Phil Cooper wins Corporate Citizen of the Year
From an early age Phil Cooper was always taught about the importance of charitable giving by his parents. Cooper’s philanthropic efforts were recently recognized by NJBIZ when he was named the 2013 Corporate Citizen of the Year. Cooper was among 15 nominees in the Corporate Citizen of the Year category, which was then narrowed down to six finalists. The business of the year program celebrates New Jersey’s most dynamic businesses and business leaders who share a commitment to professional excellence, business growth and community.
“As corporate leaders there comes great responsibility to be great corporate citizens; tirelessly promoting diversity, helping those in need and raising awareness for civic, charitable and health causes,” says Cooper, CEO of Cooper Pest Solutions, home of BedBug Central in Lawrenceville, NJ.
In the summer of 2012, Cooper set out on a journey that would change his life forever. He would cycle across the country with the Bike the US for MS team, from Yorktown, VA to San Francisco, CA. The team rode a total of 3,780 miles, traveling through nine states that summer, but most importantly Cooper would go on to raise $50,000 for the National MS Society.
He was so successful in his efforts to bring awareness and crucially needed funds to the National MS Society with his ride in 2012 that he decided to do it again in 2013. This time Cooper would set out to be the champion for five local and national charities; Anchor House Ride for Runaways, MS150 City to Shore, American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure & the 2013 LIVESTRONG Challenge Philly, Cooper also hooked up with the last leg of the Bike the US for MS ride from Montana to Seattle, WA.
Cooper is humbled by this win and takes great pride in the recognition of his efforts.
Sunday August 18, was a sad day for the Livestrong Foundation and all the good it does; I witnessed firsthand how severely Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace has affected the Foundation on the Livestrong Challenge Philly ride.
I signed up to do the Livestrong ride this summer as a way of giving back to my fellow spin instructor and friend Rob Sebastiani, a cancer survivor, a road cyclist, an avid Eagles fan and a great person. The ride would also be a great test as it is not for the weary; with a 65 and 100 mile option both with plenty of climbing. What I did not expect was the lesson in charitable giving I was about to receive and a reminder that while it takes years to build something great; it can be destroyed overnight.
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The final day of a ride is always special and bittersweet. The ride into Seattle was exactly that. The day would be full of sharing moments with my teammates and riding the wonderful bike trails that make Seattle a special bike place, donating money for MS and a celebration of 4,200 miles for the nine riders crossing the Northern Tier of the US.
As time passes, what will stand out, is the end of the ride and comparing it to the end of my cross country ride last year. When we arrived in Seattle you could see the joy and bonding of the nine riders and four route leaders that trekked the 4,200 miles from Bar Harbor, Maine to Seattle, Washington. I would sit back as would my fellow part time riders as the 13 lined up against the water, dipped their tires and sprayed each other with champagne and taking the occasional swig. » Read more..
Friendships and memories are the stuff for lifetimes which make this Bike the US for MS Northern Tier 2013 a special place for me. Nine riders went coast to coast from Maine to Seattle, the rest of us are alumni from previous cross country rides coming in to do a portion and four of the team are support.
Each individual on this trip is exactly that an individual but they have all made impacts on me. Today was about remembering all that is good in the world, looking back and looking forward. Today was about getting a room at a motel and taking turns in the shower, while all crammed into a small motel room just having a great time. It was about a team meeting so we were all on the same page on Sunday when we ride into Seattle. It was about an impromptu team dinner at Piccola Pizza replete with lots of wine, beer and slam dunk pizza. This is one heck of a team. » Read more..
Saturday August 3rd, day 67 for the team, day 13 for me; two days left and it is a very slow start, 9:30 am and I am typing a blog; how weird is that.
The decision to stay at the motel last night was good and bad but the correct call. My stuff is now dried out, at least my clothes are. My cubby has wet blankets and a wet tent, I will deal with that tonight but at least my clothes are in good shape. An excellent night sleep and a relaxing morning. The only problem is that we are four miles from camp and we have to wait for the van and trailer to come by, load the cubby and start riding. The good news is that there are five of us here so we can ride together. The downside is that breakfast may be sacrificed as my gut is we are not getting out of here for at least another 30 minutes. » Read more..
As Day 11 ended I was cold, tired, achy and ready for dry weather but that was not to be. As I set up my tent on Thursday night the rain had subsided but everything I had was saturated except my tent which I had set up. That would be the case until 4am when the rain started again.
Camping in Diablo Lake was primitive to say the least. All we had was one bathroom but as primitive as it was you could add spectacular to it. I will count this as the most memorable camping experience I have ever had. Andrew said he saw some bears (I did not) and the evergreen forest was awe inspiring. The ground was soft with moss and pine needles, when you kneeled down the ground bent like a sponge. Wet from the rains the air was crisp and the evening perfect. At 4am the sound of rain pitter pattering off my tent was so serene, as the rain trickled through the pine needle canopy. » Read more..