Employee Spotlight: Lena Brown, Quality Assurance Manager, College Park, GA

In observance of Women’s History Month, Coca-Cola UNITED celebrates our associates who lead by extraordinary example. We raise our Coca-Cola bottles to you all! We are excited to spotlight a few of our talented associates throughout the month, and we are grateful for the contributions of our associates every day.

I started my journey with Coca-Cola Enterprises in College Park over 30-plus years ago at a time when very few women worked in manufacturing.  I applied and was hired as a Senior Lab Technician in the syrup room, which was a male-dominated position.  I took the job simply because I wanted a job at Coca-Cola, and with that came major bragging rights.  Besides, I grew up in a small town in South Georgia and worked on a farm all my life.  Truly, it could not be worse than that and it was not.

As Coca-Cola Enterprises transitioned to Coca-Cola Refreshments, I transferred to Marietta Production to help in their lab while they hired a new technician.  Those two months turned into 20-plus years.  I stayed in Marietta because I loved the people and learned so much from them.   It was there that the Plant Manager asked me what my next steps were, something I had never given a thought until that day.  As one of three women in manufacturing, I faced many new challenges and was given opportunities to grow in sanitation and the quality lab.  It was there I earned the title “Shut ’Em Down Brown,” a title I carried with me back to College Park when I took the position of Quality Assurance Supervisor.  Today, I am the Quality Assurance Manager for Coca-Cola UNITED.  At the start of my journey, I did not think about management because I did not see women in those roles, but now I see women as Plant Managers, Directors and Vice Presidents.

I am thankful for my many blessings:  Coca-Cola UNITED, my friend Jonas, my son Jeremy and my parents for always telling me and my siblings to stand up for what we believe.  “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”- Maya Angelou.

I’m looking forward to seeing more women rise up!