New Historic District Named After 1st Black Person In NYC

oLinda (“JoJo”) Ruth Cogen has for years lived and breathed Harlem as a proud homeowner, businesswoman, wife, mother, and devout community activist.

Aptly known as the “Harlem Specialist” in her real estate career, Jo is decidedly the natural choice for anyone looking for that exact home in what she calls “Harlem Heaven.”

Being eminently successful in Harlem, she has now expanded her boundaries to include not just her beloved native born “Brooklyn,” but also the Bronx and neighborhoods further north as well. Although she is principally a Townhouse Specialist, she also does a large volume of sales in coops and condos.

More than selling homes, Jo sees herself as a “lifestyle navigator” who assists clients with locating the perfect residence in the right neighborhood; whether it’s their first rental or next ownership. “My energy and perseverance will not let me rest until my client is matched seamlessly with their ideal property, or a cherished home is sold to their ultimate satisfaction.” Her knowledge of both Brooklyn and Northern Manhattan, coupled with the prolific amount of Douglas Elliman resources, ensures that clients are presented with options customized to meet their vision and expectations.

Jo has always lived passionately on purpose, driven by the principles of excellence in all her endeavors. Prior to joining Douglas Elliman Real Estate, she was the manager of an architectural firm specializing in commercial interiors, brownstones, and green technology for 14 years, where her love of design and eye for seeing the potential of space truly blossomed.

Before that, Jo enjoyed an illustrious career as a top corporate sales representative for such Fortune 500 firms as Xerox, AT&T, and Infonet.

Believing knowledge is power, and that the best way to serve her real estate clients and her community is to educate them, Jo has continued her education completing requirements for certificates in Green Building, property management, and construction management.

She is also a certified negotiation expert, certified Image Consultant, and a Notary Public. In August 2013, Jo became certified by a world-renowned leadership organization, the John Maxwell Company, as an inspirational speaker, coach, trainer, and teacher to further add value to her community and real estate businesses.

JoJo as well nourishes a long-term commitment to the betterment of her community. Because of her outstanding work, JoJo has received numerous awards and accolades.

She believes balance is the key to life, which entails limiting her volunteer activities to a select few organizations.

Currently she serves on the Advisory Boards of the Salvation Army Harlem Temple, Harlem Children’s Zone, and the New York Office of the FBI Citizens’ Academy Alumni Association.

She is President Emeritus and a founding member of both the Harlem Toastmasters Club and Manhattan Community Board 10’s CERT (Community Emergency Response Team). Also, she is an active member of the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn.



Originally from Brooklyn and an alumnus of Erasmus Hall, JoJo holds a degree in Political Science from Boston College.

She resides in a wonderful Harlem townhouse with her husband, Michael J. Cogen; NCARB, a Harlem native and a landmarks expert.

Photo credit: lt’s Patrick Mulcahy and cert team chief jolinda ruth cogen percy sutton 5k race 8 22 15.

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