News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Coles express commitment to ‘special’ place

When talking with Glenn and Jen Cole of Pole Creek Ranch, their passion for the land and the view spills out of them both.

“This is a great place with a great story,” Glenn Cole began, “and we want to preserve that specialness.”

Sisters Country has been special to Glenn since his days as a student and member of the track team at the University of Oregon. He would come over the mountains from Eugene to enjoy all the area has to offer.

Jen Cole’s godparents, Jim and Jeanne Holcomb, moved to Sisters in 2000, and their daughter is Jen’s longest-time friend. After Glenn and Jen got together, it became a favorite place for the couple. The Coles were partners for a long time before they were married on June 7, 2008, at the headwaters of the Metolius River. The officiants were Jen’s godparents. The reception was at FivePine.

The Coles, and their two children, ages 15 and 13, reside in Hermosa Beach, California, where Glenn runs his Los Angeles-based advertising agency, 72andSunny, and Jen serves as a member of the local school district board of education.

They have owned property in Sisters Country for 16 years, first in Plainview, and currently a house off Indian Ford Road. They try to spend about a week a month in Sisters now that they own the ranch.

Glenn and Jennifer Cole started their lives in two very different environments. Glenn was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but moved with his family to Seattle, Washington when he was 7 years old. He graduated from Seattle’s Roosevelt High School.

“I have an ’80s Seattle value system,” Cole said, smiling.

He came to Oregon to attend the University of Oregon’s journalism/communications school, where he concentrated on advertising while minoring in anthropology, focusing on Pacific Northwest Indian tribes, especially the Tlingit. Cole was a sprinter for the U of O track team.

Wieden+Kennedy (W+K) advertising agency opened its doors in Portland in 1982, with fledgling Nike as a client. Several years later, Glenn Cole convinced them to let him be their first intern, which led to a 10-year career with the agency. He worked first in Portland for three years and then went to Amsterdam for seven years to promote Nike as a global soccer brand.

Jennifer’s early years were spent in Alaska where her parents were educators. She was born in the Eskimo village of Pt. Barrow, Alaska, where the Holcombs also lived, but grew up in Anchorage, graduating from Diamond High School.

Jen played volleyball for the University of San Francisco where she majored in political science with a minor in women’s studies. Upon graduating, she moved to Portland with volleyball teammates where she landed a temp job with W+K. After working as a receptionist for four days, she was offered a job as the assistant to the Nike account group at W+K. While in Portland, she worked with W+K partner David Kennedy on his passion project, the American Indian College Fund, for which they did all pro bono public relations work.

Jen moved up the ranks at W+K until she went to the Amsterdam office where she worked on Microsoft, Nike, and Coca Cola international accounts. In Amsterdam, she received her master’s degree in European studies from the University of Amsterdam. Her thesis dealt with women’s soccer in the 21st century.

Amsterdam was where Glenn and Jennifer met before moving back to the states together in 2002, settling in Hermosa Beach. Glenn and his creative partner from W+K, John Boiler, started their own marketing, advertising, and design agency, 72andSunny, with offices now in Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Amsterdam, and Sydney. Their clients are numerous and well-known, including adidas, Comcast, eBay, ESPN, General Mills, Infinity, Smirnoff, Starbucks, and Tillamook.

Glenn Cole attributes his business success to the support of his family, who has made it possible for him to pursue his dreams.

Jen Cole made a career change in Los Angeles, being part of Teach for America in Compton, as a fifth-grade teacher. Her business background helped her manage $1.2 million in Title I funds. She spent a decade in various Los Angeles public and charter schools as a teacher, administrator, and eventually the principal of Frederick Douglass Academy in Crenshaw. During those years, the Coles welcomed their two children, Carter and Mia, who work on the ranch when here in the summer.

Jen has served as an adjunct professor at Cal State University, a member of the DaVinci Schools Board of Regents, and a board member of Teach for America. She is currently a member of the Hermosa Beach City School District Board of Education, where her focus is on the Hermosa Beach Empathy Project, professional development of district staff, and updating of school facilities.


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