Coca-Cola Beverages Florida Announces New Operating Model And Senior Leadership Changes To Accelerate Business Transformation

Feb. 9, 2018

TAMPA, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, LLC (Coke Florida), a family-owned, franchise Coca-Cola bottler, today announced that it has implemented a new operating model and made senior leadership appointments to support the next stages of the company’s transformational journey. The changes are designed to accelerate the company’s transformation into a growth-oriented, locally managed, customer-focused business. 

“Our new operating model is simplified, leaner, and more agile. It will allow us to move faster with the initiatives that are already under way to transform our company into a world-class sales, manufacturing, and distribution business. We are confident that these changes will help us drive sustainable growth and improvement by better serving the customers, consumers, and communities of the Sunshine State,” said Troy Taylor, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Coke Florida. 

As part of the new operating model, Thomas Benford has been promoted to the newly created position of Chief Commercial Officer. Mr. Benford will oversee an integrated commercial organization that brings together the Customer Relationship Management, Franchise Field Operations, Marketing, Enterprise Planning, Corporate Development, Franchise Relations, Risk Management, Sustainability, and Security functions. He joined the company as Vice President of Strategy and Planning at its founding as an independent Coca-Cola bottler in May 2015, and was promoted to Executive Vice President in May 2016. Mr. Benford will continue to report to Mr. Taylor, and will remain a member of the company’s Executive Leadership Team. 

Coke Florida announced the following structural changes and promotions on its commercial team, which reports to Mr. Benford: 

  • Sally Forsyth has been promoted to the expanded role of Vice President, Enterprise Planning. She will oversee the building of the company’s integrated capabilities and business processes to maximize profitable growth, in partnership with our customers. 
  • Joe Gentry has been named Vice President, Marketing. He will oversee the creation and localization of marketing programs to improve retail execution. Mr. Gentry was most recently Vice President and General Manager, South Florida Region. 
  • Jeff Ortmeier has been promoted to the new role of Vice President, General Manager-Franchise Field Operations. He will provide leadership to the company’s local territory managers. These leaders oversee the integration of sales, planning, manufacturing, distribution, and merchandising to improve local business outcomes, and are responsible for improving engagement with associates and the communities we serve. Mr. Ortmeier was most recently Vice President and General Manager, North Florida Region. 
  • Scott McLaughlin has been named Director, Commercial Capabilities. He will oversee the building and implementation of enterprise-wide, localized commercial capabilities to improve retail execution. 
  • Erin Black will continue as Vice President, Risk Management and Sustainability. She will also add Facilities Management to her duties. 
  • Mark Pitts will continue as Vice President, Corporate Development, and will add Franchise Relations to his duties. 
  • Jane Grout will continue as Vice President, Customer Relationship Management. 
  • Eric Ward will continue as Director, Security. Mr. Ward, who was Chief of the Tampa Police Department prior to joining Coke Florida, will also play a key role in the company’s Community Relations activities. 

“Florida is a fantastic market with a rich diversity of customers and consumers. Our new commercial structure is a key component of the plan to accelerate our transformational journey. I am confident that we are now better positioned to respond to the fast-changing needs of our customers and consumers, especially at the local level,” said Mr. Benford. 

Coke Florida also announced the following structural changes and promotions on its Executive Leadership Team, which reports to Mr. Taylor: 

  • Terrence Gee has been promoted to the new role of Senior Vice President, Technology and Enterprise Transformation. He will oversee information technology infrastructure and capabilities, program management of business transformation activities, and communications. Mr. Gee will help lead the planning and deployment of the company’s strategic projects aimed at improving customer value creation and enterprise-wide business performance. He was most recently Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer. 
  • Jason Reed has been promoted to the new role of Senior Vice President, Product Supply Network. He will oversee the Company’s manufacturing, warehouse, and distribution operations. Mr. Reed will lead upgrading the company’s manufacturing facilities and the integration of the company’s supply chain. He was most recently Senior Vice President, Manufacturing. Dale Yahrmatter, Vice President, Warehouse and Distribution Operations, now reports to Mr. Reed. 
  • David Cross will continue as Senior Vice President, Human Resources, and will add Public Affairs and Community Relations to his duties. 
  • Erika Noonburg-Morgan will continue as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer. 
  • Deborah Pond will continue as Senior Vice President, General Counsel. 

As a result of the newly implemented operating model, Reginald Goins has left the company to pursue other opportunities. Mr. Goins joined Coke Florida as President and Chief Operating Officer at its founding as an independent Coca-Cola bottler in 2015. He led the company’s sales, customer management, marketing, and distribution functions. Mr. Goins was instrumental in helping stand-up the company’s initial acquisition of Central Florida operations from The Coca-Cola Company, and in helping position the company to acquire additional operations in North Florida and South Florida from The Coca-Cola Company. The company’s President and Chief Operating Officer role has been eliminated. 

“I want to thank Reginald for all of his contributions to our company. He inspired us to daily polish our great Coca-Cola brands. We all wish him the very best in his future endeavors,” said Mr. Taylor. 

About Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, LLC 

Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, LLC (Coke Florida) is a family-owned, franchise Coca-Cola bottler. Coke Florida’s exclusive territory covers over 18 million consumers across 47 Florida counties, and includes the major metropolitan markets of Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Tampa. Coke Florida sells, manufactures, and distributes over 600 products of The Coca-Cola Company and other partner companies. Coke Florida is the third largest privately held Coca-Cola bottler and the sixth largest independent bottler of Coca-Cola products in the United States. Coke Florida was founded in 2015 and is headquartered in Tampa, Florida. For more information, please visit 


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