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Iris Cooper

Entrepreneur Dr. Iris Cooper was born on July 2, 1953 in Evansville, Indiana. She graduated from Bosse High School in Evansville, Indiana in 1971, and attended Fisk University for two years. She transferred to Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana in 1973 and graduated with a B.A. degree in journalism. In 1977, Cooper received an M.B.A. degree in marketing, also from Indiana University. Her D.B.A. degree in entrepreneurship was awarded from Walden University in 2016. Cooper’s doctoral study “The First 4 Years: A Small Business Sustainability Study” focused on reducing small business mortality.

Following graduate school, she worked for the Lazarus Department Stores in Columbus, Ohio and became marketing manager of the restaurant division. Cooper transitioned to banking in 1984 and rose to the position of vice president and manager of Community Development Lending at Key Bank. In 1989, she co-founded and served as Vice President of Marketing for Glory Foods, Inc., the first minority- owned food product line in the nation. As the only female owner, Cooper wrote the business plan, created the brand, and conceived the disruptive marketing strategy which introduced pre-seasoned, heat- and- eat “soul food” to the grocery shelves.  

Cooper applied her knowledge of financial services in 2001 by opening Pyramid Mortgage Company, targeting self-employed customers. JustAskIris!, also launched in 2001, is her current enterprise and specializes in marketing, strategic planning, and financial management. JustAskIris! business articles appeared in the Columbus Post and on WVKO radio show from 2001 to 2006. In 2007, Cooper became director of the entrepreneurship and small business division of the Ohio Department of Development. Under her leadership, Ohio rose from twenty-ninth worst place for small businesses to the ninth best in the nation, and first in the Midwest in four years.

Partnering with Melanie Houston, she co-authored the self-help novel When the Devil is Beating His Wife: A Christian Perspective on Domestic Violence and Recovery in 2013. Her current literary project, "A is for Asset: 26 Ways to Start or Sustain Your Business" will be digitally published in 2019. Additionally, Cooper teaches business courses at Columbus State Community College and Franklin University, sharing her knowledge and experiences with the next generation.

Her commitment to community service spans over 30 years in a variety of Central Ohio nonprofits. Cooper was the first female president of Community Capital Development Corporation (CCDC). Other philanthropic positions include board seats at Columbus Area Mental Health, Kelly School of Business at Indiana University, and Strategies Against Violence Everywhere. She was a 2006 YWCA Woman of Achievement and a 2008 Woman of Economic and Leadership Development (WELD).  She is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. Iris recently received the Amos Lynch Legacy Award from the Champions of Diversity organization and the Sharon Burkes Soar Award from Franklin County Children’s Services for her advocacy work in Central Ohio. 

Cooper has two children, Mica and Malik, and one grandchild, Malachi.

Iris Cooper was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 14, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.201

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/14/2017

Last Name

Cooper

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Iris

Birth City, State, Country

Evansville

HM ID

COO13

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

7/2/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Columbus

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chips

Short Description

Entrepreneur Dr. Iris Cooper (1953 - ) was co-founder and director of Glory Foods, Inc. and founded the management consultancy firm, JustAskIris!

Favorite Color

Pink, Purple, and Black

Ronald Glass

Actor Ron Glass was born Ronald Earle Glass to Lefia Mae Gibson Glass and Crump Allen Glass on July 10, 1945, in Evansville, Indiana. A spelling bee champion at St. John’s Elementary School, Glass attended St. Francis High School where he excelled at athletics and singing. After graduating in 1964, Glass attended the University of Evansville where he received his B.A. degree in drama and literature.

In 1968, Glass made his stage debut at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Moving to Hollywood in 1972, Glass got his first television role in an episode of Sanford and Son. Other roles followed in All in the Family (1972); Maude (1972); Hawaii Five-O (1973); Good Times (1974); When Things Were Rotten (1975); and Streets of San Francisco (1976). In 1975, Glass became a regular on the police comedy Barney Miller; he later went on to play Felix in The New Odd Couple (1983). Glass appeared in series as varied as The Twilight Zone (1985); 227 (1985); Deep Space (1987); Family Matters (1989); Murder She Wrote (1984); Friends (1994); Star Trek Voyager (1995); Teen Angel (1997); and The Practice (1997). In 2002, Glass played the role of Shepherd Book in Firefly, which he reprised for Serenity, the 2005 movie based on the show.

