Dr. Iris Ann Cooper’s career includes leadership positions in financial services,
economic development, community service, communication, government,entrepreneurship, and education. She is the owner of “JustAskIris!” an entrepreneurial coaching firm, specializing in food enterprises and products. Iris founded Glory Foods, Inc., a multi-million dollar food marketing company and has launched over five enterprises during her career. She is recognized nationally as a business strategy and branding expert, having coached many startups to sustainability. Iris is the former Director of the Ohio Division of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, where Iris led the state from 29th worst place for small businesses in 2007 to the 9th best in the nation, and 1st in the Midwest in 4 years. She currently works with nonprofits and for-profit organizations desiring market research, strategy development, and workforce development training. Iris recently received the Amos Lynch Legacy Award from the Champions of Diversity and the Sharon Burks Soar Award from Franklin County Childrens' Services for her advocacy work in Central Ohio.


Iris is a published author, featured writer, and keynote speaker on a variety of topics,and an adjunct marketing professor at Franklin University and Columbus State Community College. Her contributions to entrepreneurship is now included in the national History Makers Collection at the Smithsonian Institute. 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 degree in business is from Walden University with an entrepreneurship specialty. Iris's doctoral publication focused on small business mortality entitled “The First Four Years: A Small Business Sustainability Study.”

"You must know your best customer like you know your closest friend in order to foster a sustainable relationship."