After Hurricane Ida made landfall on the Louisiana coastline on Aug. 29, 2021, 16 years to the day Hurricane Katrina made landfall, many New Orleans Coca-Cola employees were by the storm. Hear from our #UNITEDFrontlineVoices as our communities continue to recover.
“The storm hit Sunday, we were off Monday and I came back to work Tuesday. Everyone at Coke reached out to make sure me and my family were all right. I have some fence damage, leaks in my roof, loss of food, but you have to keep the negativity away from you and stay positive.
“Family’s always comes first with your regular family and your Coke family. That’s why I’ve been here 19 years. I appreciate the people from different plants within UNITED coming down to help get the facility back up and running. That’s the whole thing about family – everybody coming together as one. One UNITED family.”
– Terell Spencer, Cold Drink Equipment Installer, 19-year New Orleans Coca-Cola Associate
“This past week has been a combination of ensuring that my daughter is cared for, that we have a place to lay our head, but also being here to support our employees. Talking to our employees and hearing what they’re going through makes me choke up a little. It really breaks my heart to hear what they’re experiencing.
“To see the way our New Orleans Coca-Cola family has come together to support one another is just so humbling for me and it’s such a blessing to work for a company that really puts their focus on the employees and their safety. It’s second to none.”
– Leslie Horn, Employee Relations Manager, 5-Year New Orleans Coca-Cola Associate
“It’s been pretty rough. The storm was harrowing and terrifying, but we made it through. When things like this happen, you always think how your job is going to treat you or if your job is going to be there. Will this job be here for you and your family? I gotta say Coke UNITED laid out the red carpet and I thank them for that. I got so many calls and texts from people checking up on me. They feed us every day and give us gas, and gas is screaming hard to find right now. It’s been good. It’s been good for the heart.”
– Flem Ballet, Warehouse Lead, 31-Year New Orleans Coca-Cola Associate
“I’ve been through a lot of these hurricanes with Coca-Cola – Katrina, Isaac, Gustav. When I returned to work on the Wednesday after Ida hit, I didn’t know what to expect, but I saw the disaster relief truck and the generators. I opened the door and the cool air hit me in the face … I was overwhelmed. I felt the world lifted off of me.
“The first person I saw was our sales center manager, Charlie Mader. We hugged and we cried, and it was because we both knew that this company had us. When this company says their special ingredient is their people they mean that. When they say they’re family they mean that. All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you. I just can’t say enough how much this company means to me, my family and our employees.”
– Cheri Fontaine, Office Manager, 24-Year New Orleans Coca-Cola Associate