Active in the community, Glass served on the boards of the American Repertory Dance Company, the Ka-Ron Lehman Dancers, and St. Thomas University. Glass was also the chairman of the Al Wooten, Jr. Heritage Center in Los Angeles, California.

Glass passed away on November 25, 2016.

Accession Number

A2005.111

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/27/2005

Last Name

Glass

Schools

St. Francis High School

St. John’s Elementary School

University of Evansville

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Ronald

Birth City, State, Country

Evansville

HM ID

GLA02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

South Seas

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

7/10/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Grits

Death Date

11/25/2016

Short Description

Stage actor and television actor Ronald Glass (1945 - 2016 ) appeared in numerous television shows, including All in the Family, Maude, Hawaii Five-O, Good Times, Friends, Star Trek Voyager, and Firefly.

Employment

The Guthrie Theatre

Hollywood

Al Wooten, Jr. Heritage Center

Favorite Color

Brown

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ronald Glass' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ronald Glass lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ronald Glass describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ronald Glass talks about visiting his mother's sister in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ronald Glass describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ronald Glass describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ronald Glass recalls visits to his father's family in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ronald Glass describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ronald Glass reflects upon his paternal family's sense of pride

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ronald Glass describes his father's job as a factory worker and their strained relationship

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ronald Glass talks about his parents' marriage and separation

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ronald Glass describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ronald Glass describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ronald Glass explains his parents' move from Memphis, Tennessee to Evansville, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ronald Glass describes the projects where his family lived in Evansville, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ronald Glass describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ronald Glass recalls attending elementary school in Evansville, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ronald Glass describes his elementary school experience in Evansville, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ronald Glass remembers his English class at St. Anthony Catholic School

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ronald Glass describes his favorite teacher at St. Anthony Catholic School

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ronald Glass describes his reunion with his favorite teacher in elementary school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ronald Glass describes his household as a child and his place in it

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ronald Glass recalls his introduction to classical music

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ronald Glass describes how he was perceived in his neighborhood, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ronald Glass describes how he was perceived in his neighborhood, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ronald Glass recalls attending St. Anthony Catholic Church in Evansville, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ronald Glass recalls standing up to bullies in his childhood

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ronald Glass remembers playing sports at St. Francis High School

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ronald Glass recalls his high school interests in sports and language

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ronald Glass talks about attending Evansville College in 1964

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ronald Glass recalls acting in his first play at Evansville College

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ronald Glass recalls graduating from the University of Evansville in 1968

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ronald Glass describes his experience at The Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ronald Glass describes moving to Los Angeles, California in 1972

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ronald Glass recalls being cast in the television sitcom 'Sanford and Son'

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ronald Glass describes appearing in the TV sitcoms 'All in the Family' and 'Barney Miller'

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ronald Glass reflects upon his family's reaction to his success in Hollywood, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ronald Glass reflects upon his family's reaction to his success in Hollywood, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ronald Glass reflects upon race relations in Indiana and his awareness of the Civil Right Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ronald Glass remembers not joining a college fraternity and his exemption from the draft

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ronald Glass describes his character of Detective Ron Harris on 'Barney Miller,' pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ronald Glass describes his character of Detective Ron Harris on 'Barney Miller, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ronald Glass recalls his favorite scenes from the TV sitcom 'Barney Miller'

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ronald Glass describes his work on the TV sitcom 'The New Odd Couple'

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Ronald Glass describes his role for the TV sitcom 'Mr. Rhodes'

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ronald Glass describes his community involvement in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ronald Glass describes his involvement with Los Angeles' Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Ronald Glass describes his appearance on the TV show 'Firefly' and the film 'Serenity'

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Ronald Glass talks about his desire to continue his acting career

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Ronald Glass describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Ronald Glass reflects upon his life and career, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Ronald Glass reflects upon his life and career, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Ronald Glass talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Ronald Glass reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Ronald Glass describes how he would like to be remembered

William G. Mays

The son of two schoolteachers, William G. Mays was born in Evansville, Indiana on December 4th, 1945. Mays graduated from Evansville Lincoln High School in 1963 and then went on to Indiana University in Bloomington, where he majored in Chemistry. In 1970, William Mays was offered a Consortium Fellowship for advanced studies. He accepted the award and applied it to
graduate studies in Marketing and Finance at Indiana University, from which he received an M.B.A. in 1973.

