A little-known fact about CooperKatz is that at every holiday party, each employee is presented with a personalized gift, and some related thoughts about their unique contribution to the firm. These have run the gamut from bottles of wine in 2002 (I still have my bottle of “Lesley Chablis”), to customized trophies, to caricatures, to magic tricks, to sweatshirts from each of our alma maters. It is a special tradition that means so much to all of the employees.
We knew this year would be different. We were acutely aware that we would be missing Andy during what was undoubtedly his favorite annual activity. So the CooperKatz Management Team (as a surprise to Ralph, Anne and Dorothy of the Executive Team) came together to make sure his presence was felt that night – and that it would continue to be felt at our holiday parties for years to come.
As Ralph presented me with my gift (more to come on that in a future blog post!), I asked him to take a seat for a moment so we could do our own presentation. The rest of the Managers, Directors and VPs joined me, as we read the following words:
This has been an unbelievable year for CooperKatz, filled with amazing highs like winning TD Bank. We also faced a terribly sad low when we lost one of our founders, mentors and friends, Andy Cooper.
Most of us in this room were lucky enough to work with Andy, be that for a few months, a few years, a decade, or even a few decades. We were so fortunate to witness his intelligence and learn so much from him, and to know his smirking smile, his wit, his laugh (usually at his own jokes – or at Ralph’s expense), and his seemingly endless fountain of creativity.
The managers, directors and VPs decided together that we wanted to create something to let Andy's legacy endure through the years – to ensure that his memory and creativity lives on in CooperKatz forever. So with that, we present the first-ever Super Cooper Cape!
This cape will be passed down annually at our holiday party to the person the managers feel has come up with that year's most creative idea.
This year’s inaugural Super Cooper Cape went to Ralph Katz, for keeping our creative energy up all year long. He let us know that he won’t be giving the cape up in years to come without a fight. So here’s to all of the cape-worthy ideas to come in 2014!