Hy Cooper Retires From American Queen

Hy Cooper Retires From American Queen

Cooper announces retirement as vice president of Western regional sales for American Queen Steamboat Company, forms own webinar and seminar company By: Marilyn Green
<p>Feature image (above): Cooper began his career at Delta Queen Steamboat Company in 1982 and then become a top producer at American Queen Steamboat...

Feature image (above): Cooper began his career at Delta Queen Steamboat Company in 1982 and then become a top producer at American Queen Steamboat Company when it launched in 2012. // © 2016 American Queen Steamboat Company

Hy Cooper, raconteur, master salesman and spokesman for American river cruising, has announced his retirement as vice president of Western regional sales for American Queen Steamboat Company. Pamela Harding will succeed him, becoming regional sales director for the West.


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Hy Cooper Communications
www.hycoopercommunications.com

Hy Cooper, raconteur, master salesman and spokesman for American river cruising, has announced his retirement as vice president of Western regional sales for American Queen Steamboat Company. Pamela Harding will succeed him, becoming regional sales director for the West.

Loved by agents, Cooper joined Delta Queen Steamboat Company in 1982. He went on to become a top producer at American Queen Steamboat Company when it launched in 2012. 

Cooper’s first travel position was in 1963 at Trans World Airlines, where he moved up from reservations and ticketing to director of sales with a team of 21 staff members. His career in cruising started with an advertisement in TravelAge West — an American river cruise line was looking for a representative in Southern California. 

Cooper has seen the riverboats go through prosperity and bankruptcy and back, and he has a rich fund of river lore to share.

“When priming agents to sell American Queen, I would tell them, ‘We're not a cruise, but a historic experience, where history unfolds around every bend of the river. You're discovering Mark Twain's America at 7 miles per hour on a paddlewheel-powered time machine,’” he said. 

Cooper would tell travel agents that the above pitch is how to help clients separate American Queen from ocean cruises. He often used his acting talents to explain, taking on a Mark Twain persona and delivering soliloquies in character. For the company’s Pacific Northwest product, he educated agents about Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery mission as it related to Columbia River cruising.

His charisma and popularity with agents brought him from live seminars to webinars, and he has racked up 75 webinars and 115 training meetings in the last four years. 

“I can fire up agents to sell any product with my passion, humor, product knowledge, fast-paced delivery, storytelling, energy and enthusiasm,” he said. “No modesty in my family; I have it all. I've never met a microphone I didn't like.” 

Now, this “retired” executive is now forming his own company, Hy Cooper Communications, which launched its website in April. 

“It sounds like a public relations firm, but it’s not,” Cooper said. “My direction is to offer webinars and seminars for established companies who want to tap my abilities and experience, and for vendors who aren’t currently doing them.” 

He is working with a partner on the technical side to deliver turnkey content and has already accepted new clients. 

“I just love the freedom of having my own company,” Cooper said. “I’m sleeping a little later and doing things exactly the way I want them done.” 

Somehow, he also plans to fit his own bucket list into his new schedule. His personal must-do list includes visiting World War II sites in the Pacific, skydiving and taking comedy classes.

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