December 3, 1997
On Wednesday, December 3, 1997 Jim O’Brien, pastor of UCG Cincinnati North and Lexington, KY congregations and I visited with former McDonald’s vice-president and ombudsman, Mr. John D. Cooke. We were guests at his home in Galena, Illinois where he and his wife Marge have retired. Jim O’Brien has been a friend of Mr. Cooke for many years, going back to the time when they both lived in Paducah, Kentucky.
Our discussions were most enlightening as we discussed organizational and management philosophy.
Here is some advice that Mr. Cooke had given us.
Speaking about boards working with CEO’s, he stated that the most successful corporations have strong CEO’s working with a strong board where there is a lot of interaction. He said it was very important for every board member to know the company’s by-laws forwards and backwards. The duty of board members is to make the company successful. In meetings board members need to speak up. Silence means assent.
UCG pastor Jim O’Brien with John D. Cooke
Victor Kubik and John D. Cooke
John Cooke strongly recommended that a new organization like the United Church of God be focused on educating future ministers and make that a priority. In working with McDonald’s, he said it was very important for the all those who worked for McDonald’s to uphold the identity and image of McDonald’s whether it was in the United States, Asia or Europe or wherever.
He said it was important for board members to develop proper alliances among themselves to get business accomplished.
Jim O’Brien and I found our talk with Mr. John Cooke most enlightening. While he has worked for a business corporation, many principles could be well applied to working together in our Church environment.