River Cohen is the CEO of River Cohen Giving, an organization committed to supporting the most critical issues facing society through innovative philanthropic efforts. As CEO, Mr. Cohen has combined his entrepreneurial experiencewith his passion for philanthropyto encourage a greater level of social consciousness while pursuing ends that benefit the whole of society.
1. When and where were you born?
I was born in Mendocino, a small scenic town overlooking the Pacific Ocean in California. This old colonial outpost is today a popular spot for vacationers throughout California. Besides being born there, I have always had a lifelong fondness for Northern California and this is the reason my family and I currently reside in the San Francisco Bay Area.
2. Did you attend college, if yes, which one?
Immediately after graduating from high school, I enrolled at the Arizona State University in 1991 and graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Business Administration and Management. The university is ranked as one of the leading research universities in the world, thanks to its mission to establish forward looking higher learning models and solution for the US.
3. What was your first job?
When I completed college, I quickly set my sights on building a fun and fulfilling career. In 1995, I established River Cohen Giving as a vehicle to accomplish my long held passion for philanthropy. As the Chief Executive Officer of the organization, we support and promote community leaders and non-profit organizations working for the good of the community. Some of the organizations that quickly come into mind include; Feeding America, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Forest Preservation Society.
4. Do you have any regrets about the career path you have chosen?
The formation of River Cohen Giving is undoubtedly one of my greatest achievements in life. I say this because I am always encouraged when I expend my energy on noble causes that plant the seeds of loving kindness. My commitment is clearly evident in the time and money I donate to the causes that positively impact the community.
Besides my philanthropic engagements, I am also the CEO of the Scottsdale, Arizona based tech entity Datainsure and Cofounder of PCIHIPAA, a leader in the provision and protection of HIPAA compliant data. My brief at Datainsure involves developing strategic and cost-effective business models for small to mid-size firms.
5. In your work, what concepts are sacred?
Strictly speaking, I find great joy in pursuing goals trained on benefiting the society. This is clearly the thrust that drives my philanthropic aspirations as well as business career as a manager. One important concept that I believe is crucial to the success of any undertaking in striking a good balance in all my commitments.
This in essence means dividing up time and resources in a manner that guarantees optimal returns. I also like sharing my perspectives with associates and other team members as a strategy of shaping their thinking. My inspirations come from reading uplifting books and articles on topics like personal development, leadership and philanthropic philosophies.
6. Who is the biggest influence in your career?
My influence is derived from many great business minds that came before me along with the ingrained desire to provide affordable business solutions that greatly impact the masses. I have great regard for causes that need huge attention and support and luckily, these tend to be things that I value like economic empowerment, human rights, health, the environment and arts and culture just scrape the barrel.
7. Do you have any children? What does the family life mean to you?
Yes, I am a married and a proud father of two daughters. I really enjoy it when I am together with my family, whether I am visiting a restaurant or travelling. My family enjoys outdoors activities such as hiking, biking and nature walks. I personally travel a lot, more so to the Datainsure head office in Scottsdale, Arizona. My travel schedule sometimes takes me throughout the country, where I support and oversee various business ventures and philanthropic endeavors as well as speaking to business leaders.
8. What accomplishments are you most proud about?
I take utmost pride in every step I take in fulfilling my entrepreneurial and philanthropic goals. As I said earlier, my passion for philanthropy is what drives River. When it comes to my success as an individual, I always take time to measure the full impact of any decision I make before execution. I also consult widely as a strategy to encourage team effort.