Speeches and Floor Statements

Joli Cooper-Nelson

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Washington, February 21, 2018 | comments
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor a lifetime of professional and personal achievements of an outstanding business leader in the Tampa Bay community, Joli Cooper-Nelson. Ms. Cooper’s commitment to her work and our community has truly made her a role model for women everywhere. That is why, in honor of Black History Month, I recognize her selfless dedication and honor her invaluable contributions to Tampa Bay.
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Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor a lifetime of professional and personal achievements of an outstanding business leader in the Tampa Bay community, Joli Cooper-Nelson. Ms. Cooper’s commitment to her work and our community has truly made her a role model for women everywhere. That is why, in honor of Black History Month, I recognize her selfless dedication and honor her invaluable contributions to Tampa Bay.

A native of Mobile, Alabama, Ms. Cooper attended McGill- Toolen Catholic High School before she began her impressive business career at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance. Ms. Cooper then earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, where she was honored in 2002 as Alumnae of the Year. 

After starting her professional career on Wall Street, Ms. Cooper transitioned into the consumer products industry as an Associate Brand Manager at Nestle in Los Angeles, California. During her time there, Ms. Cooper was influential for expanding the brand past our borders, including conducting business in Latin America and the United Kingdom and she was also responsible for boosting sales by more than 15% in areas of the company. When she moved to Tampa in 1998, Ms. Cooper served as the President and Chief Operating Officer of Pasco Brands, at that time the largest private label juice beverage company in the United States.

Just as she has been dedicated to her business career, Ms. Cooper has dedicated her time and resources to make a difference in the lives of children in the Tampa Bay community. She has served on several non-profit boards including the United Way of Tampa Bay; The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce; Junior Achievement and The Children’s Home. Currently, she serves as a member on the board of trustees of the Jack and Jill of America Foundation, the organization’s philanthropic arm and the Academy Prep Center of Tampa. The Academy Prep Center of Tampa is a tuition-free, independent school for middle-school aged children who qualify for need-based scholarships. Additionally, she is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., where she has certainly embodied their mission of, “Service to All Mankind.”

Now, Ms. Cooper serves as the 25th National President of the premier organization for African-American families, Jack and Jill of America, Inc. As a member of the Greater Tampa Chapter in the Southeastern Region, she previously served as the National Vice President, Regional Director, Regional Secretary-Treasurer and two-term Regional Program Chair. 

In addition to being awarded the Wharton Alumnae of the Year, an award that recognizes distinguished Wharton alumnae who have demonstrated professional success and who serve as role models for women in business, Ms. Cooper has earned The Network Journal’s 25 Influential Black Women in Business Award, and was featured in the publication, Beverage Industry and Working Mother.

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Tampa Bay community, I am proud to recognize Joli Cooper-Nelson for her outstanding success in her business endeavors encouraging supportive environments for women in business, and her dedication to serving all of our children throughout the years. Ms. Cooper’s hard work should be an inspiration to us all, and it is my honor to recognize her during this Black History month.

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