Alexander Cooney | President and Founder, Grand Valley State University
Alexander Thomas Cooney is an American entrepreneur and business owner. He was raised in Shelby Township, Michigan after his family relocated from the Belmont Shores community, near Long Beach, California. Alex grew up playing competitive hockey and golf throughout high school. He ended up playing hockey at the collegiate level for Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He even had a short stint in professional inline hockey but saw his athletic career dwindle after multiple injuries. During his undergraduate career, Alex studied psychology, political science, and criminology. Upon graduation, he entered the workforce in the legal and finance world before committing to study law at the University of Detroit Mercy. Shortly after, Alex discovered his passion fell in the world of direct marketing and sales. He decided to put law school to the side and put all of his energy, focus, and time into working with a mentor, entrepreneur, and business owner who did outsourced sales for Fortune 100 and 500 companies.
Since Alex has been working in direct marketing and sales, he has received many individual and team awards for his work. Within his first year, he received a national top performance award as well as a top leader award for the work he has done in the Midwest. He has also been invited to many conferences all over the world including destinations such as Chicago, Philadelphia, New York City, Mexico, and London.
“What I have learned working in direct marketing and sales has far surpassed any knowledge that I gained in the classroom. College is a great time to figure out who you are as a person but I quickly realized with my studies, I was not passionate about law or any other field. And isn’t that what we are all looking for anyway? I wanted to be in business for myself, I wanted to teach, train, and coach others, and I wanted to enjoy waking up everyday looking forward to go to work; so I found a way to make it happen. That is the true definition of an entrepreneur, someone who figures out how to accomplish something regardless of the negatives they may endure or the obstacles set against them.”
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