State: California

City: Alhambra

Chapters: 1,800

Members: 133,781

Convention: Colorado Springs, CO - June 7-11, 1949

Income: $306,700

Industrialist, 33 year old, Clifford D. Cooper elected president for a full term.

Vice President: C. William Brownfield
Columbus, OH (State Organizations)
Vice President: Al Cahill
Jacksonville, FL (International Relations)
Vice President: Melvin Evans
Wichita Falls, TX (Committees)
Vice President: James Free Stone
Mesa, AZ (War Memorial)
Vice President: William Gilchrist
Cumberland, MD (National Meetings)
Vice President: Frank Merrill
Albany, OR (Public Relations)
Vice President: Robert Mulhair
Sioux Falls, SD (Membership)
Vice President: Ralph Rowheder
Chicago, IL (Public Affairs)
Vice President: Floyd Stewart
Monette, MO (Awards and Supplies)
Vice President: Elmer R. Shippee Providence, RI
Treasurer:* Hughes Brockbank Salt Lake City, UT


Executive Vice President:*

Frank Fister until 11/49
Robert Ladd as of 2/50

New York, NY

National Office
Tulsa, OK

* Appointed position.

Chicago, IL to host 1950 convention.

"The year of reorganization,” is the term most commonly used in referring to the administration of Clifford D. Cooper, national Jaycee president in 1949-50.

Cooper, who was from Alhambra, California, at the time of his election, came into the top Junior Chamber position following his stint as chairman of the War Memorial Building fund in 1948-49. His previous Jaycee service included a national director's position in 1945-46, and a term as a national vice president in 1947-48.

The new Junior Chamber president was 32 years of age when elected to the job, and stepped in from the field of manufacturing. His educational background included work at the University of Texas, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in 1940.

Looking back upon the 1949-50 administrative year, reorganization definitely takes the spotlight, although programs were as numerous as usual.

From the standpoint of size, the organization seemingly dropped in total membership from 142,438 to 133,781, but these figures likely do not indicate any appreciable loss in strength. New accounting procedures which were put into effect gave the organization it’s most accurate membership count in history and eliminated many outdated members.

Computing individual membership in the U. S. Junior Chamber of Commerce has always been an extremely difficult task, because of the rapid turnover in members and the fact that dues are paid by local organizations rather than by individuals.

While the total membership became more realistically determined, the number of local chapters went up from 1,764 to 1,800.

When Cooper assumed duties, reorganization was the enunciated program and the board of directors promptly set up another reorganization committee to follow in the footsteps of the one headed by Vice President John Hamrick under Bagwell. The purpose of the new reorganization committee was to:

"study the internal problems pertinent to policy, budget and finance, checks and balances, by-laws, and operational structure of this organization; the committee being further instructed to formulate a proposed organization plan ...”

Still another group to study the organization came into being following the resignation of the executive vice president in November of 1949. A committee of former officers was appointed to recommend a successor to Frank Fister, and its suggested choice was Robert Ladd - an administrative assistant to the National Dairy Research Laboratory in New York City. He took office in February of 1950.

This special committee which had been set up actually had but one basic purpose - to recommend the successor to Fister. However, President Cooper wisely asked its members to give other counsel and advice, since he knew that the views of such experienced men would be 'valuable.

The recommendations of this committee are interesting since they are essentially the same as those pinpointed by the U. S. Junior Chamber's own reorganization committee. The group called for:

  1. A controller to sign all checks.
  2. A board of directors with real power, and not one used as a mere rubber stamp of executive committee and staff decisions.
  3. Stricter curbs on the travel of vice presidents and staff.
  4. Definitely prescribed duties and powers for the executive vice president.

The Jaycees' reorganization committee was, of course, cheered by the fact that this special advisory committee saw things in the same light as it did since it helped supply confidence needed to push through its recommendations.

The special advisory committee was composed of three all-time Jaycee greats: Phil Ebeling, 1938-39 president who spark- plugged the "Ohio Plan" which had originally given the organization an integrated structure; Tom Reid, USJCC executive vice president from 1938-41, and Walter Finke, 1941-42 president noted for his management ability. Ebeling became one of Ohio's most prominent attorneys; Reid became head of Public Affairs for the Ford Motor Company, and Finke is President of Dat-o-matic Division of Minneapolis-Honeywell.

By the end of Cooper's term in office, the reorganization committee under the chairmanship Kenelm L. Shirk, Jr., of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, submitted its complete' recommendations in the form of a new set of bylaws and a new policy manual. Over 3,200 man-hours had gone into this work, which represented the most intensive study of its kind ever made in regard to the USJCC.

The reorganization committee had this to say about its report:

"This report is much like the Hoover Report or a zoning ordinance for your hometown." We will all probably not agree to all of it. We do, however, feel that it offers a basis for further efforts at modernization. "

This report, which was to go into effect under President Richard Kemler in 1950-51 and be brilliantly implemented by Robert Ladd - who had been hired as the new executive vice president effective February of 1950 - affected a complete reorganization of the fundamental structure of the organization. As Chairman Shirk explains:

"... we were concerned with providing a clear line of authority from the directly elected representatives of the members (the president) to not only other elected representatives (vice presidents, etc.) but, also, to the administrative staff. We were also concerned with making the board of directors something more than a rubber stamp. Cliff Cooper envisioned a procedure similar to the United States Congress. This was not possible on a two-house basis as we did not find it feasible. However, we did adopt the committee system of the congress which you know now as the planning group. The purpose of this was to give the individual director more to say and thus make the organization more responsible to the viewpoints of the people actually operating the national program on the local level.”

