A Message from Our Executive Director
Is there anything more powerful than collaboration? Is there anything more challenging, yet ultimately rewarding, than talking with people who may disagree with you? Our members continue to impress me by their willingness to engage in both. And the results are real progress on difficult issues. Early in my tenure at the association, a landmark agreement between our member companies and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation radically changed the beverage landscape in schools. It was gratifying to revisit this work (highlighted in this edition) and remember what new ground it broke. What began as a national voluntary agreement to remove full calorie soft drinks in schools became the foundation upon which many state statutes (Ohio among them) were written and federal nutrition rules were based. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation approached our industry with an open mind—an ability to listen “around” their biases as public health leaders to an industry that many of their colleagues maligned and dismissed. By respectfully engaging with our members, the Alliance chose dialogue over debate. That choice resulted in a 90% reduction in school beverage calories. It also made future projects like the Balance Calories Initiative possible. This sincere desire to address a shared problem continues with marketing changes, increased beverage choices at retail and conversations with elected officials, faith leaders and public health policymakers. In this edition, we highlight a recent market tour that brought a diverse group together to explore what these efforts look like in an Akron grocery store. And the latest collaboration between our industry and some of this country’s preeminent environmental groups, shows me once again that there can be real connection across differences. The “Every Bottle Back” initiative will leverage national, state and local efforts to increase plastics recycling and PET recycled content use. More in this edition on this bold effort. By engaging-- repeatedly, consistently and respectfully with diverse groups, our industry continues its legacy of real leadership for real change. Kimberly McConville, CAE Executive Director
On Board: Get to Know Tom Sullivan
Unit Sales Manager Pepsico Beverage North America Lima
Q: How long have you worked in the industry? A: 33 years Q: What led you to the industry? A: During my early teenage years I spent summers shadowing my father, who worked in the industry for 44 years. After experiencing the fast pace and new challenges, I knew this was my career path. Q: What’s your favorite beverage? A: Diet Pepsi Q: What’s the biggest change you’ve witnessed during your tenure in the industry? A: Moving from the dominate CSD (carbonated soft drink) portfolio during the 1980-1990s to a total beverage portfolio with a new and complex go-to-market strategy. Q: Tell us about your best round of golf. A: I'd like to think that my best round is still ahead of me, but I do enjoy every opportunity that I get to play.
Q: What makes Ohio a great place to do business?
Friendly business environment
Reliable and affordable energy
Diverse work culture that’s generating new and exciting ideas
Q: What do you think our industry has to offer recent grads?
Career development is second to none.
Work and life cohesion.
Flexible work hours, focusing on productivity vs. hours worked.
The opportunity to impact the communities we live and work in.
Q: What industry challenges do you see in the next five years?
Adapting the shift toward e-commerce
Keeping product diversity fresh and exciting
Bringing #BalanceOH to Northeast Ohio
On November 19, OhioBev members Coca-Cola Consolidated, Keurig Dr Pepper and PepsiCo Beverages North America hosted a #BalanceOH Market Tour at Marc's Supermarket in Akron. Attendees included local elected officials, public health representatives and the local faith community. Member companies had the opportunity to showcase the Balance Calories Initiative in action through their expanded portfolio and innovative options in response to consumer's evolving tastes. After touring the beverage aisles, attendees participated in a productive discussion where they had the opportunity to ask us questions about our industry. These market tours give OhioBev and our members the opportunity to build relationships and collaborate further with diverse groups of people. Where will we head to next? Stay tuned...
Let's Get Every Bottle Back in Ohio
According to the Rochester Institute of Technology, more than 22 million pounds of plastic end up in our Great Lakes. America Recycles Week is a reminder that more needs to be done to protect our planet. We know that Ohioans are frustrated when they see plastic bottles wash up on the shores of Lake Erie. America’s leading beverage companies share in that frustration and are committed to preventing plastic bottles from ending up in places they do not belong. Recently, the American Beverage Association brought together an unprecedented coalition with the shared goal of building a circular economy for plastic bottles. Together, The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr Pepper and PepsiCo, joined environmental and sustainability leaders World Wildlife Fund, The Recycling Partnership and Closed Loop Partners to launch the Every Bottle Back initiative.