Six Awards Handed Out to Supplier Diversity Champions and Partners

ATLANTA, Aug. 28, 2012 -- The Coca-Cola Company honored a group of internal advocates and external partners for their valuable contributions to its supplier diversity success at the Company's 2012 Partners in the Promise awards celebration on July 19 th.

The event chronicled the evolution of the Company's Supplier Diversity program and explored how the process continues to change to meet the needs of the marketplace, communities and business.

"We're here tonight, 12 years into our supplier diversity journey, with the wind at our backs," said Terrez Thompson, Vice President of Global Supplier Diversity at The Coca-Cola Company. "When you consider the dynamics of the way the world is unfolding and the current business environment, it's plain to see that demographics are changing at lightning speed. The business world is multi-faceted, multicultural and diverse beyond what the architects of diversity programs in the 20th century could have ever imagined. We see programs such as ours as key to exploring and exploiting this brave new world."

In 2000, the Company committed to spend $800 million with minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) over a five-year period. The Company exceeded this goal, spending $1 billion during the period, and by 2009, had increased its diverse spend by nearly 700 percent. Of note, in 2011, Coca-Cola spent $766 million with MWBEs, up from $652 million in 2010 even during its integration North American operations.

"When we spend money in the communities where we do business, the people in those communities reciprocate by spending money with us. Everyone wins when we work together," said Ron Lewis, Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer at The Coca-Cola Company.

Awards were given in six categories to individuals and partners for their commitment to supplier diversity: the Chairman's Supplier Diversity Award, Outstanding Leadership Award, Buyer of the Year Award, Advocate of the Year Award, Champion of the Year Award, and Partners in the Promise Award.

The Chairman's Award went to Michael London, Director of the General Packaging Procurement Team at The Coca-Cola Company. London faced aggressive integration and cost savings targets in 2011, yet his team delivered more than $26.5 million in diversity spending last year, including $17.5 million in first-tier spending.

The Outstanding Leadership Award was given to Mark Shaughnessy, Senior Vice President of Procurement at Coca-Cola Refreshments. Under Shaughnessy's leadership, the CCR Procurement team purchased more than $484 million in products and services from diverse suppliers last year.

The Buyers of the Year Award was given to IT Global Procurement Managers Karin Stern and Don Herndon who utilized diverse IT firms in their areas of responsibility to the tune of more than $80 million in combined spend.

The Advocate of the Year Award went to Danise Van Vuuren, Senior Managing Counsel for Trademarks and Intellectual Property. The IP Team increased 58 percent of the Legal Function's supplier diversity commitment for 2011. The team boosted its 2012 commitment by 20 percent, and is currently at 63 percent of the Legal Function's diversity spend year-to-date.

The Champion of the Year Award was given to Joseph Raia, Director of Procurement, Production Equipment/MRO & Energy for Coca-Cola Refreshments, whose team's diverse spend in 2011 topped $86 million.

The Partners in the Promise Awards went to Harris & Ford, Prosys Information Systems, and Ball Corporation. Harris & Ford has been a Coca-Cola supplier for more than 10 years, and supplies more than 26 ingredients to the Company. Now the second-largest supplier to Coca-Cola in North America, Harris & Ford provides a unique importation service that allows the Company to use eight international manufacturers. Prosys Information Systems has been a Coca-Cola partner delivering customized IT solutions since 2001; with Prosys, the Company's spending with the women-owned business enterprise has grown from $2 million to more than $42 million. The final honoree was the Ball Corporation, a worldwide metal packaging and aerospace company that makes billions of recyclable metal containers and designs solutions for scientific and technical challenges; its reported direct spend with diverse suppliers for CCR was more than $11 million in 2011.

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, the world's most valuable brand, our Company's portfolio features 15 billion dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.8 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system employees. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter at