20 Questions with Danny Cooper

Executive Director, Gracepoint Foundation

Danny Cooper leads, and directs, all day-to-day activities of the Foundation including all fundraising and events conducted by the Foundation. Gracepoint Foundation’s mission is to raise awareness of mental health conditions and remove the stigma associated with mental health. In doing so, the Foundation raises critical financial support for the operations of Gracepoint Wellness. 

Cooper is a nine-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force culminating with a final assignment as director of public affairs for MacDill Air Force Base. Prior to his role at Gracepoint, he was senior manager of marketing operations at Tampa International Airport, associate director of the USF Alumni Association and assistant vice president of communications for Lanier Upshaw. 

1. College alma mater? The Citadel, BA in English; University of Tampa, MBA and MS in Finance

Last show you binge-watched? Arrested Development.

2. Last show you binge-watched? Arrested Development.

3. Favorite place for a business meeting? Golf course.

4. iPhone or Android? iPhone. Can’t be green in the group text!

5. What time do you wake up on workdays? I’m a night person, so closer to 8 a.m. most days (give or take).

6. What part of your morning routine can you not miss? I usually don’t speak much until I have coffee. I also try to follow the rule of doing no work for about thirty minutes after I wake up. That way I start the day on my own terms. 

7. What movie terrified you as a child? The original Children of the Corn.

8. Proudest moment? Ring Night at the Citadel. Of all the military colleges in the United States we wait the longest to get our rings and every ring since 1942 looks exactly the same. Sitting in the Chapel with my classmates getting that ring and knowing only half of us who started were still there was a feeling like no other. 

9. Dream dinner companion? In a 1 on 1 situation probably a tie between Serena Williams and Tiger Woods. I am fascinated by a singular focus to be dominant. In a group setting, I’d probably go with Adam Sandler.

10. Biggest business failure? I once had a job contract that wasn’t renewed. In retrospect, there were a lot of factors. But, most importantly, that boss and I still talk today and occasionally meet for a drink. Through that process and our relationship, I knew where I needed to get better. 

11. Best concert you’ve ever seen, live? Jason Isbell. Any time, any place. I’m on like 25 shows, at this point. 

12. What is your cellphone wallpaper image? 2019 at Scribe Winery in Sonoma with my better half, Dori Marlin.

13. Most famous person you’ve ever met? Presidents Clinton and Bush (43).

14. What is your go-to drink order? Miller Lite or bourbon neat.

15. How do you manage the volume of emails you receive? Not as well as I should! I try to keep spam and sales emails separate and delete others at the end of the day. But, I’m the polar opposite of Type A and it’s a constant work in progress. 

16. Last thing you ordered from Amazon? Two raincoats that didn’t fit. Thanks Prime for the free returns!

17. Emojis in the workplace, yay or nay? Know your audience! Internally, sometimes. Especially on Teams or text. Externally, I’d never be the first to do it.

18. Charity you support? Gracepoint Foundation, of course! I am also proud to be on the Advisory Board of the First Tee of Tampa Bay.

19. Favorite childhood memory? I have two. Generally speaking, I spent almost every weekend on the road with my dad racing motocross and it was rad and beyond fun. More specifically, in high school, I spent a long weekend in New Orleans with just my mom (who passed away in 2005) and she loved to tell the stories of just how big my eyes were walking on Bourbon Street.

20. Best advice ever received? Do your best to know who you are. The best version of you, is you. If you’re not authentic, everybody notices and nobody cares.

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