My mom, Sharyn Perkins, has been working for The Coca-Cola Company for 19 years, so we grew up as a Coca-Cola family. All of us are Coca-Cola fans to the max, so we sure lived up being ambassadors for the company. From running Atlanta's Peachtree Road Race every year with our Coke shirts to passing out Coca-Cola products in fun Halloween gift bags in October, we had Coca-Cola love going on year-round. I can clearly remember dancing to the “Always Coca-Cola” song from Coke’s campaign pretty often when I was younger. The whole family loved that song. I wish we had a video of that!

Halloween and Coca-Cola products

Mom is known around the neighborhood for sharing Coca-Cola products on Halloween.

Both sets of my grandparents even join the Coca-Cola fun. About ten years ago during one of our trips to visit my mom’s parents in Illinois, my grandma had set up a photo shoot for all of us with a Coke backdrop! I’m sure you didn’t miss the classic photo above. I think it’s pretty clear mom’s Coke spirit has moved us all.

My mom is one of the hardest workers I know and a testament to why you should find a company you truly believe in and feel passionate about working for every day. Like all jobs there were tough days here and there, but mom was always enthusiastic and proud to be part of Coke. I noticed this even when I was younger, and this is what inspired me to find that same passion – in work and personal life.

Perkins family picture with the Coke Santa in 2010

Perkins family picture with the Coke Santa in 2010

As you can imagine, as I grew old enough to join the “real world” and start my own career, I always had my eyes set on The Coca-Cola Company. After a few years, the perfect job came along, and soon enough I was working at the same company as mom – Coca-Cola!

One of my favorite family Coke traditions is visiting mom at the headquarters for their Christmas events. We take a family picture with the Coke Santa every time. Different family members are able to attend every year, adding on a few over the years as well, but what’s exciting for me is now I’m one of the people they’re visiting!

Mallory and Sharyn Perkins

Here we are at a friend's southern-themed wedding shower.

Coke is a pretty big and busy place (and we work in completely different worlds – communications and finance), so mom and I schedule meetings and lunch dates to make sure we see each other now that we’re in the same building every day. Occasionally I even get a surprise visit at my desk! However, even when I don’t see her, there’s something really comforting knowing your mom is nearby. She has always been who I go to for advice, to vent, to brainstorm and to share exciting news, so it’s nice to have her close by. I even got to be here when her team surprised her with a celebration for her 50th birthday.

So in true Coke fashion and in honor of this week of celebrating moms, I want to thank her for being the best role model - A woman full of love, passion, energy, drive, knowledge, kindness and simply a whole lot of fun. I strive every day to follow in her footsteps.

Happy Mother’s Day, mom! (And thanks, Coke, for all the added fun over the years.)

Christmas at The Coca-Cola Company