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Meet Mike Cooper!

By: Mike Cooper

It is with excitement and gratitude that I take on a new role as Tamarack Camps’ board president. I’d like to introduce myself to those who I may not have had the pleasure of meeting yet. I grew up in Oak Park – the youngest of three boys – and went to school with many Huntington Woods celebrities of Jewish Detroit, including Tamarack’s own Geoff Kretchmer and former Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit (JFMD) CEO, Scott Kaufman, just to name a few!

While I missed the (green) bus and going to camp myself, I was fortunate to send all three of our sons to Tamarack. I had a front-row seat to the profound, positive, and permanent effect that Jewish camping has made in each of our sons’ lives. Our twin boys, Daniel and Adam (who are now filmmakers in California), and our youngest son, Josh (now an entrepreneur living in Denver with his closest camp friend), made lifelong memories and credit their lessons in leadership in large part to the deeply formative years they spent at Tamarack.

As for my own background, I am a graduate of the University of Michigan where I studied mechanical engineering. It was there that I met my wife, Beth. Upon graduation, we moved to New York, where I worked for a small startup that you may have heard of, Coca-Cola! After a few other jobs in engineering and consulting, I made my way to Harley Ellis Deveraux, a national architecture, engineering, and planning firm where I’ve spent the last 29 years of my career. I currently serve as President and Managing Principal of the firm, responsible for all aspects of business operations for the firm’s Detroit office, as well as maintaining a leadership role on the national level. I believe in the importance of being actively engaged in one’s professional community, which is why I am a member of several business and technical organizations.

I first got involved in Tamarack Camps through the Sustainability Committee because its leaders thought that, based on my professional skills, I was a good fit. I later became involved on the Finance and Development (now Advancement) Committees, and I also served as Chair of the task force for the JCC Day Camps collaboration. Most recently, I have been a member of the Executive Committee, where I served as First Vice President. Looking ahead (and with a relentless commitment to doing things right), I’m excited to work with our many stakeholders on “big picture” initiatives. I’m motivated by our continued work in developing a vision and creating a strategic plan that will foster bigger dreams for Tamarack’s future.

I am passionate about making a positive impact through exceptional, sustainable solutions – whether serving clients, colleagues, campers, or communities. I’m proud to support several community organizations that share this same belief, including and especially Tamarack Camps. In my free time, you can find me playing pickleball (I’m currently in three leagues), cheering on U of M and Detroit sports teams, watching independent films, and reading fictional novels.

I look forward to getting to know each of you and serving our extraordinary camp community in partnership with our Board of Directors, committees, volunteers, professional team, alumni, and families!

Wishing you all a healthy, happy year ahead,