Colleen ignites excitement, engagement, purpose and action.
Award-winning author and international speaker, Colleen Cole is President and co-founder of PERMACRETE® Systems Limited, franchisor of the PERMA-DRY® brand. She and her late husband Bill Cole founded their concrete restoration and waterproofing business in 1978. Starting a business from nothing but a dream was not what a young couple in their 20s with three small children usually set out to do. But that's exactly what they did. Jointly, they conquered adversity and removed obstacles.
Colleen was the central cog in PERMA-DRY®'s growth as she eagerly transitioned her focus from construction to manufacturing then to franchising. They used franchising as a business strategy to expand and grow the company through licensing Strategic-Partners (S-Ps) to operate independently owned PERMA-DRY® locations www.permadry.com.
After Bill died in 2009 from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, Colleen became president of their businesses, a position she inherited but had never dreamed of holding. Having worked side by side with Bill for over 30 years and possessing a wealth of expertise, Colleen was a natural fit for her new role. Recognizing the value and strength of her son Danny's contribution to the business, he became her new partner and assumed the position of vice president and COO. They share the same vision for the company's future and bring unique generational insights with a deep understanding of the way entrepreneurial energy flows. Danny is positioned to take over the helm as CEO so Colleen can spend more time writing, speaking, and fulfilling her philanthropic passion.
Colleen has faced the challenges of every successful woman: struggling to balance business demands with family, keeping the image of a strong woman in a male-dominated industry, and wanting to be there for everyone. Needing inner healing when her life changed after her husband of 35 years died, she bravely revealed the secret that she and most women keep well hidden - their battle with guilt. Guilt had haunted her on her journey through life starting in her childhood while growing up in a small, traditional rural community. It remained a constant companion throughout her career as an entrepreneur and business leader, while she juggled church and community roles, and, finally, as a widow. Colleen chronicled her life's experiences in her first book, GUILT, The Secret War of Successful Women, that was launched in September 2013 and has won two awards! She unraveled the threads of guilt from all aspects of her life and candidly shared her struggles so that other women could identify with her and open up about their own feelings and limited thinking. By recanting stories of a lifetime of wearing a mask, feeling unworthy of her position and title, striving to live up to the unrealistic expectations of others and herself, Colleen mixes humor with tragedy as she revealed how she broke free from the bondage of guilt.
Her passionate approach to helping free women from the bondage of guilt runs parallel with her passion to help free women from the bondage of oppression and injustice around the world. Colleen has traveled to 47 countries on five continents. She has witnessed the effects of slavery, brutal rape, mutilation, and disease on the most vulnerable people in society. The plight of women and children who suffer in silence in developing nations haunts her, compelling her to be their voice for justice and be the light in their darkness by bringing them hope and healing.
Her second book, Umoja, A Journey From Success to Significance, which focuses on building legacy while living life with passion was released in March 2015. She simultaneously launched The MILLION DOLLAR Umoja Journey, co-hosting a rally of land rovers crossing six continents in a series of 'legs' over the next year to raise awareness and funding for health and education projects in developing nations. Colleen's vision ~ Adventure With Purpose. Her attitude is to view life through the lens of legacy by sharing what you've learned as well as sharing what you've earned. To join her journey, click colleenhcole.com/retreats-trips/
Colleen is not only an entrepreneur, consultant, author, speaker and adventurer; she is a mother to three, grandmother to 11, and an amazing storyteller and role model! She effortlessly inspires and motivates people in all walks of life and cultures to understand their value and position, to find their purpose, to live it with passion, and dare to pursue their dreams.
Her energy and overcomer mantra has propelled her to a sought-after international speaker. Colleen has spoken at business conferences, universities, schools, churches, and networking groups on four continents on topics ranging from business, franchising, family and marriage relationships, terminal illness and grief, mental health, human rights, and humanitarian aid.