Leadership Fellows Spotlight: Carmen Cool

“I’ve always been interested in inclusive and transformational leadership,” says Carmen Cool, an alumna of Leadership Fellows Boulder County, class of 2010-2011. 

“I’m more of a quiet, introverted, behind-the-scenes kind of leader,” continues the psychotherapist, certified Hakomi therapist, educator, speaker, and activist who moved here from Ohio more than two decades ago. “I always struggled with the version of leadership we all hear about – the leader who’s out front. 
“Through Leadership Fellows, I learned that there’s a place for my style of leadership. Transformational leadership, specifically, really aligns with my interest in social justice.”
Indeed, as a weight-inclusive therapist, Carmen helps people heal their relationships with food and their bodies. She also started and ran a nonprofit, created youth programs, and speaks internationally on Health At Every Size®, weight stigma, and more.  
“When I worked in the local nonprofit sphere, I became familiar with the Community Foundation and applied for grant funding,” continues the past board president of the Association for Size Diversity and Health. “Thereafter, a friend of mine went through the Leadership Fellows program and recommended it to me. It was an incredibly valuable experience for me, and I still pull out my notes on transformational leadership to remind me of the kind of leader I want to be.”
Named “Most Inspiring Individual” in Boulder, and recipient of the Excellence in Eating Disorder Advocacy Award in Washington, DC, Carmen adds, “It’s a continual process of moving away from transactional relationships toward transformational ones.”
Additional topics of the joint leadership development and networking program of the Community Foundation and Boulder Chamber include, among others, critical human needs, education, the arts and culture, and selling your vision. Roundtable discussions explore a range of timely issues, from immigration to criminal justice.
“My work is focused on dismantling diet culture, and supporting the next generation of body liberation leaders,” concludes Carmen. “Leadership Fellows helped me broaden my lens to take on a greater role in social healing at the intersection of therapy and activism.”