Black History Month Presentation to Feature Founder of Glory Foods, and Entrepreneurial Leader


Iris Cooper, entrepreneur, author, business strategy and branding expert, college educator, and former Evansville resident, will be the guest speaker at Ivy Tech Community College’s Black History Month presentation at 1 p.m. on Feb. 23 in the Vectren Auditorium on its Evansville campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Cooper’s presentation is titled, “The Benefit of the Doubt.” She believes it is important to approach the world with “the benefit of the doubt” and use critical thinking and the human spirit to overcome challenges and move from conflict to collaboration.

She is the owner of “JustAskIris!” an entrepreneurial coaching firm, specializing in food enterprises and products. Cooper founded Glory Foods, Inc., a multi-million dollar food marketing company and has launched over five enterprises during her career. Cooper is the former director of the Ohio Division of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, where she led the state from 29th worst place for small businesses in 2007 to the ninth best in the nation, and 1st in the Midwest in four years.  She currently works with nonprofits and for-profit organizations desiring market research, strategy development, and workforce development training. Cooper recently received the Amos Lynch Legacy Award from Champions of Diversity and the Sharon Burkes Soar Award from Franklin County Children’s Services for her advocacy work in Central Ohio.

She is a published author, featured writer, and keynote speaker on a variety of topics, and an adjunct marketing professor at Columbus State Community College. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the National Coalition of 100 Black Women-Central Ohio Chapter, CDC Headstart Inc., and the Indiana University Alumni Association.  Iris holds a BA in journalism and an MBA in marketing from Indiana University. Her doctorate is from Walden University, in Entrepreneurship.