Heartland Forward Names Angie Cooper Executive Vice President
Heartland Forward announces the promotion of Angie Cooper to executive vice president effective January 1, 2023. In this broader role, Cooper will add public policy to her portfolio of responsibilities, which already includes leading the flagship event, Heartland Summit, and the organization's overall programmatic work.
As a "think and do" tank with a mission of helping improve the economic performance of the middle of the country, Cooper has spearheaded the success of the "do" part of the organization. She established the Connecting the Heartland campaign, a multi-state initiative to boost internet availability, speeds and adoption across the heartland. This includes the formation of the Arkansas Connectivity Coalition as well as work in three additional heartland states thus far - Illinois, Ohio and Tennessee. To accomplish this, she has collaborated with policymakers and key stakeholders at the federal, state and local levels.
"Angie is a dynamic leader with a unique ability to plan strategically and execute with precision—a campaign mentality," stated Ross DeVol, president and CEO of Heartland Forward. "Her leadership role in the organization will expand as the organization grows and evolves. In this new role, Angie will assume greater accountability in our policy initiatives, strategic planning and assist me in leading the organization."
In addition to Connecting the Heartland, Cooper helped lead the efforts to launch the inaugural program for Heartland Forward, called the Community Growth Program. She recognized that there is a gap for entrepreneurs at the early stages of entry into business. With Heartland Forward's programs team and through a partnership with Builders and Backers, the initiative has implemented a modernized approach to entrepreneurship training and support to communities in the middle of the country. It provides aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to take an idea and put it into action.
In addition to the programmatic work, she also leads the Heartland Summit, the flagship event of Heartland Forward that brings together leading thinkers, innovators and investors to create powerful networks. It is via these networks that paths of progress are forged and great ideas are turned into action.
With this new role, Cooper will assume additional responsibility for transferring the organization's applied research into action at the federal, state, regional and local levels. She will lead and expand connections with policymakers and key leaders to modernize policy and advance economic solutions in the heartland. Heartland Forward will be adding a policy director to the team.