Coopers has commenced the transition process which will eventually see the brewery move from the fifth generation to the sixth.
Rachel Cooper-Casserly, 29, is the first member of the sixth generation to join Coopers full time, accepting the position of Brand Marketing Coordinator.
Rachel is the daughter of Coopers Chairman and Marketing Director, Glenn Cooper, and was invited to join Coopers after a position in the marketing team became available following a restructure within the brewery.
At the time Rachel was the Campaign Services Manager for Tourism SA, having kept with Coopers tradition of starting work outside of the brewery working with advertising agency kwp!, and land developer, Delfin Lend Lease. She completed a Communications degree with the University of SA in 2001.
Rachel said she had been delighted to have been offered the position, which ultimately reports to her father, Glenn.
“As a Cooper, it is understood that you have to establish yourself away from the Brewery and may later be invited to join,” she said.
“Being a Cooper is no guarantee that you will be given a job within the brewery and I was delighted when the opportunity arose.”
Rachel said that as the first member of the sixth generation to join the brewery, she felt a considerable responsibility to help the pave the way for others of her generation.
“I want to see the rest of my generation have the opportunity to make their mark,” she said.
“I am the oldest of the next generation and I would like to see quite a few more get the opportunity to eventually oversee the future of the company.
“When Tim (Managing Director) and Glenn (Chairman) retire, it will be important that the next generation is ready to step up.”
Rachel said her earliest memory of the brewery was as a teenager when Coopers was still at the old Leabrook site in Adelaide’s eastern suburbs.
“I used to go to the brewery to do photocopying for school,” she said.
“We also used to go roller-blading as kids in the car park, while I had my 18th birthday in the old cellars.”
Mr Glenn Cooper said that Rachel’s appointment had been discussed at Board level before she had been offered the contract.
“When I was her age, I was told not to expect a job at the brewery. At that time, there was no certainty that the brewery would even survive, which was a great incentive to establish your own career,” he said.
“Fortunately, today the brewery is in a very strong position and continues to grow, but it’s still essential for a family member to establish a track record outside the brewery and then for there to be a position available before they are invited to join.”
Coopers managing Director, Dr Tim Cooper, said it was pleasing to see the next generation taking up the challenge of maintaining the brewery’s independence and relevance into the future.
“Glenn and I are fifth generation descendents of the founder, Thomas Cooper, and we have both adopted the philosophy that we are caretakers of a great family tradition,” he said.
“It is our philosophy that we should maintain and improve the business so the next generation will become custodians of a strong and viable company.
“We would anticipate that they would adopt the same principles for their descendents.”
The announcement comes soon after former Managing Director of Coopers Brewery, Mr Bill Cooper, has retired as a Director of the family owned company after 40 years service.
His position has been filled by Ms Melanie Cooper, who has worked 16 years for the company, and becomes the first female member on Coopers Board.
Melanie is Coopers’ Financial Accountant. She has been the alternate director for Bill Cooper for the past year, and has previously served as Company Secretary.
Melanie has also been a Governor of the Coopers Brewery Foundation since its inception in 2006. Mr Bill Cooper, who was Managing Director of Coopers between 1977 and 2002, was appointed to the Coopers Board in 1969, having joined the brewery in 1960.
He tendered his resignation at the recent Coopers Board meeting after completing 40 years service.
Along with former Chairman, Mr Maxwell Cooper, Bill oversaw the development of lager brewing at Coopers and the introduction of home brew kits.
He helped steer the company through difficult financial times in the late 1970s and later commenced the Adelaide Malting Company, which became a significant financial bonus to Coopers Brewery.
He also found the site for Coopers’ new brewery at Regency Park, which enabled Coopers to subsequently relocate from Leabrook.
Coopers Managing Director, Dr Tim Cooper, said Bill had shown a passion and commitment to the company, its employees and the brewing community in general over his time in the industry.
Coopers Chairman, Mr Glenn Cooper, said Bill had enjoyed a very long and distinguished career in the company. He said his achievements in building the sales performance of the company from the difficult times of the 1970s were outstanding.
Coopers was founded in 1862 by former stonemason, Thomas Cooper.