The work of this committee under Shirk - a national director from Pennsylvania -- is one of the most valuable contributions ever made to the organization. John Hamrick of Gaffney, South Carolina, also deserves credit for the groundwork laid along this line as head of the preliminary reorganization committee under President Bagwell. Hamrick was also a member of the committee under President Cooper.

President Cooper himself was the inspiration behind the reorganization, and it was due to his drive that the reorganization was carried through. In retrospect, this strong national leader was probably the most important one factor in the success of the USJCC's revamping.

The new executive vice president, Bob Ladd, was one of the most talented men to ever hold the post, and it was due to his work that the affairs of the organization were put into top-notch shape. The bulk of Ladd's implementation of the new policy was to come during 1950-51 under President Dick Kemler, but many changes were also made under Cooper. The accounting setup of the USJCC was completely overhauled. A $5,000 billing machine made control procedures effective.

The financial statement at the conclusion of Cooper's administration showed that there was a remarkable $35,000 surplus, and the outgoing board authorized part of this for a contingency reserve. The following year, close budgeting was to enable an addition to the contingency reserve and it totaled $25,000 at the close of Kemler’s administration.

One of the major developments since the time of Cooper was the tremendous growth of its contingency reserve, and it was this money which has put the organization in the position where it could be assured that it will survive periods of decreased income brought about by war, depression, etc.

Another important staff change under Cooper - in addition to the hiring of the new executive vice president - came as Raymond "Tex" Roberts, FUTURE Editor since 1947, resigned. He was replaced by William D. Mandle, effective with the September, 1949, issue.

The number one program of the year during 1949-50 was the promotion of the objectives of the Hoover Commission. As President Cooper explains, this project "identified the USJCC with one of the major public affairs issues and thus brought maturity and respect to the organization throughout the United States."

"I Speak for Democracy" registered progress, and approximately one million teenagers representing 28,000 high schools and 51 states and territories took part. The four national winners were brought to Washington in February to be honored and receive their scholarships and while there, were privileged to meet President Harry Truman.

The naming of the TOYM for 1949 took place at a banquet in Peoria, Illinois, on January 21, 1950. The ten winners were:

  • Harold Russell, national president of the AMVETS.
  • Gerald R. Ford, Jr., congressman from Michigan who .led a reformed movement directed against county and state political machines;
  • Charles Harding Percy, young president of Bell and Howell Company;
  • Robert L. Floyd, former Mayor of Miami, Florida;
  • Charles B. "Bud" Wilkerson, dynamic football coach of the University of Oklahoma;
  • Charles Edwin Hastings, inventor of important instruments in the field of aviation;
  • John Ben Shepperd, 1947-48 Jaycee president who originated the “Gladewater Plan” to fight communism in the United States;
  • Theodore Roosevelt, III, .Secretary of Commerce for the State of Pennsylvania;
  • Franklin D. Murphy, Dean of School of Medicine at the University of Kansas; and
  • Kenneth Sandborn Frazer, Director of U.S. Atomic Research.

The Junior Chamber International meeting for the year was held at Manila in March of 1950. President Cooper, his wife, and other officers; including North American JCI Vice President Mark Marlowe and National Vice President Al Cahill, were in attendance. Also on hand was Bob Richards, USJCC Executive Secretary of Internal Affairs.

Chosen the new JCI president at this meeting was Ramon V. Del Rosario of the Philippines. Al Cahill was named the North American Vice President for JCI.

The trip to the World Congress was combined with other international globetrotting by the U. S. Jaycees, and Cooper was the first man to go around the world in an effort to win friendships for the United States, and help extend JCI.

The Junior Golf championships for 1949 were held at Houston, Texas, with Bud Holscher copping the title in a field of 167 young linksmen from 40 states.

In regard to the War Memorial Headquarters, since almost $260,000 was available for construction on July 1, 1949, trustees had opened bids for the building, setting a deadline of March 20, 1950, for all applications. Final plans and specifications had been agreed upon by the trustees in February of 1950.

When bids were received, the lowest was for $384,000, far in excess of the $240,000 costs estimated by the architects. Plans were changed and new bids sought. This time, with a sub-basement, third-floor penthouse and extras such as an elevator, costly mural and imported flagstone terrace eliminated from the plans, an acceptable bid of $240,127 was received from the H. R. Lohman Company, Tulsa. The trustee s accepted this bid, and gave resident architect Donald Honn the authority to expend an additional $10,000 for necessary changes while the building was under construction.

The Korean War struck in late June of 1950, before a contract could be signed or work begun. The war was to kill any hopes of 190-day completion since it brought with it restrictions and material shortages.

Actual ground-breaking, contract signing, cornerstone ceremonies and the final dedication of the War Memorial Building were to come under Dick Kemler, the president who followed Cooper.

The 1949-50 administration was concluded at the national convention in Chicago. The highlight of this meeting was a keynote address by former president of the United States, Herbert Hoover. His appearance was particularly appropriate since the number one program for the year had been the backing of his committee's recommendations concerning reorganization in the executive branch of the federal government. One of the resolutions at Chicago reaffirmed faith in the Hoover Report's recommendations.

Another interesting move at Chicago included adoption of the "National Jaycee March" as an official Jaycee song. The "March" was composed by Bill Hurley, Fort Smith, Arkansas.

A gathering of "X-Jaycees" or Crew members was held in conjunction with the convention. More than 100 attended, including 12 past national presidents.

Chosen president for the corning year was Dick Kemler of Marshalltown, Iowa, who was named on the second ballot. His opponents, Ralph Rohweder of Illinois and Floyd Stewart of Missouri, conceded the election.


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