Tony Cooper with his wife, board members and staff at the event

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Tony Cooper was named the Nonprofit CEO of the Year by the Birmingham Business Journal at a special awards reception presented by Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP Thursday evening at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Mountain Brook. Cooper was one of five finalists in the nonprofit group. In all, 35 honorees spanning seven categories were recognized for their outstanding leadership.

The annual event is dedicated to recognizing excellence among top executives in the Birmingham-area business community whose leadership has helped their companies achieve growth and success through strong financial performance, tangible results and achieved goals. These leaders also played key roles in the success of their business as well as community involvement.

Tony Cooper gives a brief acceptance speech during the event

In his acceptance address, Cooper recognized and thanked his supportive family and dedicated staff, but gave the honor for any success he, or the Mission, has received through the years to God.

Cooper officially stepped down as the organization’s executive director in early November after more than 29 years at the helm. Under his leadership, the Mission has grown to include Royal Pines, Jessie’s Place and Discovery Clubs. Cooper will serve as executive director emeritus in an effort the help the new leadership transition into 2020. He will officially retire at the end of January.