Announcement, News, Press Release

GreenLight Fund Announces Founding Executive Director for Atlanta

Jul 22, 2019



Joli Cooper Joins Organization to Lead 8th GreenLight Site

Atlanta, GA – July 22, 2019 – GreenLight Fund welcomes Joli Cooper as the founding executive director for its eighth expansion site, GreenLight Fund Atlanta. A resident of Atlanta, Cooper will partner with community, industry, entrepreneurial and philanthropic leaders to bring proven solutions to Atlanta that fill unmet local needs and improve opportunities and outcomes for historically underserved children and families.

“Our community should be thrilled by this choice, Cooper’s background in private equity, evaluating investment opportunities and due diligence bring the skills required for GreenLight Fund to bring impact to the Atlanta community,” said Alicia Philipp, president, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. “She has a strong combination of experience across the corporate, financial and nonprofit sectors along with many personal and professional connections in Atlanta. I look forward to working with her as GreenLight moves forward with the important work of strengthening our nonprofit sector.”

With a deep passion for and commitment to the Atlanta community, Joli Cooper comes to GreenLight Fund with proven leadership in the nonprofit sector and extensive experience as a business executive. Most recently, Cooper served in a full time, volunteer capacity as the National President of Jack and Jill of America, the oldest African American family organization in the United States which is dedicated to bettering the lives of all children. The largest concentration of involvement in the country is in Atlanta, with 12 Jack and Jill chapters. Cooper has served on a number of nonprofit boards including United Way of Tampa Bay, The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, The Children’s Home, Inc. and Junior Achievement.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms welcomed the news, “I’ve worked with Joli and am confident her leadership and commitment to the Atlanta community will bring positive and sustainable change through the innovative GreenLight Fund.”

Cooper was a founding partner at CSW Private Equity Partners, a $125 million private equity firm specializing in buyouts, recapitalizations and growth capital financing in middle market companies. She has also served as President and COO of Pasco Brands, once the largest private label juice beverage company in the United States. In addition, Cooper has held various leadership positions at consumer products companies including Vitality Beverages, Tropicana Products/Seagram, and Nestle USA. She holds an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, where she was honored in 2002 as the Wharton Alumnae of the Year, and a BA degree in Finance from the University of Notre Dame. She also participated in the Directors’ Education Institute at Duke University.

“This is my dream job as I deeply believe in GreenLight’s mission and the opportunity to impact a local community near and dear to my heart,” said Joli Cooper. “I’m so excited to join the team and apply my energy, passion and expertise to impact positive, social change in areas that matter most to Atlantans. I look forward to partnering with our community to launch proven solutions in Atlanta and ensure their successful integration into the community.”

In her new role, Cooper will lead an annual process in collaboration with a local Selection Advisory Council made up of community leaders to find the best of the best social innovations that can effectively address the needs that matter most to Atlanta. The process will identify critical unmet community needs, search the country for the best, proven solutions to address those needs, and select and invest in the replication of an innovative social impact program with significant, evidence-based outcomes. GreenLight Atlanta will help the organization reach and sustain impact in Atlanta with on the ground support, strategic partnership development and accountable measurement systems.

GreenLight Fund’s CEO and Co-Founder, Margaret Hall, who has deep roots in Atlanta, remarked, “We’re excited to have Joli on board. The skills, leadership and passion for the community she brings to GreenLight Atlanta are an excellent fit as we work to systematically identify and invest in strengthening economic mobility opportunities for children and families.” John Simon, GreenLight Fund’s Co-Founder and Board Chair echoed Margaret’s enthusiasm: “I’m excited to have Joli leading the charge in Atlanta and supporting innovations that will bring meaningful and measurable impact on critical issues to Atlanta’s low-income community.”

More than 50 individuals, companies and foundations have contributed over $5M to support the launch and work of GreenLight Atlanta over its first five years in the city. GreenLight Atlanta’s co-founding funders include Aaron’s, Balloun Family, Bank of America, Mark Becker, Ron and Lisa Brill Family Charitable Trust, Martha and Toby Brooks, Chick-Fil-A Foundation, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, Lane and Richard W. Courts IV, Catherine and John Crawford, Susan and Ed Croft, Robin and Stockton Croft, Deloitte, Mike and Debbie Dickerson, Mike and Michelle Dickinson, Jamie and Juliana Eastham, Emory University, Stacey and David Fisher, Lois and Larry Frank, The Freishtat Family, Fulcrum Equity Partners, The J.B. Fuqua Foundation, Georgia Power Foundation, Inc, Goldman Sachs, The Gould Family Foundation, Greenberg Family Foundation, Harry Heiman and Abby Friedman, The Imlay Foundation, Invesco Ltd., Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Kaiser Permanente, KELIN Foundation, Mary Jane and Dave Kirkpatrick, Sartain Lanier Family Foundation, Jeff Levy and Liz Lapidus, The Marcus Foundation, Inc., Sig Mosley, Mr. and Mrs. C. V. Nalley, III, Jeff and Michelle Neville, North Highland Worldwide Consulting, Bill and Melinda Nussey, Palumbo Family Charitable Fund, Wendell and Mary Reilly, Resurgens Technology Partners, Adrian and John Robinson, Jonathan and Heather Rodbell, Edith and Michael Rogers, Clay and Karen Rolader, Gary W. Rollins Foundation, John and Sue Simon, Chas Smithgall and Charles Smithgall, SunTrust, The Carol and Ramon Tomé Family Foundation, United Way of Greater Atlanta, Michael and Jill von Grey.