President, The Grief Recovery Institute
Cole W. James is the President of the Grief Recovery Institute. He grew up in Southern California and, as the son of the founder John James, was encouraged to be “a heart with ears” from a very early age on. After high school, Cole attended Baylor University where he played baseball. Upon returning to Los Angeles, he chose to explore a career in the entertainment industry, working for Fox Movie Channel and FX Network for six years. At this point in time and after much consideration, Cole made the decision to disengage from the corporate world and join his father in building a future that focused on “meeting the emotional needs of others”. The following years of mentorship and collaborative work both with his father and Russell Friedman, John’s partner, fully prepared Cole to assume the leadership position of the Institute upon John’s retirement in 2017.
Cole travels nationally and internationally, speaking at conferences and facilitating trainings that certify individuals to become Grief Recovery Method Specialists. He co-authored the Grief Recovery Handbook for Pet Loss, a comprehensive publication that addresses recovery from a type of loss that has been historically ignored. Cole’s background in communications has allowed him to reorganize the Institute in a manner that now meets the needs of the 21 st Century. The Institute’s website is continually evolving to support its Specialists in the best way possible, as well offering many support options for grievers that reach out to it for help. Specialists now have the capability to facilitate this work online as a result of Cole’s development of online formats and delivery training. To date, his restructuring of the Institute’s business model has enabled the Institute and its community of Specialists to reach more people globally than ever before.
Cole lives in Idaho with his wife, Ashley, and their four children. He enjoys dirt biking, hiking, camping, snow boarding, and boating with his family when he is not busy helping to improve the lives of others.