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Gary Cohen Executive Coach
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"Gary was my personal coach for years, and I was able to accomplish a lot under his guidance, and use his practice daily. I was thinking about it yesterday, another day at the office. Fired a vendor, replaced my phone system, got two staffers back on track, defused a raging client, analyzed final monthly numbers and found out my Mom may have only days to live. As horrible as this may sound, it all went off really well with generally positive outcomes, all due to practice with Gary."

Ken Clark

Gary B. Cohen

Founder and Executive Coach

Gary Cohen is a highly-skilled Executive Coach, Leadership Author, Trainer, and International Keynote Speaker. His clients range from entrepreneurial CEOs of the nation’s fastest-growing companies to executives of global 100 companies. He differentiates himself from traditional (psycho/therapeutic) executive coaches by bringing a vast amount of business experience as a former Founder / President of one the Nation’s Fastest growing companies.

Gary is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of CO2 Partners, LLC, which helps high performers and CEOs elevate their leadership and capability through executive coaching. Organizations can save millions of dollars and can grow by millions more by working with CO2 Partners.


  • Unilever
  • Intel
  • MetLife
  • Thermo-Fisher
  • Many small to mid-sized businesses

His past successes include a small company with 2 employees and $4,000 that grew 50% compounded annually to over 2,200 employees and was taken public on the NASDAQ. The company was ranked in the Top 10 Best Performing Businesses by Venture Magazine and among the 25 Fastest Growing Small Public Companies by Business Journal. Inc. Magazine selected Gary as finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Companies hire Gary for one of the following reasons:

  • To Systematically Put Processes in Place to Get the Business to Scale
  • To Increase Alignment, Engagement, & Accountability of Team or the Organization
  • To Gain Insight & an Unbiased Perspective on Issues, Concerns, & Trade-Offs
  • To Understand How to Navigate the Political Environment to Accelerate Career Advancement

Gary captured his unique question-based approach in the book Just Ask Leadership: Why Great Managers Always Ask the Right Questions (McGraw Hill). He has also written for Business Week, McKinsey Quarterly, Leader to Leader, and Forbes.

His favorite place to vacation is on a pair of skis moving fast.

Specialties: Executive Coaching, Leadership Coaching, Team Coaching, Business Coaching & Strategic Planning

A Brief History of Gary

In 1987 Gary co-founded a company with $4,000 in start-up money. Over the years the company grew from 2 to 2200 employees. During the start-up phase Gary and his business partner hired a consultant to guide them through the process. Though the consultant charged more money than the two partners were making at the time, they made the investment because they recognized the value of expert advice.

Gary is convinced ACI Telecentrics, Inc. never would have become the 25th largest call center outsourcer in the United States without the consultant’s help.

After 18 years of leading a company in an industry that went from go-go to no-go, Gary has experienced the entire corporate lifecycle and weathered the constant up-and-down transitions. “City Business,” a Minneapolis/St. Paul publication, distinguished Gary as one of their “40 under 40” award winners.

Besides serving on the board for ACI Telecentrics, Gary has been a board member of 9 different corporations, ranging from non-profit organizations to financial institutions.

The insight gained from real-world experience gives him a true understanding of the issues other entrepreneurs are working to resolve. Gary has the skills and the empathy to guide his clients through the pitfalls of entrepreneurial leadership.

Gary received his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota and attended Harvard Business School. He has participated in several leadership programs at institutions including the Covey Leadership Center and Disney University and the Aspen Institute as a Crown fellow.

Gary is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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