The concept of “giving back” is a core value for Greg and Julie Cook. As they considered where to make the biggest difference, they felt in their heart it was important to give locally and in support of children. When the opportunity presented itself to become early supporters of the new Primary Children’s Medical Center in Lehi, Utah, they told hospital leaders they wanted to support areas that were difficult to get funded. Hospital leaders shared that childhood mental wellness and behavioral health had always been the most difficult area to garner donors and support. This struck a chord with Greg and Julie because of people they knew, past experiences with members of their church, situations in their children’s schools, and circumstances of close family and friends. It seemed as though everyone was dealing with mental health issues on a variety of levels and yet, the hospital reported it was the most difficult area to drum up support. Not anymore — the Cooks found their cause!
After directing their hospital donation to childhood mental wellness and behavioral health, the Cooks had an opportunity to help Utah’s Lt. Governor, Spencer Cox, with his statewide suicide awareness campaign. Together with long-time family friend Bill Woahn, they started the Cook Center for Human Connection as Greg and Julie’s family foundation. The mission of the Cook Center is to bring together the best organizations, programs and products to prevent suicide, provide mental health support, and enhance human connections vital for people to thrive.
The foundation’s current focus is on supporting children, families, and schools in eradicating suicide, as well as offering resources and support for those with mental health issues and their caregivers. This is done through a variety of grants to school, programs for parents, and global resources to bring greater awareness to the support needed for those affected by suicide.
In the very near future, the focus of the Cook Center for Human Connection will be to provide similar support and resources for suicide in the workplace!
Greg and Julie Cook
Greg and Julie Cook are passionate about humanitarian causes and improving the lives of individuals throughout the world.
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Greg Cook is a Founding Executive and Board Member of doTERRA, and has developed and managed international opportunities and markets for companies in the health and wellness field for more than twenty-five years. Greg currently serves on the board of Primary Children’s Hospital, and previously, served on the board of Mentors International. Julie Cook has been engaged with multiple projects in China that focus on cancer recovery and orphanages, and is on the Board of Directors for Protect Innocence. While living in China, Julie served as Asia Director for Days for Girls International and remains an avid supporter. Both are graduates of BYU: Greg in International Relations and Julie in Business Education. They are the parents of five children and are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Greg and Julie founded the Cook Center for Human Connection in 2020. They have designated suicide prevention as one of the pillars of giving for their family foundation. This was spurred by the recognition of the need for more mental health resources and from personal experiences. In his role as a church leader, Greg worked with the family of an eleven-year-old boy who died by suicide. Julie lost a favorite uncle to suicide. These experiences marked both of them very deeply. “We have consoled our own children as they have lost friends, classmates and teachers to suicide,” Julie shares, “Our hearts ache at the loss of every life.”
Through the Foundation, the Cooks seek to prevent suicide by providing education and tools to help families and individuals. They hope to help facilitate the destigmatization of suicide discussions so that people will come forward and seek help for themselves or their loved ones. “I would like to see suicides eradicated completely,” Greg Cook asserts.
President and CEO
Anne Brown has been the President and CEO of the Cook Center for Human Connection since its inception.
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As an Ed Tech Executive, Anne led marketing, implementation, sales, curriculum development, government relations, business development and product development all of which brings a wealth of talent and abilities to her role. However, more important than the skills Anne offers, it is her early life that gives her a heart for this work. With a father who suffered from alcoholism and bi-polar disorder and a grandfather who died by suicide, Anne understands first-hand how mental illness and suicide not only affects the person suffering but all of those around them. Family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances all are impacted greatly when one individual is struggling.
In her role with the Cook Center for Human Connection, Anne oversees the work of the Foundation, develops strategy and leads collaborative efforts between stakeholders in this work. Before joining the Cook Center, Anne worked for several organizations including Salt Lake City School District, Pearson, and Waterford.Org. Anne is thrilled to join Greg and Julie Cook to deliver critical programs, partnerships, research and policy to impact suicide prevention and mental health programs. Anne lives in Park City, Utah with her husband and enjoys skiing, e-biking, reading and spending time with her adult daughter and adult son and two large dogs.
Chief Operating officer
John joined the Cook Center for Human Connection to help achieve the goal of eradicating preventable suicide.
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Chief Marketing Officer
Mark is passionate about communicating and distributing Cook Center for Human Connection’s beneficial and uplifting resources to improve mental health.
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Mark Welling is an experienced managing editor, writer, and marketer with an extensive background in digital marketing, content development, social media, and brand storytelling. Mark spent 10 years in the tech publishing and marketing space working with such brands as Top Ten Reviews, Business.com, Laptopmag, Space.com, LiveScience, Business News Daily, Newsarama, Tom’s Hardware and Tom’s Guide.
Mark led Waterford.org’s marketing team over the past five years, most recently in the role of CMO. He helped the growth of the education nonprofit through a rebrand, rapid program expansion, and an enlargement of their digital footprint. His team worked tirelessly to ensure that as many children as possible gained access to academic opportunities.
Mark is a native Utahn who loves spending time in the national parks with his wife and two daughters. Mark’s passionate streak comes out while discussing the Utah Jazz, BYU Sports, his love of reading, and playing board and lawn games.
Director, Programs and Partnerships
In her role as the Director of Programs and Partnerships, Michelle is committed to the mission of preventing suicide, improving mental health support, and encouraging human connections.
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Years ago, Michelle had a seemingly inconsequential moment with a student that came to light two years after the student graduated. The former student left a note on her desk thanking her for saving his life as a result of one impromptu class discussion. This was made even more impactful when she realized that neither the student nor the discussion had made an imprint on her, and yet for this young man, it was a life-saving event. Michelle is eager to facilitate many more pivotal, life-saving opportunities for students, families and educators.
Michelle holds a B.B.A. from Texas Wesleyan University and received her Master’s degree in Education from there as well. Proud to call the Dallas/Fort Worth area home, Michelle and her husband love living close to their adult children and extended family.
Director, School and Community Advocacy
Committed Business Development professional driven to help families at-risk by providing effective communication and the collaboration necessary to provide for the delivery of high-quality services.
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Mission-driven collaborator creating effective partnerships for the delivery of high-quality programs for at-risk populations.
With over 28 years in education technology and personalized learning, Adele dedicated her career to providing effective implementations to the School and Community learning markets, with a special emphasis on the needs of the at-risk student, parent, and family. Focusing on the Whole Child and the needs of a strong community and family, Adele continues to build teams and partnerships leveraging policy with cutting edge mental health services and strategies. The Advocacy team is dedicated to promoting partnerships that save lives.