark’s methods have proven to out-sell, out-grow, and out-motivate his competition.

Mark has a BA in Mathematics (emphasis on Probability and Statistics) from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

To maximize your own capabilities and to learn more about executive coaching and business coaching, call 612-812-1770 for a risk-free consultation or contact Mark online.

John Sandahl

Executive Coach

John Sandahl is a certified team and executive coach, change-agent, and team-development speaker with 20 years of experience helping teams and their leaders around the country achieve high performance through the power of connection and coaching.

John is an expert in facilitating any experience from very large group events to one-on-one personal coaching sessions, and has yet to meet a group or individual with whom he can’t find some common ground to start the change process. He has worked with well over 175,000 people over his career to date, helping them make change both personally and organizationally.

In addition to his work in the world of business teams, John has sustained a 20-year Ultimate Frisbee career while playing all over the world: he is a four-time national, three-time world champion, and former captain of Team USA. He also coached the US National U20 women’s team three times in the junior world championships in Finland, Canada, and Germany where they medaled each time. He is passionate about helping people learn to see each other (and themselves) in a better way, and has directed team-development workshops with the national non-profit Youth Frontiers for 14 years.

John has a B.A. from St. John’s University, and he trained with both Team Coaching International and The Coaches Training Institute (the standard-bearers of coach training organizations worldwide), where he earned the CTPC and CPCC certifications.

To maximize your own capabilities and to learn more about executive coaching and business coaching, contact John online.

Tom Schlick

Operational Consultant & Coach

Tom Schlick has over 30 years of experience as a customer-focused business operations executive. He is known as a transformational leader, successfully leading organizations through high growth as well as difficult turnaround situations. Tom moves confidently from vision and strategy to tactical development and implementation. He also has the unique ability to build cohesive, high-performing teams that can work cross-functionally in alignment with common goals. 

Tom has held COO, SVP, EVP, and VP positions with P&L responsibility at small, medium, and large corporations, both public and privately-held. These companies include Johnson & Johnson (Sterilmed, Inc.), Emerson Electric, ACCO Brands, XRS Corporation (now part of Qualcomm), and Entrust Datacard. Tom’s industry experience spans healthcare/medical devices, process control, transportation/trucking, secure ID/financial services, and office products and equipment.

In all his roles, Tom has excelled at training and developing both individuals and teams, increasing their business acumen and preparing them to drive change in the workplace. From a functional perspective, Tom is particularly adept at delivering results through operational execution, developing customer service and new revenue streams, and leading global multi-site ventures.

Delivering Results through Operational Execution

    • Helped Emerson’s process automation group grow from $25 million to $3 billion —by introducing one of Fortune Magazine’s top 100 products of the century organizing back-end plant consolidations, overseeing mergers and acquisitions, and creating one-point-of-contact for customer service
    • Won largest multi-million-dollar order in company’s history at both ACCO Brands and XRS Corporation
    • Led marketing and new product development at a division of Johnson & Johnson (Sterilmed, Inc.), achieving five 510(k) clearances in one year – most in one year in the company’s history

Developing Customer Service and New Revenue Streams

    • Established new Service Division at Emerson and grew revenues to over $90 million – while earning the industry’s #1 ranking for customer service for five years in a row
    • Doubled the global service revenues at Datacard Group to $100 million primarily in Asia and Europe, while tripling pretax profit margins from 6% to 18%
    • Significantly improved customer satisfaction and/or Net Promoter Score (NPS) ratings at Emerson, Datacard Group, ACCO Brands, XRS Corporation, and Sterilmed

Leading Global Multi-Site Ventures

    • Consolidated three manufacturing plants (two in the US and one in Brazil) for a major product line at Emerson into one new facility in Chihuahua, Mexico, reducing costs by over 50% and improving product quality
    • Established a joint venture in India to provide software development and integration on major government ID programs at Datacard Group
    • Drove company-wide quality initiatives to improve hardware and software quality at XRS (now part of Qualcomm), identified multi-site reporting inefficiency, and created new process that reduced installation and start-up time by 80%.

Education/Certifications/Affiliations

Tom holds an MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and Green Belt. Tom has been a mentor with the MENTTIUM Corporation for over 15 years, mentoring high potential executives from many companies. He currently serves on the advisory boards of The Service Council and the Society for Service Executives. He was the past President of AFSMI (Association for Service Management International). In addition, Tom has been a guest speaker and panelist at several large national professional conferences focusing on transformational change. He shares a 7-step process he has developed to achieve faster growth and higher profitability—using Service as a strategic differentiator and by driving greater company value from industry Best Practices.

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