The Coca-Cola Company and its U.S. bottling partners are proud to employ and honor more than 4,000 veterans who make a positive impact on its company’s culture every day. Veterans from all branches of the armed forces bring unique skills, experiences and a shared sense of teamwork that are foundational to our company’s success. They also bring special qualities like duty, honor and discipline.

These are just a few of the veterans who continue to strengthen Coca-Cola through their legacy of service to our nation.

Pele Bagwell

Pele Bagwell

Reporting and Security Lead
North America Controller’s Group
Coca-Cola North America
Atlanta, Ga.

Capt. Pele Bagwell received his commissioned in the United States Navy in August 1991 upon graduating from the University of Florida Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps program. He was designated as a Supply Corps officer, responsible for managing the logistics, procurement, inventory, pay, financial management, and expenditure of material and funds. During his 10 years on active duty, Pele was assigned to the nuclear submarine, USS Birmingham (SSN-695), in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii as the Supply Officer; completed a tour with the Seawolf Submarine Program Office in Washington, D.C. as a financial management intern; and was assigned to the USS Frank Cable (AS-40) in Apra Harbor, Guam, as the Supply Operations Officer.

In 2002, Pele joined the Navy Reserve where he has served in a number of assignments including the Assistant Logistics Officer for Commander Sixth Fleet Detachment 802 in Marietta, Ga.; the Executive and Operations Officer for Navy Cargo Handling Battalion Twelve (NCHB-12) in Bessemer, Ala.; the Commanding Officer for Fleet Logistics Support Center Sigonella Detachment Alpha in Tampa, Fla; and the Commanding Officer for Navy Cargo Handling Battalion THIRTEEN (NCHB-13) in Gulfport, Miss. He is currently the Joint Team Lead for the Reserve Force at Defense Logistics Agency Distribution in Harrisburg, Penn.

He deployed to Kuwait in 2005 as part of Naval Expeditionary Logistics Support Group Forward Port Group Delta and to Afghanistan from 2011 to 2013 as a Joint Contingency Contracting Officer with Central Command Joint Theater Support Contracting Command.

Pele joined Coca-Cola in 2005 with the Corporate Controller’s Group as a financial services representative supporting the Africa, Pacific and North America regions. He also held an additional role within the Corporate Controller’s Group as the Integration and Financial Report Analyst before joining the North America Controller’s Group in 2016 as the Reporting and Security Lead on the Financial Systems Team. He credits the demanding requirements in the military positions he has held as the driving force in meeting deadlines on time and in producing quality work that exceeds expectations.

Herman Curry

Herman Curry

Director, Transshipping
Coca-Cola North America
Atlanta, Ga.

Col. Herman Curry served in the United States Air Force for 37 years. During his early years, he was an Aviator and flew missions in support of the Vietnam Campaign out of Korat Royal Air Base, Thailand. After completion of the Thailand tour, he was assigned to the 332nd Rescue and Recovery Squadron, Alconbury Royal Air Force Base, England. After five years in Europe, he returned to the United States and was discharged from active duty.

On April 8, 1974, a life-changing event occurred in Herman’s career and life. He was accepted as a new cadet in the Detroit Police Department (DPD) Academy. During his time in training, he was elected class president and graduated number three in his class, with honors. This was the beginning of a 30-year law enforcement career where he distinguished himself as a high performer and accelerated through the ranks, retiring in 2002 as Deputy Chief of Police.

While serving with the DPD, a strong desire to serve his country brought Herman back to the United States Air Force Reserve as an Operations Officer. During the 30 years that followed, he continued to distinguish himself as a leader and decorated warrior. Herman is one of the few military officers to have served in every major conflict since Vietnam, including Operation Eagle Claw, the Iran hostage rescue in 1980.

Herman joined Coca-Cola in 2006 and currently works to investigate any products transshipped outside of authorized territories. He credits his wife, Audrey, with providing the love, dedication and support required for his successful, service-filled career as an American Airman.

Peter Ferdinandson

Peter Ferdinandson

Manager, Vendor Governance
The Coca-Cola Company
Atlanta, Ga.

