Red Ladies 2024: Cookie Balcha

Red Ladies 2024: Cookie Balcha

Story by Liesel Schmidt | Portrait by Jonathan Thorpe


Born and raised in Ethiopia, Cookie Balcha was one of eight children. Understanding the value of hard work and the power of pursuing a dream, she emigrated to America as a teenager. In her own professional life, she wears “multiple hats” as a Realtor with Keller Williams Metro Center, in addition to being the founder and director of Bright Mind Preschool.


"The Go Red initiative goes beyond mere awareness; It's a powerful call to action that sheds light on heart disease as the leading cause of death for women, changing the narrative and empowering women to take charge of their heart health."

- Cookie


“Both roles allow me to make substantial, positive impacts within my community,” says Balcha, who was featured as a trendsetter by the Washington Post for her innovative approach to both real estate and early childhood education. “My career is anchored in a deep-seated passion for serving others and a relentless pursuit of excellence across all facets of my work.”

Balcha considers her mother to be the most profound influence on her life and her career. “Her strength, resilience and unparalleled ability to balance her roles have left an indelible mark on me,” she says. “Raising eight children, my mother exemplified what it means to be a pillar of strength and a beacon of perseverance. She navigated the complexities of motherhood with grace, all while building and maintaining a business. Her example has been instrumental in shaping who I am today, guiding me to pursue my goals with tenacity and to support others in their endeavors.”


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