RHINEBECK – Claudia Cooley, a Rhinebeck resident and active member of the local business community recently joined CO’s Board of Directors at the CO Owners’ meeting on Jan. 21.
CO is a cooperatively owned and managed coworking and event center in Rhinebeck. At its inception in November 2018, CO started with a three-person Board of Directors, comprised of co-founders and owners Johnny LeHane, Hélène Lesterlin and Deana Burke, who funded and launched CO with the active participation of 12 additional owners. Pati Jones, co-founder, and owner joined the board in 2019. When Deana Burke recently stepped down as a board member, CO owner Claudia Cooley was elected to take her place.
Claudia Cooley was an early supporter and investor in CO and has been deeply involved from its opening in getting CO off the ground. She is an accomplished marketing consultant focused on the promotion of Rhinebeck and the Hudson Valley and local businesses including Haldora Clothing and Home. She formerly served as executive director of the Rhinebeck Chamber of Commerce from 2015-18. She also served as Town of Clinton Councilwoman from 2013-16, and prior to that sold advertising for a variety of Rhinebeck- and Hudson Valley-centered publications.
“My passion is for independent innovators, those who think outside-the-box, whether it’s a small business, a digital nomad or a nonprofit, those who seek to improve the quality of life for people and our planet,” Claudia Cooley said. “Rhinebeck and the Hudson Valley are bustling with creative makers, thinkers, and doers, but not all have the equity to afford office space, and CO provides an affordable alternative. CO creates a creative collision for good, so my relationship with CO came easy, as an investor, member and now board member. I’m proud to serve in this capacity, the commitment to building community and establishing CO as a home for those who desire a shared working space — and quite honestly, the music and design vibe is excellent.”
“We are so thrilled to have Claudia as a member of our board. Her energy, ideas, and presence have powered CO’s emergence from the start, with the panache and optimism that is CO’s vibe,” Hélène Lesterlin said. “The board is a working entity – CO is a labor of love for all of us – and I am so excited to have Claudia step into this role, to get to work side by side with her, to guide CO into its next stage of growth.”
Claudia Cooley originally moved to the Hudson Valley from New York City in 1995 after marrying Andrew Cooley, a co-owner of Central Press in Millbrook. While raising their two children, she held a variety of part-time marketing positions in the area. Before that, she worked in the entertainment industry as a personal manager at Campbell Martin Associates, where the clientele were primarily comedians and writers. She also served as a personal assistant to Bill Murray in the 1990s.
“Any time Claudia is in the space, she is actively creating the warm, welcoming and inviting community we have envisioned from the start,” Johnny LeHane said. “Claudia’s prior work with the chamber alongside her passion for entrepreneurship are a natural fit, and we are excited for the experience, energy, and action Claudia brings to the board.”