Cornelia Cannon Holden: Creating a winning environment

Cornelia Cannon Holden

Cornelia Cannon Holden, the founder and CEO of Mindful Warrior, is excited to bring her unique curriculum to Hotchkiss. Her approach, which unites mindfulness practices with citizen-leadership models to help clients become more resilient and powerful, has been successfully introduced at Georgetown University, Yale University, Middlebury College, and the Navajo Nation.  

"When I met with the athletic directors−Robin Chandler and Danny Smith−to discuss using the Mindful Warrior curriculum at Hotchkiss," she says, "we recognized instantly that the possibilities for collaboration were endless, and would enhance the school's distinguished athletic culture.  I look forward to helping our athletes and coaches in the same way I helped the athletes and coaches on the U.S. Women's Olympic Ice Hockey team during these past three-and-a-half years."

Since Holden joined the staff of U.S. Women's Ice Hockey in 2006, the team has enjoyed unprecedented success, winning two consecutive World Championships (2008, 2009) and Gold Medals at both the 2009 Four Nations Cup and 2009 Hockey Canada Cup.  

Caitlin Cahow '03 (at left in photo) played on the U.S. Women’s team in the Torino and Vancouver Winter Olympics.  She says:  "Cornelia is able to create an environment where type-A over-achievers (elite athletes, Ivy League grads, or both, in the cases of myself and many of my teammates) can find themselves met in intellect.  Once you realize this, you stop trying to outthink her, and begin to see and accept the breadth of knowledge she possesses beyond the conventional.  … She does not allow the group to distract itself from the main purpose of investigation.  At the same time, the group is in charge of its own destiny.  Her work is entirely coordinated with the day-to-day sentiments of the individuals in assembly, as well as independently." 

"Hotchkiss is lucky to have her," said Cahow. "The Mindful Warrior curriculum will add tremendously to an athletic program that's already famously strong. I'm tempted to re-enroll as a Prep!"

Marvin Chun, John B. Madden Master of Berkeley College and Professor of Psychology, Cognitive Science, and Neurobiology at Yale, echoed Cahow's comments.  "Cornelia brings out the best in others," he said. "She has an incredible, natural gift for empowering students and teaching them how to work effectively with each other.  In Berkeley College, seniors gather every two weeks to share their senior thesis projects with each other, and students frequently comment that is one of their best experiences at Yale. The organization of these meetings requires significant planning and preparation, and the students relish doing it.  She understands students in a deep and caring way, and they respond to her extremely well.  Cornelia teaches citizens how to lead through service and teamwork."

Cornelia Holden graduated summa cum laude from Bowdoin College, where she was a NCAA Division II giant slalom ski racing champion and a member of both the varsity tennis and crew teams. She also holds a Master’s of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School, where her program of study included courses at Harvard Business School. She also worked with The Bridgespan Group, the non-profit consulting division of Bain & Company, before entering private practice as a psychotherapist, coach, and complementary and alternative medicine consultant.  She is a licensed massage therapist with training in body-centered healing therapies and a registered yoga teacher.

"We are so excited to partner with Hotchkiss," says Holden.  "We feel so welcomed by the school community, and so in tune with the place at this moment in its history."

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