Read the original article in the Portland Business Journal here.
Editor's note: The Portland Business Journal handed out its 40 Under 40 awards Feb. 14. The following profile appeared in the Feb. 15 issue of our paper. Videos and a photo gallery of all the winners are available here.
Cindy Cooper, co-founder and director, Portland State University Impact Entrepreneurs
What your organization does: Impact Entrepreneurs works with people and organizations to unleash the power of business for social impact. Our programs inspire, incubate and accelerate entrepreneurship for social good.
Objects you brought to the photo shoot, and why: A clay pot because my husband’s name is Clay and my daughter’s name is Sienna, like the clay found in Siena, Italy. To represent my work, I brought the book “Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know” by Bornstein and Davis. I also brought Pão de Queijo which is a tasty cheese bread from Brazil, my other homeland.
Your responsibilities: General management, teaching, and mentoring social entrepreneurs in the social innovation Incubator.
Hot topic in your field: Impact investing.
First job as a youth: My first business was selling my drawings to my parents. I knew my market. My first job was as a cashier at a Hallmark store when I was 14. I got to operate a machine where you could stuff an entire teddy bear in a balloon.
How do you relax? Not cooking. Playing card games, jogging, anything beach related.
Nonprofits you support, and why: I’m lucky to work with awesome organizations, and it’s easy to get passionate about a lot of them. In my personal giving I tend to support social justice and international development. My husband and I founded an organization to alleviate poverty and promote cross-cultural understanding whereby Spanish teachers in Guatemala teach students all over the world using Skype.
Best book you read in the past year: “Impact Investing: Transforming How We Make Money While Making a Difference” by Antony Bugg-Levine and Jed Emerson.
Favorite music artist: The Beatles.
Favorite local restaurant: Café Hibiscus (great work, Jenny and Tammy).
Travel destination you like: Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand.
Personal trivia that might surprise people: I once made $400 as an extra in a pizza commercial.