Susan Cooper, the interim administrator who has led the Urban League of Greater Columbus the past two years, has been named the league’s new president and CEO pending certification by the national organization.
The Urban League Board of Directors issued a news release making the announcement on Friday and commending Cooper for her accomplishments as interim president and CEO. On April 24, the league will hold its 46th Annual Meeting/Membership Drive, installing new board members and unveiling a 5-year strategic plan, according to the release.
“Susan Cooper is the right choice to lead the Urban League of Greater Columbus,” said Board Chair Bishop L. D. Skinner in the news release. “... She has successfully and flawlessly led the organization through change and adversity, and along with the board of directors, she helped save, rebuild and sustain the Urban League. I am, therefore, pleased that she is willing to continue to serve to see the manifestation of all of our hard work.”
Cooper, owner of the Centennial Realty and Mortgage Company in Bradley Park, was named to the interim position in 2015, replacing Brooke Burgess who resigned suddenly after less than a year in the position. At the time, the organization was still trying to recover from a tumultuous period during which it lost United Way funding and community support.
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Since volunteering as the organization’s interim leader, Cooper has restored the Urban League summer employment program and launched other initiatives. In 2016, the organization received $10,000 from the United Way as part of a small venture grant program. It was the first time it had received United Way funding since 2009, when the organization was denied a request after being funded for many years.
In the news release issued Friday, Cooper said she was humbled and proud to be chosen for the president and CEO position.
“My selection is a vote of confidence to continue the direction that the board and I have taken, and I am pleased to be asked to serve in this position,” she said. “The Urban League is a ‘ministry’ to me, and I take great joy in helping people, and fulfilling our mission to empower and equip others to break their own cycle to poverty, and help them equally access the dream of being in the economic mainstream of jobs, education, affordable housing and healthcare.”
Upcoming Urban League Events
- 46th Annual Meeting/Membership Drive Chamber of Commerce, April 24, 5:30, at the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce, 1200 6th Ave.
- STEM Medical Technology Career Camp for high school 11 and 12th graders/college freshman and sophomores, June 12 to 16, at Urban League headquarters, 802 1st Ave.
- STEM Camp for Kids K-5 through 8th grade, June 19 to 23, at Urban League headquarters.
- Summer Youth Employment Program, June 19 to July 28, at various worksites.
- Equal Opportunity Day Dinner and Black-Tie Gala, August 26.