During WWII, Coca-Cola President Robert Woodruff pledged that "every man in uniform gets a bottle of Coca-Cola for five cents wherever he is and whatever it costs the company.”

Today, Coca-Cola continues its support of U.S. military service members, veterans and their families through volunteer activities and donations to veteran-related organizations. These contributions aim to assist veterans and their families as they re-enter civilian life, from covering their immediate financial needs to job skills training to community service and leadership programs.

In addition, across the country, the Coca-Cola system employs and celebrates more than 4,000 veterans, who are making a positive impact on the company’s culture. Meet a few of these men and women who help make Coca-Cola what it is.


Service Operations Manager, Coca-Cola North America

Orange County, Calif.

Captain Andrea Azcárate joined the U.S. Army in 1998, and during her subsequent assignments in Europe, she served as a Heavy Equipment Transport platoon leader, managed port operations, and ran large convoys across countries for upwards of several hundred vehicles from various nations. She left active duty in 2003, serving in the U.S. Army Reserve until 2007.

Azcárate credits her military service for giving her the confidence to tackle difficult challenges, by giving her the ability to adapt, learn, and mentally process various scenarios. She incorporates this learned responsiveness into her position as a Service Operations Manager with Coca-Cola, where she has worked since 2015. There, she manages service provider capability, capacity, and performance for Coca-Cola North America fountain reactive and scheduled service.


Franchise Manager, Coca-Cola North America

Spring, Texas

Alex Furtado, Chief Warrant Officer Two, enlisted in the Army in 1983. He served in West Berlin, Germany – still a divided city at the time – where he acted as the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of Allied Checkpoint Charlie. Following his time in Germany, Furtado deployed as an Attack Helicopter Pilot to the Middle East in support of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Furtado, who began working for Coca-Cola in 2012, credits his 13 years of service for instilling within him a strength he has brought to his civilian life. He believes that his military background taught him how hard he could push himself physically and mentally. Above all, he learned how to lead and inspire others – skills he uses in his current role of Franchise Manager through which he provides geographic leadership for The Coca-Cola Company portfolio to the company’s bottling partner, Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages.


Operations Manager, Facilities Protection Group, The Coca-Cola Company

Atlanta, Ga.

Sergeant Colby Lindsay enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve in 1987, before being called to active duty in 1991 to serve in support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

In 1992, while still in the Marine Corps Reserve, Lindsay joined Coca-Cola. He currently works with the Facilities Protection Group at its Atlanta headquarters, where he helps to oversee daily security operations. Colby also assists with Company sponsored events, such as the NCAA Men’s Final Four. He believes his time in the military benefits his current work, as it taught him what it truly means to take care of and collaborate with others.


Transportation Planner, Coca-Cola North America

Auburndale, Fla.

After enlisting in the Army in 1997 as a Military Police Officer, Sergeant Jodie Norris worked with the Crime Prevention/Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) Program, through which she spent three years teaching middle school students about the impact of drugs, ways to resist them, and how to deal with peer pressure.

Norris continues to engage the community in her subsequent role at Coca-Cola, where she has been since 2005. A Transportation Planner, responsible for securing capacity to cover product warehouse shipments, she also helped lead the creation of the Military Veterans Business Resource Group field chapter at the Auburndale Main Street Plant. She also distributes refreshing drinks with her coworkers at a local Warrior Walk.


Senior Brand & Innovation Manager, Coca-Cola Trademark Brand Team, Coca-Cola North America

Atlanta, Ga.

Captain Lillian Norton received a commission as an Intelligence Officer in the United States Army following graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2000. She deployed to Bosnia in 2001 for a peacekeeping and intelligence gathering mission, before deploying to Iraq where she helped train the Iraqi Army on intelligence tasks. There, she implemented a successful training plan resulting in their validation and placement in Baghdad. Her efforts enabled U.S. troop decreases in the area.

Norton’s military experiences pushed her to her true limits mentally, physically, and emotionally. Knowing those limits has empowered her to take on more challenges with confidence. With this confidence, she has been working with The Coca-Cola Company since 2013, currently serving as the Senior Brand & Innovation Manager for the Coca-Cola Trademark Brand Team.


Senior Procurement Specialist, Coca-Cola Freestyle, The Coca-Cola Company

Atlanta, Ga.

Sergeant First Class Marsha Anderson enlisted in the United States Army in 1988 shortly after graduating high school. Though she credits her mother for instilling her work ethic, Anderson believes it was her two decades in the military that helped cultivate it. She reflects, “Each one of my subordinates, peers, and leaders had something to teach me and I learned as much as possible.”

Now retired from the military, Anderson continues to learn and share knowledge of her own as a Procurement Specialist on the Coca-Cola Freestyle team, which she joined in 2014. She is proud of contributing to evolution of Coca-Cola Freestyle from an idea to a highly successful final product enjoyed by her family.

MATT ROWENCZAK                                                                                                      

Business Analyst, On-Premise Planning & Analysis, Coca-Cola North America

Atlanta, Ga.

Lieutenant Matt Rowenczak was interested in serving in the military from a young age. He received a commission in the United States Navy through the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program at The Ohio State University in 2007. As part of his Navy service, Rowenczak deployed throughout the Pacific, stopping in nine different countries providing humanitarian aid, upholding international maritime law, conducting joint military training and improving U.S. relations with foreign nations.

Rowenczak left active duty after five years of service in 2012 to pursue his next career in business through an MBA program. Drawing from skills learned through his studies and during his service, Rowenczak joined Coca-Cola more than a year ago, where he conducts planning and analysis for the On-Premise business in North America.


Senior Manager, Category Commercial, Coca-Cola North America

Atlanta, Ga.

Captain Chris Selleck is a fifth generation West Point graduate and a third generation Army Engineer. He deployed to Iraq in 2009 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, leading daily missions in search of improvised explosive devices. Shortly into the deployment, Selleck’s battalion was given orders to move to southern Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Selleck left active duty in 2012 and currently serves in the Individual Ready Reserve.

Selleck’s time in the Army taught him how to build and lead diverse teams, how to manage complex issues in difficult environments, and the importance of maintaining accountability, both personally and professionally. In 2014, he joined Coca-Cola as a member of the Business Leadership Program, where he supported a variety of departments across the business. Selleck currently works in Coca-Cola North America’s Category Commercial Leadership on ready-to-drink tea innovation.