Goodbye 2017

I will step into the usual December cliché and tell you that this year has been hectic. But the word hectic doesn’t really capture all that our Ohio members have done. It also doesn’t convey how extraordinary it is when rivals who live to beat one another in sales join forces for something bigger than their “partisan” interests. Examples abound and I marvel at how our efforts stretched across this state.

We collectively launched our take on Balance Calories, a national industry-wide initiative to help people cut beverage calories and make informed choices about what they consume. Key Dayton area members stepped up on an environmental cleanup effort at a recycling facility that ran off the rails. We helped Cincinnati First Lady Cranley with her health initiative, donating time and products. In Toledo we cut the ribbon on another NEOS 360 play system for residents and visitors to their new waterfront metro park.

Again and again, fierce competitors at Coke, Dr Pepper and Pepsi reached across their battle lines and united for good public policy, community action and consumer education.

And one of the greatest gifts of 2017 was the collective effort of citizens, grocers, policy makers and employees to repeal a job killing soda tax in Chicago. It will be a brighter holiday for Chicagoans who saw through a cynical money grab by their elected leaders and demanded better.

Back home, it also demonstrated that we can never stop demonstrating our worth and talking to our elected officials about the economic importance of this industry.

Here in Ohio, the nearly 10,000 men and women who make up a vibrant beverage industry work long hours, give back to their communities and always find extra time to give back to the wider industry through this association. I am grateful for their time and incredibly proud to represent them.

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