Henderson Chamber bids farewell to Bob Cooper

Cooper impacted Henderson economic development through his career and his Henderson Chamber volunteer work

Elegant DesignHENDERSON, Nev.  – The Henderson Chamber of Commerce will lose a champion in Bob Cooper, economic development/redevelopment manager for the city of Henderson, when he officially retires Thursday, June 20, from his position at the city, as well as his positions at the chamber.

With more than 39 years of experience in economic development, specializing in business recruitment, local expansions, retention and business creation strategies, Cooper greatly influenced the success of the Henderson Chamber of Commerce. Since joining the city in 1999, Cooper’s thumbprint has been on many colleges and universities that made Henderson their homes. Roseman University of Health Sciences, National University and Touro University all made their addresses in Henderson as a result of Cooper’s involvement, said Rick Smith, chairman of the Henderson Chamber’s executive board and its Chamber Foundation board.

“The presence of Henderson’s many private colleges and universities is more evidence of Bob’s effectiveness,” Smith added. “Without question, Bob Cooper has been the premier economic development figure in Southern Nevada over the past decade. The proof of that is in the numbers; he has helped recruit literally hundreds of new businesses to Henderson.”

Just like many of the business owners and CEOs he worked with over the last 14 years, Cooper came to Henderson from somewhere else. He was the CEO/President for five regional economic development organizations in California, Idaho and Washington. Recruiting companies to the city also meant bringing on board new Henderson Chamber of Commerce members.

In 2005, Cooper was the first public sector representative to be honored as the Henderson Chamber of Commerce Member of the Year. And most recently, Roseman University named him their Person of the Year for 2013.

“Bob’s done such a great job at recruitment and bringing new businesses and jobs to the city. He’s a champion for economic development,” said Scott Muelrath, CEO and president of the Henderson Chamber of Commerce. “When I have an issue I don’t know the answer to, he’s the one I call. He’s a huge resource.”

Cooper’s largest footprint at the chamber has been as a member of the Henderson Development Association (HDA), the economic development arm of the chamber, as well as vice chairman of the chamber’s executive board. As a member of the HDA, Cooper was instrumental in setting up a formal program of one-on-one meetings between local businesses, the  city and chamber representatives to learn businesses’ needs and provide them the city and chamber help and support they needed to stay in business and remain in Henderson. He initiated this excellent communication program in 1999 and hundreds of local businesses have been visited by the city and chamber each week. He was also the creator of the very popular Road Map to Success seminar series at the Henderson Business Resource Center, which is operated by the Chamber’s Foundation.

“The one on one business visitation program is one of our best programs and keeps us in touch with the business community,” Muelrath added. “And he was the driving force behind that.”

Most of all, Muelrath said Cooper’s presence will be missed the most. His motivation, determination and work ethic are contagious. Collaboration was his hallmark with the creation of such popular programs and initiatives like the Southern Nevada Medical Industry Coalition, the Global Solar Summit, the City/HDA Annual Economic Development Awards Program and formal strategic business alliances with Korea.  All of these efforts have provided outstanding results.

“You get a feel from him that he enjoys what he does,” Muelrath said. “I think we all want to be able to say that about what we do. He’s a great asset.”

The Henderson Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit, voluntary organization committed to promoting and supporting member businesses and economic development.

For more information, call the Henderson Chamber of Commerce at 702-565-8951 or visit www.hendersonchamber.com.

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