After graduating Mays worked at Cummins Engine Company in Columbus, Indiana, for four years where he served as Assistant to the President. Mays was then offered the opportunity to be President of Specialty Chemicals, a small distribution company in Indianapolis. During his three years as President, he increased the company's sales from $300,000 to over $5 million. William Mays left Specialty Chemicals in 1980 and became an entrepreneur after founding his own business, Mays Chemical Company. Mays Chemical Company, Inc., which specializes in providing chemical products to the food, pharmaceutical and automotive industries, began in 1980 as a one-person operation. Mr. Mays processed and filled each order himself. Over the years, however, the company has grown to include facilities in Indianapolis, Chicago, Detroit and Cincinnati. Mays Chemical Company has won numerous awards for excellence.

William Mays also owns The Indianapolis Recorder and is the former majority owner of the Hoosier Radio and Television Properties, which include WAV-TV53, HOT 96.3 FM, WGGR 106.7 FM and WIRE. He has significant interests in several other small businesses, including a property management firm, several golf courses and construction companies. In 1995, William Mays
enjoyed, the exceptional honor of carrying the Olympic flame through Indianapolis.

Accession Number

A2000.030

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

7/10/2000

Last Name

Mays

Maker Category
Middle Name

G.

Schools

Lincoln High School

Evansville Central High School

Indiana University

Archival Photo 2
First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Evansville

HM ID

MAY02

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

Do It Right The First Time.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Indiana

Birth Date

12/4/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Indianapolis

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon

Death Date

12/4/2014

Short Description

Corporate chief executive William G. Mays (1945 - 2014 ) was the founder of Mays Chemical Company, which specialized in providing chemical products to the food, pharmaceutical and automotive industries. Mays Chemical Company began as a one man operation but grew to include facilities in Indianapolis, Chicago, Detroit and Cincinnati. Mays also owned The Indianapolis Recorder and was the former majority owner of the Hoosier Radio and Television Properties.

Employment

Cummins Engine Company

Specialty Chemicals

Mays Chemical Company

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William G. Mays' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William G. Mays lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William G. Mays talks about his family's educational background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William G. Mays describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William G. Mays describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William G. Mays describes his parents' personalities and his likeness to them

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William G. Mays talks about growing up in Evansville, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William G. Mays describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - William G. Mays describes his childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - William G. Mays talks about his brothers

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - William G. Mays describes what influenced him as a youth

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - William G. Mays remembers trying to fit in as a youth

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - William G. Mays talks about his father's education and love of chemistry

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - William G. Mays describes himself as a student

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - William G. Mays describes the impact of his father's death

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - William G. Mays talks about what inspired him to pursue chemistry

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William G. Mays describes how his father's death made him more disciplined

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William G. Mays talks about pledging Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, and reflects upon the significance of Black Greek Letter Organizations pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William G. Mays talks about pledging Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, and reflects upon the significance of Black Greek Letter Organizations pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William G. Mays talks about meeting his wife

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William G. Mays describes his successful marriage

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William G. Mays talks about getting married

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William G. Mays describes working as a test chemist

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - William G. Mays talks about working for Procter and Gamble

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - William G. Mays describes how Procter and Gamble dealt with racism

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - William G. Mays reflects upon the skills he developed as a salesperson for Procter and Gamble

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - William G. Mays talks about leaving Procter and Gamble to attend business school at Indiana University

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - William G. Mays describes attending business school at Indiana University

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - William G. Mays talks about wanting to work for Cummins Engine Company

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - William G. Mays describes the influence of J. Irwin Miller, former President of Cummins Engine Company

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William G. Mays talks about building a network of black professionals at Cummins Engine Company, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William G. Mays talks about building a network of black professionals at Cummins Engine Company, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William G. Mays describes his growth within Cummins Engine Company

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William G. Mays talks about being hired as President of Specialty Chemicals

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William G. Mays talks about developing the skillset to run Specialty Chemicals

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William G. Mays talks about his resignation as President of Specialty Chemicals

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William G. Mays talks about founding Mays Chemical Company

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William G. Mays talks about the growth and success of Mays Chemical Company pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - William G. Mays talks about the growth and success of Mays Chemical Company pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - William G. Mays describes the support he received in founding Mays Chemical Company

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - William G. Mays describes how his professional network aided the growth of Mays Chemical Company

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William G. Mays talks about Mays Chemical Company's staff during the early 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William G. Mays talks about his entrepreneurial philosophy

