And the 2020 Josiah Marvel Cup goes to … Gerret and Tatiana Copeland
WILMINGTON ““ Well-known Delaware philanthropists Gerret and Tatiana Copeland were named the recipients of the prestigious Josiah Marvel Cup Award at the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce’s 183rd annual dinner Monday, Jan. 6, in front of more than 1,000 business leaders, elected officials, and state dignitaries.
The Copelands were recognized for their contribution to the state, community, or society, and were introduced with a video featuring high-profile business leaders and nonprofit executives. The state chamber’s highest honor is named in memory of the late Josiah Marvel, who reorganized the state chamber and served as its first president in 1913.
Gerret, a member of the du Pont family, started his career in finance where he developed a successful New York Stock Exchange brokerage firm. He also helped establish the Brandywine Conservancy in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. Gerret is active with Longwood Gardens, The Mount Cuba Center for Piedmont Flora, and serves as chairman of the Delaware Art Museum.
After earning a bachelor’s degree at UCLA and her MBA at the University of California at Berkeley, Tatiana went to work for Price Waterhouse. She then worked at DuPont Company’s European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Soon after she returned to DuPont in Delaware. She serves on the board of The Grand Opera House and chaired the Delaware Symphony Orchestra.
Together, the Copelands have made a tremendous impact on the community, particularly the arts. They are involved with organizations likes Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art, Brandywine Valley SPCA, ChristianaCare, Delaware Art Museum, Delaware College of Art and Design, Delaware Historical Society, Delaware Humane Association, Delaware Symphony Orchestra, Delaware Theatre Company, Fund for Women at the Delaware Community Foundation, Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay, the Grand Opera House, Kalmar Nyckel Foundation, Longwood Foundation, Longwood Gardens, Mt. Cuba Center for Piedmont Flora, OperaDelaware, and the University of Delaware, to name a few.
Patrick Carroll, executive director of the Delaware Humane Association (DHA), called the Copelands “lifesavers for our organization.”
“Not only do they provide very generous support, they share good advice, set a wonderful example for others, and they embrace our mission,” he said. “Their two DHA alumni [adoptees], Billie and Orrie, have given them an impactful glimpse into what we do every day to save animals. The Copelands have provided them with a wonderful home, and our tagline, “˜Making Friends for Life’ truly describes their connection to DHA.”
“What would this city and state be like without them,” asked Sam Sweet, executive director and CEO of the Delaware Art Museum, which received a $15 million pledge from the Copelands in early 2018. “Although many people may think of them as philanthropists, they truly are impact investors to make a better future ““ through their support, organizations like the Museum can inspire creativity, foster innovation, encourage kids to dream, and bring people together. The impact of their support makes this a better place for all of us. Their support is transformative.”
Other community leaders joined in praising the role the Copelands have played in moving Delaware forward, including The Grand Executive Director Mark Fields; Bank of America Delaware Market President Chip Rossi; and Dr. Janice Nevin, president and CEO of ChristianaCare Health System.
“There are no other people that have had the same profound effect on the local arts community in the last decade as Tatiana and Gerret Copeland,” Fields said. “Many of our institutions owe our current financial health and forward progress to them. But they are just as generous with their guidance, expertise, and personal networks. We are deeply grateful on behalf of the communities we serve.”
“We are thankful to the Copelands for all they do in our community,” Rossi added. “As they have said previously, ‘with privilege comes responsibility,’ and it is clear that Tatiana’s and Gerret’s support for so many critical organizations across the state has contributed to a better Delaware.”
“For many years, Gerret and Tatiana have been visionary, philanthropic leaders in our community,” Dr. Nevin said. “Their generosity and support have directly and positively impacted the health and wellbeing of thousands of our friends and neighbors ““ and will continue to do so for years to come.”
The Delaware State Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to promoting an economic climate that strengthens the competitiveness of Delaware businesses and benefits citizens of the state. Founded in 1837 as the Wilmington Board of Trade, the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce has a long history as the largest, most influential business organization in the state.
By Peter Osborne