G&J Pepsi has been named the Donald M. Kendall Bottler Of The Year for 2020. The award was presented by PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta and PBNA CEO Kirk Tanner at an awards ceremony held Wednesday, March 23, 2022 (previously delayed due to COVID restrictions.)
Named for PepsiCo’s former chairman and chief executive officer, the Donald M. Kendall Bottler of the Year Award was created in 1994 to honor the very best of the best among independent Pepsi-Cola bottlers in the United States and Canada. After receiving its second consecutive BOY nomination, G&J’s Eastern Market (Athens) took home the top honor.
In 2020, the G&J team helped lead their overall success in the Eastern Ohio market by delivering growth year-over-year, investing in brand building and allocating capital infrastructure into best-in-class capabilities. The G&J team took an active role in helping support their consumers and community during significant economic challenges by aiding local food pantries, veteran initiatives and arts programs.
“In 2020, our bottlers raised the bar on performance, all while supporting their communities during a time of need. This is exactly what the Donald M. Kendall Bottler of the Year Award looks to celebrate,” said Richard Glover, President of PBNA’s North Division. “In the face of unprecedented challenges, G&J delivered. This commitment to the Athens community and our Pepsi partnership made them our 2020 Bottler of the Year.”
Each year, PepsiCo makes a donation to a nonprofit community organization of each Donald M. Kendall Bottler of the Year finalist’s choosing. G&J selected the Athens Food Pantry.
Also honored as Donald M. Kendall Bottler of the Year finalists were Mount Shasta Bottling of Mt Shasta, Calif. in the West Division, McAlester Pepsi of McAlester, Okla. in the Central Division, Allen Beverages, Inc. of Gulfport, Miss. in the South Division and Arctic Beverages LP, Winnipeg, Manitoba from the Canada Division.
Tim Trant, CEO, accepted the award on G&J’s behalf. Others who attended the ceremony included Rick Kaplan, John Dougherty, Bill Stemm, Brady Pendergast, Mike Niehaus, and Nick Kuhn. Mike Brown was unable to attend due to previous personal commitments. We were joined by our PepsiCo franchise support team Derek Jones, Linzy Smith, Greg Ordway, Mitch Leopold and Paul Finney.