Chief Gunner’s Mate Surface Warfare Peter Ferdinandson joined the United States Navy after graduating Lincoln High School in Yonkers, New York in 1978. After completing Basic Training and Service Schools in Great Lakes, Ill., he was assigned to the 2nd Fleet on the USS Miller (FF 1091), a Fast Frigate stationed in Boston. While there, he completed his apprentice training and then returned to Great Lakes, Ill. for Advanced Weapon Systems Training and then onto the 3rd Fleet to an Amphibious Assault Ship, the USS New Orleans (LPH 11), stationed in San Diego, California. During his time with 3rd Fleet, he participated in several extended deployments to the Western Pacific.

Peter returned to great Lakes for additional Weapon Systems Training and was then transferred to the 4th Fleet to the USS Aries (PHM 5), a Patrol Missile Hydrofoil in Key West, Fla. He was qualified as a Surface Warfare Specialist and Master Helmsman Hydrofoils while conducting drug interdiction missions in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. His next duty station was Dam Neck, Va. where he earned the designation, Master Training Specialist as an Advanced Weapons System Instructor.

He was then sent to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to serve with the Fleet Training Group, preparing units from the 2nd and 4th Fleets to deploy to the Gulf War. Following that, he was assigned to the 7th Fleet as an Ordnance Logistics Officer for Naval Weapons Station, Guam. His final assignment was with the Commander Naval Forces Marianas where he assisted the Navy’s efforts to launch its new Total Quality Management Program.

Peter retired from the Navy in 1998 after a 20-year career. He joined Coca-Cola in 2015 and currently works in vendor governance, where he is responsible for developing capabilities and routines for the implementation of a sustainable vendor governance program and ensuring compliance with our regulatory reporting requirements.

John Maxey

John Maxey

Executive Administrative Assistant
Coca-Cola Freestyle Team
Coca-Cola North America
Atlanta, Ga.

Spc. John Maxey enlisted in the United States Army in 1987 following graduation from high school.  He completed basic and avanced individual training as a cannon crewmember at Fort Sill, Okla.

Following initial training, John was assigned to the 260th Field Artillery Detachment at Fort Rucker, Ala. where he served as a cannon crewmember, assistant gunner, and gunner for the M198 155mm howitzer as well as a 2 ½ ton truck driver. In 1990, John moved to Daley Barracks in Bad Kissingen, Germany, where he served on an M109 155mm self-propelled howitzer crew with 2nd Battalion, 41st Field Artillery Regiment.

While in Germany, John deployed to Iraq where he served in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. When the war ended, John’s unit returned to Germany and was deactivated. He returned to the United States in 1991 and was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 41st Field Artillery at Fort Stewart, Ga. In 1992, following five years of service, John received an honorable discharge from the Army and returned to his home in Syracuse, N.Y.

John worked several jobs and received an associate degree from Central City Business Institute following his time in the military. He started his human resources career with Coca-Cola in 2001, and in 2018, he joined the Coca-Cola Freestyle team. John credits his time in the Army with giving him the team building and collaboration skills that have helped him be successful in his career.

Dustin Monroe

Dustin Monroe

Account Coordinator
Coca-Cola North America
Atlanta, Ga.

Sgt. Dustin Monroe enlisted in the United States Army Reserve in 2008 following graduation from Central Gwinnett High School. He completed Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson, S.C. in 2009 and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, in 2010 where he received chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) training.

Following initial training, Dustin was assigned to the 314th Chemical Company in Decatur, Georgia and shortly after was selected to attend Joint Biological Point Detection System (BIDS) training. During his time with the unit, he led his team on many BIDS missions in the United States and attended various training courses, including CBRN responder, mass casualty decontamination training, and confined space training. He also assisted with the cleanup of Hurricane Sandy, the California wildfires, and trained civilian groups on hazardous material response.

In 2016, Dustin was reassigned to D Company, 8-229th Attack Helicopter Battalion in Fort Knox, Kentucky as the unit’s CBRN Non-Commissioned Officer. He has completed additional CBRN training and acts as a helicopter machine gunner on certain missions. He currently serves with this unit and drives monthly from his home in Georgia to Kentucky.

Dustin joined Coca-Cola in 2016 as an account coordinator supporting Chick-fil-A. He currently attends Georgia Gwinnett College, majoring in international politics.

Nick Warden

Nick Warden

Account Executive II – Costco
Coca-Cola North America
Atlanta, Ga.

