Workin’ It 2011

2011’s Red Hot Entrepreneurs

It’s no surprise that Jody Cole—who climbed Tanzania’s intimidating Mt. Kilimanjaro twice to raise money for the LGBT group Equality California—calls herself a “philanthropic adventurer.” About seven years ago, Cole and her friend Allison Hawthorne began taking colleagues on trips to Africa, but it was not until Cole’s third safari to Kenya that her passion turned into a business. The fearless entrepreneur founded Wild Rainbow African Safaris LLC, a boutique adventure travel company, to share the extraordinary experience of African safari with LGBT travelers and their families. Cole hosts small groups of adventurers on customized safaris through sub-Saharan Africa, and offers the chance to learn about indigenous cultures, endangered wildlife and sustainable tourism. “I absolutely, unabashedly love what I do,” Cole says. “I could have been deterred by the thought that safari companies are a dime a dozen. At first that would intimidate me, but it didn’t [stop me]. I just know if you go on a safari with me, you’re going to have a great time.”

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