Joe R. Cooper

Joe R. Cooper

BBA '79 (accounting), MBA '82, Sigma Phi Epsilon

Chief Financial Officer, Essex Technology Group

Nashville, Tennessee

After five years of retirement in Naples, FL, Joe returned to the business world in 2019 to serve as CFO of Essex Technology Group, LLC. Prior to his first retirement in 2014, Joe served as the President of Big Lots Canada and Executive Vice President of Big Lots, Inc. Before his adventure in Canada, Joe served as the CFO of Big Lots, Inc. His career also included positions with The Limited, Inc. (now Lbrands) and KPMG Peat Marwick. Cooper was named CFO of the Year: Public Company Honoree in September 2010 by the Business First publication in Columbus, Ohio. 

In April 2016, Cooper was inducted, as a member of the inaugural class, into the Stetson University Accounting Hall of Fame. He served on Stetson’s Business School Advisory Board of Advisors and was elected to the Board of Trustees in May 2011. Cooper served as Chair of the Board of Trustees from 2017-2020. He also served as Chair of the Presidential Search Committee in 2020. The search resulted in Dr. Chris Roellke being named the tenth President of Stetson University.

Cooper and his wife, Cindi Tidwell Cooper BBA '82, now live in Franklin, Tennessee. The Coopers have four grown children and two grandchildren.