The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) recently honored Coca-Cola Chairman Muhtar Kent with the William H. Albers Award for his commitment to trade relations and consumer service. The FMI saluted Kent for helping secure long-term, sustainable growth at The Coca-Cola Company by reshaping its global bottling system and expanding and diversifying its portfolio of beverage brands.

Kent said he believes one of the Coca-Cola system’s longtime strengths has been the intense collaboration between the company and its franchise bottling partners. He also values personal relationships.

“Leadership starts with establishing a vision for growth and then putting the right people and organizations in place to pursue that vision,” Kent said. “Strengthening those partner relationships for long-term vibrancy has always been one of my highest priorities.”

FMI also honored Ern Sherman, who recently retired from Coca-Cola as vice president, retail industry affairs, for his role in overseeing the company's relationships with the industry's primary associations and the work of the two North America Coca-Cola Retailing Research Councils.

The recognition was part of FMI’s 2019 Executive Leadership Awards. FMI represents food retailers and wholesalers and develops and promotes policies, programs and forums supporting its members, their customers and supplier partners, and other industry stakeholders.