WHO ARE WE?
In a nutshell, our founding team includes Fred and Natasha Ruckel: most recently inventors of the Ripple Rug, and lawyer Paula Brillson Phillips, who’s life’s passion is to help steer, protect and empower inventors. More about the founders can be read in biographies below.
However, we feel it’s important to address why we called this organization the ‘Randy Cooper Foundation’.
While we (Fred and Natasha), were trying to identify who had created a national TV campaign for a knock-off using our very own ‘Ripple Rug’ product, we uncovered several other knock-offs marketed by unscrupulous bad guys. One of the knock-offs in question was the ‘Spyder Sprinkler’. Further investigations led us to the original product, which is called the NoodleHead Sprinkler. We reached out to Noodlehead Sprinkler using the contact information on their website, and were very sad to learn that Randy Cooper, the inventor, had passed away. On talking more with Marlene, Randy’s wife, we discovered that they had been fighting knock-offs of their sprinkler for many years, bringing a significant degree of stress and financial hardship as a result.
The more we learned of Randy Cooper, the more we were impressed with his creativity, his determination, his courage, his professionalism and his dream of helping other inventors, while still creating his own inventions. To us Randy embodies the spirit of the American Inventor. We hope that through this foundation we can uphold Randy’s honesty, integrity, generosity and drive to make the world a better place.
Randy Cooper June 25, 1947 – March 29, 2015
Randy Cooper was a mechanical design engineer for 35 years. Since 1987 he had been creating designs in AutoCad.
He was a first born of three brothers and raised in Illinois.
When he was young, he was a paper boy, an altar boy, and an eagle scout. He also worked as a supermarket produce clerk, he delivered pizzas, he bussed tables and he worked in loading docks.
However, his first big break was when he got his first “real” job as a Draftsman. Thereafter Randy continued to design throughout his life.
Randy’s more recent invention is the Noodlehead Sprinkler
As an avid gardener, who lived on a steeply sloped property, Randy had trouble finder a sprinkler that could solve his watering problems. Randy was disappointed that of all the water systems on the market, none seemed to get the job done. They all appeared to have shortcomings. After watching his wife put ‘Benders’ in her hair, Randy had the ‘eureka’ moment and started to develop prototypes. After years of development and refinement, the Noodlehead was accepted for patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office and received Patent # 5,826,803.
Randy’s previous inventions included: the Windex trigger sprayer; the Beckman heavy duty multi-meter, an electronic testing device; the toilet for the Boeing 757; the Rainbird Impulsilator (an oscillator sprinkler that uses an impulse drive instead of the usual turbine drive); the Dancing Waters oscillator sprinkler and the 6-station solid state Irrigation Controller.
Randy also built, from scratch, the world’s first mid-engine Corvair by stuffing a 327 cubic inch V8 into where the back seat used to be.
During the early 90’s Randy made the decision to work for himself rather than a corporation. It took him a little longer to actually implement that decision.
Randy became disillusioned with working for a large corporation. He felt that he worked really hard for a little paycheck, and then others took credit for his ideas The big kicker for Randy, was when he lost his job, through no fault of his own. At the time he was working at a manufacturing facility, where 140 engineering personnel were fired at the same time.
It was observed, by one of Randy’s friends, that Randy accomplished more in just one day, than most people could in a week and that his work ethic was a true inspiration. When asked why the relentless desire to improve virtually everything he encountered; Randy would reply that he just wanted to make the world a better place.
WE’RE INSPIRED TO HELP INVENTORS:
We understand the difficulties and pitfalls faced by inventors. As inventors, we’ve been there. To this day, we still grapple with different disciplines daily. The biggest struggle is: not having enough hours in the day, not enough money to finance the invention and not enough expertise in every field. There are just so many facets of turning an idea into a million-dollar selling product.
Perhaps you’ve invented the best thing since sliced-bread. Or perhaps you’ve just discovered a better way to slice bread, Whichever scenario applies to you, you’ve still got a long way to go before having a successful product. It’s difficult to find a viable way to manufacture, distribute and market your product. That’s only half of the battle. You’ll need to protect your invention, your trademarks and your copyrights, to name but a few things. All of this boils down to you’re going to need help, because it’s very difficult to successfully control all of these aspects by yourself.
As we traveled down the road of invention, our discoveries unlocked: battles against knock-offs, unscrupulous infringers, spineless arbitragers, slap-dash manufacturers, fake-reviewers, entitled bloggers, unlawful marketers, deceitful production companies (the list goes on). We came to a realization – inventors need help, support, education, legal advice, funding and empowerment.
The idea for a foundation to support home-grown inventors was born.
Whilst at Quantel, Natasha started as a Graphic Designer, but soon progressed to Product Demonstrator then Product Manager. While there, she spent time at the BBC News & Current Affairs Department, as well as several other large broadcasters around the world, providing training and graphics to well-known networks (e.g., NBC, CTV and FOX to name but a few).
Close involvement with global markets, TV graphics, innovation and product research led Natasha to undertake post-graduate studies in marketing.
Having completed in marketing, Natasha worked at several technology companies, namely, Content Technologies, Baltimore Technologies (Theale, UK), Oxford GlycoSciences and Confirmant, (Abingdon, UK).
During 2002, Natasha joined the EMEA Media & Entertainment Division of Autodesk, based in London, UK. Natasha evolved the global marketing and product brand strategy for Autodesk’s Media & Entertainment solutions.
Natasha then relocated to Montreal, to the worldwide headquarters of the Media & Entertainment Division of Autodesk. The role required creation of all global marketing for new product launches targeting the television post-production industry.
Eighteen months later, Natasha moved to NYC, where her role as Social Media Director at a billion-dollar global consulting company (Resources Global Professionals, NY, NY), was to direct the social media initiative in a highly-regulated legal and financial environment.
Natasha then became Creative Content Director at Momentum (Manhattan-based digital agency), where she was responsible for writing, producing and directing a range of content, (e.g. video and VP/executive presentations for notable clients such as American Express, American Express OPEN – The Small Business Division, Microsoft, Google and William Grant). Working on the American Express OPEN account afforded Natasha the opportunity to help develop strategy and content for several large small-business summits, e.g. The New York Times Small Business Summit, NY, NY. Working with OPEN also allowed Natasha to meet and work with many small business owners and entrepreneurs, whose resilience and imagination inspire her still to this day.
As 2011 came to a close, Fred Ruckel, launched a new company called RuckSackNY, a digital full-service marketing and advertising agency. As RuckSackNY grew, Natasha joined forces with Fred. From concept to final project delivery: writing, producing, directing and creating campaigns, Natasha’s aim was to help both small and large companies achieve their communication, product launch and branding goals. (e.g. American Express, OPEN, P&G, SnugglyCat Inc. etc.).
During 2015 Natasha and Fred decided to try bringing a brand new innovation to the market the Ripple Rug.
Together Natasha and Fred launched, managed the manufacturing, marketed and turned the Ripple Rug into a million-dollar revenue-generating pet product.
Fred has over 25 year’s experience in traditional and digital advertising. He currently holds the role of Creative Director and inventor. During his career, he has held positions such as Director of Technical Operations, Engineer, Visual Effects Artist, Executive Producer, Producer, Video Editor, Colorist, Media Encoder, Information Technology Forensic Investigator, and Technology Consultant.
Fred has created hundreds of commercials for clients such as: Pepsi, Mountain Dew, 7up, Coke, Powerade, Lays, Adidas, Reebok, Puma, American Express, Kohl’s, Chevron, Exxon/Mobil, Chase, GMC, Volvo, Jaguar, Toyota, Sylvania, Merrill Lynch, AT&T, Verizon, Hasbro, Play-Doh, Tonka, Entertainment Weekly, NHL, NFL, MLB, ESPN, US Olympics, Cisco, HBO, Showtime, Starz, Comcast, Xfinity, MTV, Nickelodeon, History Channel, National Geographic, Biography, TNT, Nikon, Canon, Proctor and Gamble, Snuggle, Tide, Heinz, Always, Playtex, Tampax, Quilted Northern, Charmin, Angel Soft, CoverGirl, Maybelline, Nivea, Redken, Tresseme, Lysol, JetDry, Head and Shoulders, Sports Illustrated, Pfizer, Roche, Red Cross, Hertz, Champion, DIY Network, Museum of Modern Art, Central Park, and NY Lotto. He has also Creatively Directed SuperBowl commercials for Pepsi and Lays.
Fred created digital billboard advertisements for the Nasdaq building, Reuters and ABC in Times Square; the banner and main screen in Madison Square Garden, the Jumbotron at the US Open and the Fuji blimp.
Fred served on the technology advisory board of Post Magazine for twelve years. He has also been a technology advisor for Post Perspective for the past two years. Fred has also been a Technology Consultant for Gerson Lehman Group for ten years. As well as a speaker at Production East, Creative Content World and CreativeSphere.
Fred attended the National Association of Broadcasters Conference for 15 years. He has been a panel speaker at Production East HD World Conference, Creative Content World Conference and CreativeSphere.
Fred’s work has been published in publications such as: Entrepreneur, Inc, CNBC, Investors Business Daily, Film and Video, BackStage Shoot, Post, Post Perspective, Shots International, and Millimeter. Fred was also featured on NPR Planet Money.
Fred’s experience in eCommerce extends to Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Walmart, Shopify and ShipStation. Fred achieved #1 best seller status Amazon.com more than 12 times. His product led to Marketplace sales exceeding one million dollars.
Paula Brillson Phillips has built her career advising start-up companies and mentoring hundreds of individual inventors worldwide to navigate the complex process of getting a business or product off the ground.
She also works directly with executives to help them make effective decisions to protect their intellectual property, meet their business goals, and leverage the value of what they have already created.
For more than 20 years, she has successfully navigated hundreds of small businesses through the legal hurdles they face in starting and running their businesses. She represents clients in investigative and enforcement proceedings brought by the Federal Trade Commission, state attorneys general, district attorneys, and other federal and state agencies with jurisdiction over advertising and marketing practices.
Paula acts as a litigation consultant and settlement specialist for intellectual property infringement and consumer fraud cases. Paula is the Managing Partner of Digital Law Group, LLP. She received her J.D. from Rutgers Law School in 1993.