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Clifton Shipman award goes to Tom Cooper

Emcee Don Holder presents construction company owner Tom Cooper with the Clifton J. Shipman Community Service Award last week at the Hendersonville Merchants and Business Association Emcee Don Holder presents construction company owner Tom Cooper with the Clifton J. Shipman Community Service Award last week at the Hendersonville Merchants and Business Association

The Hendersonville Merchants and Business Association honored Tom Cooper, of Cooper Construction Co., as the 2017 recipient of the Clifton J. Shipman Community Service Award.
Now operated the second and third generation, Cooper has served the general contracting, utility and HVAC needs of private and public clients in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
The construction company was founded in 1967 by James W. “Tommy” Cooper, who had been one of the founders three years before of Industrial Maintenance Overflow Corp. (IMOCO) in Fletcher, a contractor that specialized in industrial and mechanical construction.
After graduating from East Carolina University in 1974, Tom Cooper joined his father’s company, ascending to the role of president in 1985. After attending Brevard College, Tom’s brother, J. Michael “Mike” Cooper joined the company as executive vice president. Tom and Mike Cooper became sole owners in 1997.
The company now has a third generation of leadership. Kelly Ford, a graduate of Elon University, joined the company in 2003. Her husband, N.C. State University graduate Trey Ford, joined the company in 2004. Tom’s youngest son, Zach, joined the company after graduating from Clemson University in 2008.
The company has completed more than 1,700 projects since 1967. As president and CEO, Tom Cooper devotes most of this time to project management, communications and business development. As operations officer, Mike Cooper oversees field activities and holds the contractor licenses under which the company operates. Along with senior staff, the brothers manage contract negotiations and sales for larger negotiated projects and design/build work.
Past winners of the Shipman Award, from 2002 through 2015, were Clifton Shipman, Doris Eklund, Steve Easler, Carson Calton, Boyd “Bub” Hyder, Sammy Williams, Doc Moore, Sandra Walker, Don Holder, Chat Jones, Danny Williams, Pat Shepherd, Melissa Maurer and Jeff Miller.