Edwin M. Cooperman, chairman and co-CEO of American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., is to receive the Songwriters Hall of Fame Patron of the Arts Award for 1991. The award is given annually to the person who through personal effort or through such efforts on behalf of a corporate entity, has made major contributions to the advancement of the Arts.
Under Cooperman’s stewardship, American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., has been and continues to be a key sponsor of the New York
International Festival of the Arts, The Dance Theater of Harlem and this season’s Paul Simon tour of North America.
Cooperman also served as chairman of the New York City Host Committee for the recently aired 1991 Grammy Awards. With the committee, Cooperman was able to generate a sustained promotion for the Grammys, making it into a three-week extravaganza of activity rather than simply a one-night television production. The Host Committee under Cooperman’s direction staged a black tie charity ball at the Waldorf-Asloria Hotel, raising close to $600,000 for Musicares, the charity through which the music business takes care of its own. It has been estimated that the Grammy’s presence in New York generated more than $45,000,000 for the New York economy.
The company has also promoted numerous theatrical productions, including “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof in New York, “Phantom of the Opera” in Los Angeles and Toronto, and “Les Miserables” in San Francisco.
Cooperman, next year, will celebrate his 20th anniversary with the company, having joined the staff as an attorney in 1972. He has held a number of key positions. He has served as senior counsel for the Worldwide Card Division; vice president, Gold Card; vice president and then president of American Express of Canada; and later senior vice president and then executive vice president of Travel Management Services.
Five years ago, Cooperman was named president, U.S. Consumer Card Group. Under his leadership, The American Express Card posted record earnings and the number of cardmembers increased by 40 percent. Later, he also championed the development of the Optima Card, the company’s first revolving credit card. An ardent advocate of consumer protection, he was a key figure in advancing the enactment of consumer privacy laws as they relate to credit and charge cards.
Cooperman serves on the boards of the New York International Festival of the Arts, The New York City Ballet, The Queens College Foundation, The National Academy Foundation and the St. Barnabas Medical Center.