A handful of community leaders, including Kate Nielsen and Jesse Lewis, were inducted into the Birmingham Business Hall of Fame by the Downtown Kiwanis Club of Birmingham—and Coca-Cola UNITED was there to celebrate!
2019 Birmingham Business Hall of Fame Inductees
Each year, the Birmingham Business Hall of Fame Committee chooses business leaders who have exemplified strong leadership, and made extraordinary contributions to the Birmingham area. The 2019 inductees included Kate Nielsen of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, John McMahon of Ligon Industries, and J.B. and Charles Schileci of Supreme Beverage Company.
Mrs. Nielson is the wife of Claude Nielsen, Chairman of the Board, CCBCU. She has led countless projects and initiatives in her 14 years as president of the Community Foundation. She granted seed money to create Railroad Park and Red Mountain Park, and to make important improvements to Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve. The Community Foundation grew from $38 million in assets to about $169 under her leadership.
Another of the inductees was Jesse Lewis of Agency 54. Lewis has been a leader in marketing and advertising for years, specifically in Birmingham’s African-American community. He’s the founder of both Agency 54 and The Birmingham Times, and has had success in many different areas—he’s an entrepreneur, educator, political consultant, veteran, and mentor. Through his mentorship he has impacted generations of leaders in our community, and continues to do so today.
Lewis credits both the late Crawford Johnson III and Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED for giving him his first job, and the first step down his path to success. Coca-Cola UNITED executives were there to celebrate with him at a reception at Agency 54 after he had been inducted into the Birmingham Business Hall of Fame.
Here at Coca-Cola UNITED, we place extraordinary value on community. That’s why we’re so thrilled to see Mrs. Nielsen and Mr. Lewis getting the recognition they deserve for their impactful work. Congratulations to both!