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William G. Mays describes how a 1983 Wall Street Journal article contributed to the growth of Mays Chemical Company

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William G. Mays talks about Mays Chemical Company's most significant milestones

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William G. Mays talks about the positives and negatives of purchasing other companies in the chemical distribution industry

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William G. Mays talks about the state of minorities in the chemical distribution industry and minority-owned businesses

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William G. Mays talks about Mays Chemical Company's standing in corporate America

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - William G. Mays talks about the evolution of black entrepreneurs

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - William G. Mays considers the future of minorities in business

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - William G. Mays talks about DreamMakers and the Black Enterprise 100

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - William G. Mays talks about entrepreneurs he admires

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - William G. Mays talks about the concept of black businesses "selling out"

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - William G. Mays considers institutions, programs, and values that will contribute to a positive future for the black community

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - William G. Mays talks about his investment ventures

Tape: 4 Story: 15 - William G. Mays talks about building trust in the business industry

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William G. Mays talks about his investments

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William G. Mays talks about his philanthropy

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William G. Mays describes Mays Chemical Company's commitment to giving everyone a chance

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William G. Mays talks about the importance of minority economic development in America

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William G. Mays describes his business philosophy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - William G. Mays describes how his chemistry background contributed to his success

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - William G. Mays talks about his father and his future

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - William G. Mays talks about his legacy and the future of black entrepreneurs

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - William G. Mays narrates his photographs pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - William G. Mays narrates his photographs pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

3$3

DATitle
William G. Mays talks about pledging Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, and reflects upon the significance of Black Greek Letter Organizations pt. 2
William G. Mays describes how a 1983 Wall Street Journal article contributed to the growth of Mays Chemical Company
Transcript
I think the, the feeling of belonging is, is very important. And being part of a group, part of an organization, having some place to retreat to from the hostilities. And that's the way I would say it of, of campus life. The fact that so many of the organizations on a campus like Indiana University [Bloomington, Indiana] were white organizations. They had no, no particular interest in black culture or black history or black exposures. The dancing was different, everything was different. So I think that's why you end up leaning toward an organization like that. Now Kappas specifically, my dad had always wanted to, to be--and he felt that was one of the, the--was the best fraternity. And so that certainly was an influence. I think that Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity had a house. It was founded at Indiana University, and that was significant to me. I looked at the people that were in the fraternity and they were more like me, I guess is the way to say it. As a matter of fact, I mean if you look at the--at that time the three of the, the base fraternities, you had the Omegas [Omega Psi Phi Fraternity], and you had Alphas [Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity] and you had Kappas. And the Alphas were more the high strung intellectual types in more ways than one, and the Ques were more of the doggie type, athletic perhaps, and Kappas were kind of in between. They had intellectual capacity, they played sports, but they weren't extremes. And I guess those were the--if you look at Ques and Alphas, they tended to be extreme, at least as far as my exposure at Indiana.$The article came about in 1983 and it was talking about Chemical Investors and this guy, Zengraft, Jerry Zengraft and the shyster nature of what he was dealing with, and this, remember this was before the collapse of, of that company. But again, even the news media was picking up on it. So this reporter was in town from New York to talk about Chemical Investors. But along the way he was fascinated when he talked to me and said well I'd like to come back and do a story on just you. So he wrote an article about growing too fast. And--cause we had grown really quite, quite handedly as I indicated from zero to nine million dollars in that three year period. And so he talked about the dangers of growing. And that was published in the Small Business Section of the Wall Street Journal in August of 1983. John Thompson was working for McKenzie and Company in New York at the time, and saw that article and wrote me. And wanted to, to come to work for, for Mays Chemical. And I said why would--one, I can't afford you. An MBA from Columbia working for McKenzie, the premier consulting, you know, New York City, you know that didn't even, that didn't even make any sense. But he persisted and said yeah, he said well we ought to talk about it he says, because I really want to get to the Midwest, I really wanna get my family out of New York. And Midwest is a place that I--and I know the chemical industry, I've studied it at McKenzie, and I could really do a, an excellent job. So that was probably I guess in November of '83 [1983], and John Thompson came on board in early '84 [1984]. And so he's still with us. So surrounding yourself with, with good people and, and young people, cause I'm one of the older people in the company. I think that there may be, may be as many as ten percent of the company that's 50 or above, certainly 55. So I think that that bodes very well for the, for the company too.