Title: Chief Executive Officer, President & Owner
Company: AutoGrip Inc.
Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States
Gerald C. Cooper, Chief Executive Officer, President and Owner at AutoGrip Inc., has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Executives for dedication, achievements, and leadership in hardware manufacturing.
A third-generation hand tool manufacturer, Mr. Cooper has accrued more than 55 years of professional experience in his industry. Throughout his youth, he enjoyed taking things apart and figuring out how they functioned, such as light switches, which eventually guided him toward his career path. He notably excelled with Stanley Black & Decker Tools for 35 years until retiring from the aforementioned company in 2001. Utilizing his vast experience, he established Asia Tech Source in China in 2001, which he operated until turning it over to his son 2014. In the years since his arrival back to the U.S., Mr. Cooper has flourished as the chief executive officer, president and owner of Autogrip Inc., a hand tool sourcing and engineering company that also has an assembly and packaging factory.
Throughout his career in the hardware industry, Mr. Cooper has gained valuable experience in manufacturing, procurement and finance worldwide. In 2003, he was involved in inventing an award-winning “automatic vice-grip,” which is plier and clamp-like tool. The invention became a popular and well-utilized tool in the hardware community, leading to the fruition of similar vice-grips of all different sizes that now consists of 20 products. He attributes his career success to his work ethic and experiences working on his uncle’s farm in his youth. He also credits his father, Stanley, and his grandfather, Clarence, for their motivation and influence. In his spare time, Mr. Cooper enjoys reading up on the U.S. Civil War and climbing mountains.
Mr. Cooper earned a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Berlham College in 1966 and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Hartford in 1971. To remain aware of developments in his industry, he maintains his membership with the Hardware Marketing Council as well as on the board of trustees for Berlham College. He was also appointed as the past president of Senior Services of Alexandria, the elder of the Old Presbyterian Meetinghouse Church and a volunteer to Families of Inmates and Meals on Wheels. Looking toward the future, he plans on retiring and selling his company to a North American tool manufacturer that can add his products to their product line. Likewise, Mr. Cooper envisions himself continuing in his volunteering endeavors in the years to come.
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