Alisa Cooper joined the New Jersey Casino Control Commission in August 2012 following her appointment by Governor Chris Christie. In December 2014, she was reappointed to a full five-year term.
Cooper started at the commission at a challenging time for Atlantic City’s gaming industry as a weak economy and increased competition from neighboring states had a serious impact on the industry. She was involved in major decisions which allowed the industry to adapt to the changed market conditions and to reinvent itself and attract visitors to Atlantic City for more than just gambling. Through that period, she helped to maintain the high standards of integrity and public confidence in the industry and the regulatory process.
A native of Atlantic City and an alumna of Atlantic City High School, Cooper attended the University of Maryland, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education. She went on to a long career in the music and entertainment industry and owned "Alisa Cooper Orchestras" for several decades. During her career, she played piano at the famous “500 Club” and opened Resorts International Casino Hotel in 1978. She entertained at parties for Tony Bennett, Jerry Seinfeld, Dom DeLuise, Neil Sedaka…as well as countless sports celebrities. With her orchestra, and in a volunteer capacity, she has performed for numerous benefits and fundraisers including Gilda’s Club, American Cancer Society, March of Dimes, American Heart Association and South Jersey AIDS Alliance – just to name a few. In 2008, Cooper was named a member of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, giving her an opportunity to promote music and the arts throughout the state. Cooper’s lifelong passion for music also led to a long career as a music educator.
In 2005, Cooper followed in the footsteps of her late mother – Assemblywoman Dolores Cooper – and entered public service, winning an “at-large” seat on the Atlantic County Board of Chosen Freeholders. She was re-elected in 2008. While a Freeholder, she chaired the Education and Schools Committee and served as a member of several committees including the Tourism, Gaming and Marketing Committee, Commission on Women and the Local Advisory Council on Drug and Alcohol Abuse.
Commissioner Cooper is a member numerous civic, charitable, professional and philanthropic organizations. Throughout her career, she has been the recipient of several awards for her charitable activities donating her time, energy and talents to many causes and organizations. Cooper was the recipient of the 2009 “Humanitarian of the Year” award by the Columbus Day Committee of Atlantic County and, in 2010, was honored by the Atlantic County Composite Squadron in recognition for outstanding assistance to the Civil Air Patrol. In 2014, Cooper was inducted into the Atlantic County Women's Hall of Fame for her years of contributions in the areas of public service and government.
Her commitment to Atlantic County is well-known as she has sponsored fundraisers raising thousands of dollars for The Food Bank of South Jersey and the Atlantic County Animal Shelter. Cooper is an advocate for animal-rights causes and, as an Atlantic County Freeholder, backed several initiatives that helped the Atlantic County Animal Shelter.
Cooper lives in Linwood with her husband Doug Little and their son, David Cooper Little, who is a student at Widener University Delaware Law School.