Coca-Cola’s newest independent bottler serves communities in Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and Nebraska.
In April 2016, Heartland
Junior’s interest in the
“We immediately thought of
“And without hesitation, he said ‘Yes, of course!’”
Coke’s commitment to the community was impressive, but a tour of the bottler warehouse and distribution facility piqued his interest as an investor and businessman.
“I was amazed to walk around and see stacks and stacks of beverages, and the trucks rolling in,” he said. “It just seemed like a fun environment and something I think was always in the back of my mind.”
Junior is now the president and CEO of
“I am the least important person here,” Junior says. “Everybody that makes everything happen day-to-day, all the way up to the customers, that’s who is really important. I am just here to support and figure out how to make what they do better, easier and fun.”
Junior’s team ethos drives him to make Heartland work—not only as part of the larger
“When I first came here, I would see on the walls the jerseys of people who had been with
Since joining the company last year, Bridgeman has made a point to meet with mayors, council people and other local businesses—not just in Kansas City and St. Louis, but in smaller communities as well.
“We want to talk about what they have going on in their communities and how we can help. We will take all of their ideas and then figure out what we can do to make an impact, to get more involved, to make a difference in what’s going on. It’s not what can
Among the organizations Heartland supports are Crittenton Children’s Center at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City and the Crisis Nursery and St. Patrick Center in St. Louis. Bridgeman has also personally supported the founding of several basketball camps and a Louisville boys’ school for children that were homeless.