Michael Faber, left, CEO of Viking Coca-Cola in Minnesota; Edwin 'Cookie' Rice, chairman and CEO, Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Company; Wes Elmer, retired president, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England; Sandy Williams, chairman, Corinth Coca-Cola Bottling Works; and John Gould, executive director, Coca-Cola Bottlers' Association. Rice, Elmer and Williams were recognized as 'Living Legends' at the CCBA's centennial celebration.
One hundred years ago, the territory size of a Coca-Cola Bottler was determined by the delivery capacity of a mule. The bottling business has changed drastically since that time, and the Coca-Cola Bottlers’ Association (CCBA) has driven innovation and supported Bottlers every step of the way.
CCBA will mark its 100-year anniversary and recognize the pivotal role of independent Bottlers in the Coca-Cola system with a special celebration at the World of Coca-Cola on Aug. 19, 2013. Bart Gobeil, chief operating officer of the state of Georgia, will present a commendation to the association on behalf of Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. This honor recognizes the unique impact that CCBA has made in supporting the local communities in which its members operate, according to the association release.
“Since the earliest days of Coca-Cola, our bottling partners have been integral to the Coca-Cola system’s growth and success,” said Steve Cahillane, executive vice president and president of Coca-Cola Americas, in a prepared statement. “With the help of The Coca-Cola Bottlers’ Association, our Coca-Cola products are refreshing the world, inspiring moments of optimism and happiness, more than 1.8 billion times per day.”
While the anniversary celebration of CCBA will take center stage, the evening will also feature the announcement of three “Living Legends” from the ranks of the Bottling Community. The distinction recognizes outstanding contributions to the bottling system by strengthening CCBA, improving the industry, fostering collaboration among bottlers or supporting strategic philanthropy. These unique awards were created as part of CCBA’s Centennial celebration and recipients will be selected from a list of 14 distinguished nominees. As the culmination of weeks of voting, the announcement will add a sense of drama to the festivities.
CCBA has played a critical role not only within the Coca-Cola system but in the industry for the past 100 years. From its early adoption of the iconic contour bottle to the development of product liability protection, the association has been at the forefront of innovation in the beverage industry. As product and packaging development accelerates, the ingenuity and close partnership of Coca-Cola’s independent bottlers is more crucial than ever.
“Over the past century, the Coca-Cola Bottlers’ Association has continually developed and redefined the beverage business,” said John Gould, executive director of CCBA. “Now, we eagerly renew our promise for the next century: to enhance the business of our members, to unite the system through new opportunities and challenges and to leave communities better and happier than we found them.”
Thanks to its network of 69 independent Coca-Cola bottlers operating throughout the United States, CCBA has long been characterized by its members’ local roots. The bottlers of CCBA serve local customers, fuel local economies and make a positive difference where they live and work. Over the past decade alone, CCBA’s Foundation donated more than $30 million to a variety of local charities, including educational institutions and youth organizations that encourage active, healthy lifestyles.
“The Coca-Cola Bottlers’ Association helps empower us as members to leave a positive mark everywhere we do business,” said Claude Nielsen, chairman of the board and CEO, Coca-Cola United, a CCBA member. “As a local face of Coca-Cola, our company is privileged to play an important role in the communities in which we operate and contribute to the success of the world’s most recognized brand.”
In further tribute to CCBA’s commitment to philanthropy and community, the evening’s program will feature a performance by acclaimed violinist and Coca-Cola Scholar Jourdan Urbach. The Atlanta Young Singers (AYS) will also entertain guests with fun, Coke-themed songs. The AYS program is a non-profit choral group that has provided musical training and service opportunities to Atlanta youth since 1975. Today it offers five different choirs with a total of more than 210 young artists, ranging from age seven to 18.