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SoCal Power Women: 5 Questions With JPI's Rosie Cooper

This limited series profiles SoCal Power Women who have helped shape cities, neighborhoods, businesses and lifestyles in Los Angeles and Orange counties. These women will be honored at Bisnow's SoCal Power Women event Dec. 13.  

With more than 15 years of experience, Rosie Cooper has played a crucial role in JPI's success in California. Cooper originally joined JPI in 2006. After working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, BRE Properties and MKS Residential, she rejoined JPI in 2015. Earlier this year, she was promoted to executive vice president and regional managing partner of the company's Western Region Office, overseeing multifamily operations. Cooper is responsible for acquisition, development, construction, operations and disposition activities in Southern California and Phoenix. She graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy.

JPI's Rosie Cooper with her husband, Nolan

How do you describe your job to people who are not in the industry?

Cooper: Simply put, we build apartments. That’s also how I explain it to my kids. If they want more detail I generally expand with, “We find a piece of land, get it ready to build on, build it, lease it up and sell it.”

What is the biggest business problem you have faced and how did you solve it?

Cooper: Professionally, making the transition from being a junior officer in the Air Force into working in private sector real estate development. I solved the problem with formal education, in the form of a Master of Real Estate Development from the University of Southern California and was lucky enough to find a professional home at JPI where my military experience and values were both seen as competitive advantages.

What is one thing you think companies can do to address wage and gender inequality?

Cooper: Be disciplined about evaluating your firm’s compensation practices on a regular basis. Also, be sure to keep open lines of communication with your employees so you understand what their desires and motivations are. The key to it is the dialogue needs to be open and honest. 

What piece of advice do you give others entering the industry?

Cooper: I generally fall back to encouraging formal education. As obvious as this may sound, it’s something that no one can take away from you. I also advise others to ask questions across disciplines and through the hierarchy of your organization. There are so many different team members that can make up a development team. The faster you can understand each moving part the more effective you can be at creating value as a developer.

What do you do to unwind when you’re not working?

Cooper: I love to travel with my family. I have two boys and one girl and love being able to spend quality time with them and my husband. In the spare time that we find between soccer fields, swim practices, basketball courts and softball fields, I love spending time and making memories with my family!

Meet JPI Executive Vice President and Regional Managing Partner Rosie Cooper at Bisnow's SoCal Power Women event Dec. 13 at the LA Grand Hotel Downtown.