Senior Airman Nick Warden enlisted in the United States Air Force in 2008. During his Basic Military Training, Nick was one of six members of his class hand-selected to serve as a paralegal. He completed his training at the Judge Advocate General’s school at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. After training, he was stationed at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colorado where he was responsible for the non-judicial punishment (Article 15) program. Upon completing a year in Colorado, Nick received orders to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan. While in Japan, he served as the lead paralegal on military justice cases. In addition, he deployed to Doha, Qatar in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom (Iraq) and Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan).

While serving at Kadena, Nick was awarded for his performance during an operational readiness inspection. His ability to properly address questions from the inspection team earned him one of three coins awarded by Gen. Gary L. North, Commander, Pacific Air Forces. Nick also earned the Paralegal Airman of the Year award in 2010 for his contributions to the Judge Advocate General corps.

Nick separated from the Air Force in 2012 with an Honorable Discharge to pursue his education. He earned his undergraduate degree from Purdue University in 2015. He joined Whirlpool Corporation following graduation, where he worked in sales and concurrently completed an executive MBA program through the Krannert School of Management at Purdue. Nick joined Coca-Cola in 2018 as an Account Executive on the Costco team where he is responsible for business in four out of eight Costco regions, covering the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest and Texas. He credits his military experience with teaching him the importance of cultural diversity, teamwork and accountability.

Robert Whirley

Robert Whirley

Facilities Protection Group
The Coca-Cola Company
Atlanta, Georgia

Sgt. Robert Whirley enlisted in the United States Army on May 14, 1981. He completed basic and advanced individual training at Fort Sill, Okla., where he was trained to be a Field Artillery Surveyor. His first assignment was with 2nd Battalion, 12th Field Artillery Regiment, also at Fort Sill.

In 1983, Robert completed the Primary Leadership Development Course before reporting to Peden Barracks in Wertheim, Germany, where he was assigned to Headquarters Battery, 3rd Battalion, 35th Field Artillery Regiment. He remained with this unit for three years before returning to the United States.

In November 1987, Robert completed his military career while serving with the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas. He joined Coca-Cola shortly after receiving his Honorable Discharge and has worked in various roles over the past 30 years. He is currently a security console operator with the Facilities Protection Group at the Atlanta Office Complex. In this role, he monitors various systems and alarms and directs security, medical, and maintenance personnel when emergency response is needed. Robert credits his time in the Army with teaching him discipline, attention to detail, and teamwork.

Craig Williams

Craig A. Williams

Senior Vice President, The Coca-Cola Company
President, The McDonald’s Division
Atlanta, Ga.

Lt. Craig Williams graduated from Benedict College with a B.S. in Physics in 1990 and entered the United States Navy through Officer Candidate School. He earned his commission as a Nuclear Propulsion Officer in September of the same year. Over the next two years, Craig completed Nuclear Power School, Nuclear Prototype qualifications, and Surface Warfare Officer School. He then joined the crew of the USS George Washington (CVN-73), a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, as a Mechanical Division Officer in November 1992.

At the time, the USS George Washington was the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, commissioned by First Lady Barbara Bush in July 1990. Craig was onboard the ship for its maiden deployment in 1994. The ship hosted D-Day 50th Commemoration activities in the English Channel in June, with guests that included President Bill Clinton, and many of the nation’s highest-ranking military and civilian leaders. The George Washington relieved the USS Saratoga (CV 60) which was especially significant as the Navy’s newest carrier relieved the oldest. Craig, by then a Lieutenant, qualified as the Officer of the Deck and navigated the George Washington through the Suez Canal as the crew headed to the Adriatic Sea in support of Operation Southern Watch, which helped enforce the Iraqi no-fly zone below the 32nd parallel.

Craig left the Navy in 1995 and joined The Coca-Cola Company in 2005 following seven years with Kraft Foods Inc., three years with CIBA Vision Corporation, and receiving an M.B.A. from Northwestern University. Since joining the company, Craig has held positions of increasing responsibility within the McDonald’s Division including group director of U.S. Marketing, assistant vice president of U.S. Marketing, vice president U.S. Marketing, and senior vice president and chief operating officer. Craig is currently a senior vice president of The Coca-Cola Company and president of The McDonald’s Division, where he leads a global organization that is responsible for building the strategic alliance with McDonald’s in more than 37,000 restaurants in more than 120 countries.