The Board of Directors of the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce has selected James Cooper, the current leader of the Vallejo Chamber, to be its next President and CEO.
A former real estate professional and U.S. Air Force veteran who also has career experience with the Novato, American Canyon and Benicia chambers of commerce, Cooper said he was “honoured” to have the opportunity to move. to the Pleasanton Chamber and to lead its efforts “with helping local businesses grow.”
“My goal is for the chamber to be relevant to its members and the community. That only happens when we understand their concerns and collaborate on solutions. For our voice to be heard, we must first be willing to listen,” Cooper said in a statement released by the chamber Thursday.
“The greatest joy I receive from my role as chamber president is when I hear from a member that the chamber has made a difference for them,” he added. “We are a resource to tap into, rich in information and relationships that benefit businesses. Our job is to make sure members know what we can help, and how. »
Cooper, whose first day on the job at Pleasanton will be June 1, has risen to the top of the chamber’s board search process over the previous two months – undertaken after chairman/CEO Steve Van Dorn announced his next retirement at the end of February after nearly four years at the helm.
“We are confident that James will represent our business community with compassion and professionalism. His experiences not only position him well to lead our chamber, but also complement the economic initiatives our city has focused on,” said Kim Damiani. , Chairman of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. of Summit Financial Group.
“James has an impressive track record, and we are confident that his approach will help the chamber achieve its vision and mission for years to come,” Damiani added.
Cooper entered chamber administration later in his working life, joining the Novato Chamber of Commerce as Membership Officer in early 2011. The following year he was hired as President and CEO of the American Canyon Chamber of Commerce, which he led for nearly four years.
He moved one town south on Highway 29 to the Vallejo Chamber of Commerce to take over as President and CEO in late 2016. During part of this time of the pandemic, Cooper simultaneously assisted the Benicia Chamber of Commerce as Acting Executive Director providing executive level support at a time when the Benicia Chamber was unstaffed.
Earlier in his professional life, Cooper served in the US Air Force in security policy and as a K-9 handler, and later ran a dog training academy. He spent nearly 15 years in the real estate industry as a corporate marketing manager, general manager and real estate salesperson. He also served as a Business Services Representative for the Solano County Workforce Investment Board prior to working at the Novato Chamber.
Cooper is a graduate of the Western Association of Chamber Executives and holds an MBA with a specialization in global management and an undergraduate degree in business management.
A lifelong Californian, Cooper was born in Southern California but raised in the Bay Area. He is married and has two daughters, one in middle school and the other in high school. He and his wife own a small bed-and-breakfast on an island off Madagascar, his wife’s home country.
Cooper cited his personal passions outside of the office such as music, movies, sports, travel and spending time with his family.