Employee Spotlight: Toni Donaghey, Special Events Supervisor, New Orleans, LA

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.

Toni Donaghey started working at New Orleans Coca-Cola Bottling Co. as a customer service representative.  At that point, New Orleans Coca-Cola was a 70-year-old, independent bottling company, founded in 1902 by Crawford Johnson and acquired by New Orleans’ Freeman family in 1906. Johnson continued building the independent bottling group Coca-Cola UNITED, based in
Birmingham, which is still owned by the family of his descendants and which acquired New Orleans Coca-Cola in 2016 — bringing it back into family ownership two decades after Coca-Cola’s corporate entity in Atlanta had bought it from the Freemans. Toni moved steadily up through the Crescent City Coca-Cola organization, moving on to the cooler service department, then outside sales, before being put in charge of special events in 1988.

Toni Donaghey’s life is an endless festival. Street festival, school festival, music festival. Po’ boy festival, cochon de lait festival, hot air balloon festival, orange festival, strawberry festival, barbecue festival. And on up to the granddaddies of all the festivals — the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (so long established it gets its own universally  recognized short form, “Jazzfest”), and of course, the biggest and baddest of them all, Mardi Gras.  More than 450 festivals and special events in all, every year.  And one person is integral to everyone:  Toni Donaghey, a diminutive dynamo of a woman who has been taking care of Coca-Cola business in the great City of New Orleans for the last 48 years!

She’s really everything a Coca-Cola associate should represent — her knowledge, compassion, commitment to customers, and service. For us, it’s a lifestyle, and Toni is the poster child for it.  Look at the way she handles everything, perfect to a T, with attention to detail.”- Kel Villarrubia