Blake Warren Woolsey, CMF, ACC
Since the beginning of her career in public relations, Blake Woolsey has dedicated herself to building
relationships and enhancing the reputations of others. Whether it’s helping leaders rise to their potential, working with non-profits to raise capital, or counseling businesses on how to elevate their brand, Blake plays an instrumental role in the success of those around her.
Blake Woolsey is the chief communications and development officer for Heartland Forward (HF), a “think and do tank” based in Northwest Arkansas with a mission of changing the narrative about the middle of the country (20 states) to kick-start economic growth.
Prior to joining HF, she spent nearly three years as a consultant as a corporate strategist, leadership coach and president of her company Blake Communications. In her consulting work, she was able to spend time on a variety of dynamic, strategic projects such as the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library, Central Arkansas Water, St. Bernard’s Hospital, the Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas as well as “looking to the future” for the timber and supply chain industries in the state.
She was the executive vice president of Mitchell Communications Group. In the 10 years she was at Mitchell she led the Center for Business, Training and Leadership Excellence, the Creative team as well as a team focused on activating campaigns for national companies at a hyper-local level. She has worked with some of the best-known global brands and shown teams how to integrate into the fabric of local communities. In addition to this niche expertise, her public relations proficiency spans media training, presentation training, influence, strategic thinking, and key messaging.
Prior to joining Mitchell, she was partner and co-owner of Executive Communications Consultants, LLC. Jointly with three-time CEO and Author Elise Mitchell, they offered public speaking workshops, media training, facilitation, and private coaching for business and nonprofit executives.
Blake also has expertise and experience in fundraising. For more than a decade, she worked with the University of Arkansas, taking a lead role in the Campaign for the 21st Century, which exceeded its $1 billion goal. Her greatest achievement was solidifying a gift of $50 million from The Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation Inc., for the Sam M. Walton College of Business. At the time of the donation, it was the largest gift ever to an American business school.
Blake is one of the top corporate coaches and facilitators in the nation with a diverse background in
development, communications, and public relations. Her coaching education was through the
NeuroLeadership Group, which is a leading human-performance organization with operations in more than 15 countries.
She is a certified master facilitator ™through the International Institute for Facilitation (INIFAC), the first in the state of Arkansas, and is certified as an associate certified coach through the International Coaching Federation. Blake is an assessor for INIFAC, helping people become certified facilitators and was certified in 2019 by the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, Calif., to be a foresight practitioner, a role that helps lead groups toward future-readiness.
INVOLVEMENT & ACCOMPLISHMENTS
As a devoted community leader and resident of Northwest Arkansas for 25 years, Blake served as president of the Junior League of Northwest Arkansas and was instrumental in the organization affiliating with the Association of Junior Leagues International. She’s a sustaining member of this organization, as well as the Fayetteville Junior Civic League. She serves on multiple boards, including as the first female-ever board chair of the Northwest Arkansas National Airport, Delta Dental Foundation, Doing Business in Bentonville and Cancer Challenge of Northwest Arkansas. Blake has received much recognition over the years, including the “40 Under 40” status by the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal. In 2018, she was honored by the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce with the Mrs. Sarah Jessie Young Leadership by Example Award.
One of her most cherished accomplishments, though, is her family of three active boys (20, 17 and 13) and husband of 27 years.