Elycia Cook — CEO of the Year 2022 Finalist
With a vision of every child in Colorado having access to a mentor, Elycia Cook, 55, in March 2021 became CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado, one of the largest youth mentoring organizations in the state.
Colorado is full of devoted entrepreneurs, business leaders and tech-savvy visionaries who are constantly taking the business world to new heights. It’s no secret that here, at ColoradoBiz, we love the Colorado business community. That’s why, every year, we spotlight the most impressive CEOs throughout our Centennial state and give credit where credit is due — to the forward-thinking minds constantly chasing the next great idea and upholding their business practices to the most purposeful ideals. We’re proud to introduce our finalists for CoBiz’s prestigious 2022 CEO of the Year award.
CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado
With a vision of every child in Colorado having access to a mentor, Elycia Cook, 55, in March 2021 became CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado, one of the largest youth mentoring organizations in the state. Previously she spent 12 years as the president and CEO of Friends First, a peer mentoring organization dedicated to educating and mentoring teens to make positive life choices and develop healthy relationships through education and mentoring.
Cook, the first Black CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado, had never left a 50-mile radius of her home in Detroit when she started college. With the guidance of mentors, she received a full scholarship to the Japan Center for Michigan Universities. She lived and worked in Japan for more than eight years and is fluent in spoken Japanese. Today, she teaches Japanese to teens and is passionate about international exchange. Over the years she’s helped several young people visit, study and live abroad.
In June 2022, BBBSC won two major awards at the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) 2022 Bigger Together celebration: the Large Agency of the Year Award, and the Large Agency Kommerstad Board of the Year Award.
Cook believes her success was shaped by the influence of positive role models and has dedicated most of her career to mentoring causes.