SUMMIT, NJ - John W. (Jack) Cooper who, for 28 years, served as the President of the Summit Area Public Foundaton (SAPF), has retired, with the organization's Board of Trustees appointing Julie Keenan as Cooper's successor. In addition to naming Keenan as president, the SAPF board has named David Dietze as vice president, Sandra R. Lizza as secretary, Leah Griffith as treasurer and Martha Sayre as assistant treasurer.

The SAPF is a community foundation that fosters philanthropy in the Summit area by identifying local needs and offering donors flexible ways to make a difference in the lives of their neighbors. During the past 10 years, the SAPF has awarded more than $4.7 million in grants to 117 nonprofit agencies. SAPF awards an average of 37 grants per year.

“Going back to the organization's very early days, Jack Cooper has been the driving force behind SAPF,” said Keenan. “His conviction that coordinated local philanthropy can impact the lives of our neighbors has been broadly embraced. We celebrate Jack’s long tenure at the helm of SAPF and thank him for his leadership. The entire board looks forward to continuing his legacy of promoting philanthropy in the Summit area."

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In 1990, when Cooper first joined the Board as president, the organization held $1 million in assets. Under his leadership, the SAPF has grown its assets to $16 million, which includes 35 donor-advised and restricted-purpose funds. Through these funds, the SAPF has supported hundreds of local area nonprofit organizations and agencies.

“Jack Cooper exemplifies the true spirit of philanthropy through his extraordinary support of our community,” said Summit Mayor Nora Radest. “After having achieved tremendous success in business, he generously committed his knowledge, time, and resources to help others to advance as well. Under his three decades of leadership, SAPF grew exponentially into one of the largest and most successful area foundations, funding initiatives and supporting the work of organizations to make an indelible, lasting mark on our community.”

In addition to his leadership role with the SAPF, Cooper has served as a trustee with many other local nonprofit organizations, including the Overlook Foundation, SAGE Eldercare, Northern New Jersey Estate Planning Council, Summit Area United Way, Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad, Summit Family Service Association, Summit Speech School and Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child. Cooper was a partner at Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook and Cooper, P.C.

“It has been my great honor to serve an organization that is so deeply committed to local philanthropy,” said Cooper. “I’m very pleased and humbled by the difference SAPF has made. We have talented and dedicated trustees who will continue to advance SAPF’s mission each and every day.”

For more information, including how to apply for a grant, visit sapfnj.org.