Dear Fellow UNITED Associates:
What an amazing week this has been for UNITED!
As you all know, since last Saturday morning, we OWN the Atlanta market, as well as eight other sales territories and two production facilities in metro Atlanta. Truly, a transformation of epic proportion that took place over more than 500 days!
Let me begin with a warm welcome to our 2,000+ new associates who are now part of our UNITED family.
Welcome College Park!
Welcome North Metro!
Welcome South Metro!
I had the honor of being in Georgia last week, visiting several of our new facilities as they were getting ready for the cutover. Everyone’s excitement, passion, focus and determination was contagious and inspiring!
On Saturday, each location’s 5:30 a.m. ribbon cutting event was filled with celebration, anticipation and a desire to “get to work.” I joined the North Metro team, which was particularly meaningful since I was the Sales Center Manager there in 1986, and never dreamed what would be taking place 30 years later. As trucks rolled out, I had the pleasure of riding with Delivery Merchandiser DJ Mangum when he made the first UNITED delivery in Metro Atlanta.
Then on Monday, the first regular day of operations, Mike Suco, VP of the East Region, and Victor Ragland, Atlanta division director, delivered the first case of product to executives at The Coca-Cola Company’s headquarters. Joining this historic occasion were Crawford Jones, Beeland Nielsen and Grant Rafield, the fifth generation of the Johnson family members working for UNITED. We would not be the company we are without the commitment and ongoing support of the family that founded UNITED more than 115 years ago.
Let me highlight some of the reasons this recent transaction is so significant:
This is the single largest transition action UNITED has experienced in its history.
It will increase the size of our company by roughly 40% in volume, and over 2,000 associates have joined UNITED.
In addition, we’ve added some 200 new jobs across the Atlanta Market Unit, and promoted about 150 existing associates into new responsibilities, which is consistent with UNITED’s culture to promote from within.
Becoming the bottler in and around Atlanta is a great honor and one we don’t take lightly. We’re incredibly humbled by the opportunity to be the bottler serving the hometown of The Coca-Cola Company.
I’m proud to say the results of our first few days in operation have been fantastic! To see how smoothly we’ve transitioned into our new markets and how well our systems, processes and customer outreach have worked is nothing short of amazing. All of this is a credit to both our new associates and the many legacy UNITED associates who have worked so hard for over a year preparing for this successful transition.
I want to thank our friends and colleagues at Coca-Cola Refreshments, CCNA’s System of the Future and Franchise teams, and the CONA team, all of whom worked diligently as our partners in assuring this transition went as well as it did.
In closing, I want to thank each and every one of you – our UNITED associates who have been with us for many years, as well as those of you who have just joined our family. We are in this together…and together we are UNITED in the way we serve one another, our customers, our consumers and our communities.
I look forward to working with each of you as UNITED continues its journey to become the ELITE organization we strive to be.