Cathy Cooper, senior director of community partnerships and giving for Meijer, has been awarded the inaugural Fred Meijer Award, the highest-level team member recognition available from the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based retailer.
“Our family is so pleased to present this award to Cathy,” said Hank Meijer, executive chairman of Meijer. “Cathy has been such an amazing ambassador of our company during her 37-year career that it’s only appropriate she is the first team member to receive this annual award.”
The company says the Fred Meijer Award is granted annually to one Meijer team member who most exhibits the qualities Fred was known for—leadership through humility, generosity, and passion for serving others. The Fred Meijer Award is one element of the company’s new Legacy Awards, which also includes a Presidents Award that will be presented to several Meijer team members throughout October. The Legacy Awards were created to honor Meijer team members who are leaving a lasting legacy among their teams and communities.
Cooper started her career at Meijer in 1982 as a manager at one of the company’s Sagebrush stores and advanced through several roles in the marketing organization prior to her current role directing Meijer’s community partnerships and giving efforts. In her current role, she acts as the company’s primary contact for the philanthropic organizations Meijer supports. She also directs Meijer sponsorships of collegiate and professional sports and serves as the executive director of the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give.
Cooper serves on the local boards of Gilda’s Club of Grand Rapids, The Better Business Bureau, The American Heart Association and Experience Grand Rapids.
As the inaugural winner of this award, Cooper will have her name inscribed on the Fred Meijer Award trophy, which will be a permanent feature of the Meijer Heritage Center. Each year, the winner’s name will be added to the trophy. As part of her prize, Cooper will also receive a vacation designed just for her and a donation to a community partner charity of her choice.