When I spoke to Jenea Hayes, Shannon McGarity, and Teresa Brazen, Cooper's culture came up over and over again as one of the reasons they like their jobs and one of things that makes Cooper a special place to work. Cooper's culture- supportive, kind, and driven by a clear mission- is no accident. It's the work of Cooper co-founder and co-CEO, Sue Cooper, who has led Cooper with her husband and co-founder for the past 25 years.
It was such a privilege to talk with Sue about her life and work. She was warm and funny and made me wish that I could come to the weekly yoga class she hosts at the former dairy farm she calls home. She told us about an introductory communications course in college helped a shy kid learn how to connect, and how communications shaped her pre-Cooper career in marketing and how she and Alan built a user experience design business when no one thought of UX as its own field. They've shared their vision for how to make technology easier for everyone to use with books, through Cooper Professional Education, and, of course, with their employees.
That vision goes hand in hand with creating a positive workplace culture, with public recognition of colleagues built into weekly meetings- with prizes!- a request to assume good intentions, a class on Cooper corporate culture, and the idea that everyone is part of creating a strong, positive corporate culture.